Humans have always tried to categorise the world around us. From our early interpretation of the four elements to Linnaeus’ revolutionary system in the 1700s, we’ve always sought to understand better the life that we share the planet with. On my visit to the University of Guelph this year, I was able to sit down with a scientist who is attempting to classify all multi-cellular life.
Professor Paul Hebert is Scientific Director of the International Barcode of Life project, a consortium whose goal it is to document all life on our planet. I spoke with the man nicknamed the “father of DNA barcoding” about the magic that has revolutionised biodiversity science in the last 50 years, and how it’s being used today.
If you’ve read some of our previous posts on invasive species, you’ll have learned that they can be a real danger to local ecosystems and economies, and even have impacts on our health. But as Vanessa Bieker writes, there is a silver lining, and that comes in the form of what invasive species are teaching us about evolution.