Prize Winners!

Excellence in research and in socio-economic applications were recognized through prizes for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Twelve conference prizes on open topics were generously sponsored by the journal Genome. The prize for excellence in polar research employing DNA barcoding was generously provided by the Norwegian Barcode of Life (NorBOL). The grand prizes for student oral and poster presentations were provided by the Office of Research at the University of Guelph.

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Awards for Graduate Students

Oral Presentations

Office of Research Grand Prize ($1000)Office of Research - Grand Prize Winner with Paul Hebert

Dorcas M. Lekganyane, African Centre for DNA Barcoding, South Africa – ‘Muthi’ from the wild: A survey of bulbous and perennial herbs traded at Faraday Traditional Medicinal Market in Johannesburg, South Africa using DNA barcoding as an identification tool

Genome Prize for Research Excellence ($500 each)

Kristiina Mark, University of Tartu, Estonia – Barcoding the Swiss lichens and associated fungal communities using barcoded amplicon 454 pyrosequencing
Kate Pare, University of Guelph, Canada – By-passing the taxonomic impediment in Neotropical Collembola to measure changes in diversity and phylogenetic structure

Genome Prize for Socio-economic Applications ($500 each)

Jennifer Hawkins, National Botanic Garden of Wales and Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, UK – Using DNA metabarcoding to investigate the medicinal properties of honey
Kong-Wah Sing, University of Malaya, Malaysia – Urban parks: refuges for tropical butterflies?

NorBOL Prize Winner with Torbjorn EkremNorBOL Prize for Excellence in Polar Research ($500)

Claire Beet, University of Waikato, New Zealand – Assessing the distribution and genetic diversity of Antarctic springtails (Collembola)

Poster Presentations

Office of Research Grand Prize ($500)

R. Gabriela Aguilar-Velasco, Instituto de Biologia UNAM, Mexico – Species boundaries, mitochondrial introgression and nuclear mitochondrial paralogs in the neotropical ant complex Ectatomma ruidum (Ectatomminae)

Genome Prize for Research Excellence ($300 each)

Justin Bernstein, Villanova University, USA – Phylogenetic analysis, species identification and delimitation of New Caledonian geckos and skinks using DNA barcoding
Iliana Bista, Bangor University, UK – Monitoring lake ecosystem health using metabarcoding of environmental DNA: temporal persistence and ecological relevance

Genome Prize for Socio-economic Applications ($300 each)

Saloni Malik, University of Delhi, India – DNA Barcode Reference Library for Indian Medicinal Plants of High Trade Volume
Thomas C. A. Royle, Simon Fraser University, Canada – Using Mini-Barcodes to Investigate the Species Composition of the Late Holocene (3.500 to 200 years BP) Fishery at EeRb-144, British Columbia, Canada

Awards for Postdoctoral Fellows

Oral Presentations

Genome Prize for Research Excellence ($1000)

Kristy Deiner, Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Switzerland – The power and promise of environmental DNA for river biodiversity monitoring

Genome Prize for Socio-economic Applications ($1000)

Donna-Maree Cawthorn, Stellenbosch University, South Africa – Harnessing the power of DNA barcoding to detect and deter fish mislabeling in South Africa

Poster Presentations

Genome Prize for Research Excellence ($500)

Valentina Todisco, University of Vienna, Austria – The origin of the Sardinian Blue, Pseudophilotes barbagiae (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae): Out-of-Europe or Out-of-Africa?

Genome Prize for Socio-economic Applications ($500)

Seikoh Saitoh, Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus, Japan – DNA metabarcoding of springtails (Collembola)


To be eligible for a prize at a particular rank, presenters should have been in graduate school or pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship at the time of the conference. Delegates were also eligible if presenting research arising from a graduate degree or postdoctoral position completed less than one year prior to the conference (i.e. completed no earlier than August 18, 2014). To be considered, presenters identified as being a graduate student or a postdoctoral fellow at the time of abstract submission and selected the applicable award category. Awards were announced at the closing Plenary session.

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