Paul Hebert

Email Address
[email protected]
Research Areas
Research Keywords
Research Description

My research is focused on the development and application of DNA-based identification systems for multi-cellular organisms. As Scientific Director of the International Barcode of Life Network, I currently lead a 7-year, $180 million research program entitled BIOSCAN. It is laying the foundation for the activation of a global biosurveillance system.

Research Summary

Morphological studies have provided an outline of biodiversity, but are incapable of surveying, managing and protecting it on a planetary scale. By exploiting two technologies that are gaining power exponentially – DNA sequencing and computational capacity – my research promises an ever-accelerating capacity to monitor and know life. In particular, I aim to automate species identification and discovery, and to employ this capacity to answer longstanding scientific questions. Automation is possible because sequence diversity in short, standardized gene regions (DNA barcodes) enables fast, cheap, and accurate species discrimination. New instruments can inexpensively gather millions of DNA sequences, enabling surveys of organismal diversity at speeds and scales that have been impossible.

Techniques Used

PCR, RT-PCR, DNA sequencing, DNA extraction, RNA extraction, digital imaging.

Lab Equipment

DNA Sequencers - ABI 3730XL, Ion Torrent S5 & S5 Plus; Sequel & Sequel II; Biosafety Cabinets; Liquid Handlers - Beckman NX, FX, & I7; PCR machines - 96 well, 384 well: Computational hardware -1500 CPUs, 300 terabytes storage; Microscopes - Keyence.

Locations of international collaborators

I collaborate with researchers in 33 nations in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

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