During the summer that I turned 13, I lived my dream. I gained a volunteer position with the Royal Ontario Museum and hunted Lepidoptera and reared their caterpillars at a lakeside research station. I found it hugely exciting that these studies were revealing previously unknown details about the distribution and life history of certain species. This experience stimulated my interest in biodiversity science and I hope that your time at Coastal Marine Biolabs has a similar impact.
CMB’s scientists are extraordinary mentors; they are not only passionate about science, but they have focused your efforts on a transformative scientific endeavor. As you now know, the International Barcode of Life Project (iBOL) is building a DNA-based identification system for all multi-cellular species – one barcode at a time. Since most species have narrow geographic distributions, iBOL’s grand goal can only be achieved by teams working around the world. Your involvements in collecting, curating and photographing specimens, and in generating reference DNA barcodes, have progressed barcode coverage for California’s marine life.By injecting this information into the Barcode of Life Data Systems, you have ensured both the persistence and accessibility of your results. In fact, your records are already helping to create a future where anyone is able to identify any organism by simply reading its DNA barcode. On behalf of the scientific team leading iBOL, I thank you for your contribution. You have helped to change the world.
Paul Hebert, Ph.D.
International Barcode of Life Project