Plenary Sessions

August 18, 2015
August 19, 2015
August 20, 2015
August 21, 2015
Biodiversity and Ecosystems
Paul Hebert
Yves Basset
Tetsukazu Yahara
Ecological Interactions
Charles Godfray
Naomi Pierce
Jana Vamosi
David Posada
Derek Tittensor
Sujeevan Ratnasingham
Nancy Knowlton
Eduardo Eizirik
Louis Bernatchez
Eco-evolutionary Dynamics
Rosemary Gillespie
Melania Cristescu
Thibaud Decaëns
Ecological and Environmental Genomics
Mark Blaxter
Michael Hofreiter
Mehrdad Hajibabaei
Taxonomy and Systematics
Rod Page
John La Salle
Karl Kjer
Global Initiatives
John Kress
Wolfgang Wägele
Peter Hollingsworth
Special Plenary Session: State of Biodiversity
Brock Fenton (Chair)
Stuart Pimm
Paul Snelgrove
Bridget Stutchbury
David Hik
Monte Hummel
Final Plenary
Laurence Packer (Chair)
Tom Lovejoy
Dan JanzenClosing Remarks
Paul Hebert

Biodiversity and Ecosystems

Paul Hebert Paul Hebert
Paul Hebert completed his BSc at Queen’s University, his PhD at the University of Cambridge and his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Sydney, He has held faculty positions at the University of Windsor and at the University of Guelph where he is now a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Biodiversity. Over his career, Paul has served as Director of the Great Lakes Institute at Windsor, as Chair of the Department of Zoology at Guelph and as Chair of the Huntsman Marine Science Centre in St. Andrews. He is currently Director of the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario and Scientific Director of the International Barcode of Life Project. Over his career, he has led applications that have received more than $90M in research support and has published more than 400 papers, most employing molecular approaches to probe issues such as breeding system evolution, phylogeography, genome size evolution and species identification. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and has received honorary degrees from the Universities of Waterloo and Windsor.
Yves Basset Yves Basset
Yves Basset is a CTFS-ForestGEO entomologist, working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama ( He has been studying tropical insects, particularly insect-plant interactions, since 1986 (MSc University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland and PhD Griffith University, Australia). He is currently leading the CTFS-ForestGEO Arthropod Initiative, which is monitoring in the long term insects in tropical rainforests (Panama, Thailand, Papua New Guinea and other locations). He is Research Associate of the Bishop Museum (USA), the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (Belgium) and University of South Bohemia (Czech Republic), and Investigador Distinguido of the Sistema Nacional de Investigación in Panama. He has written two books and 141 publications and is Adjunct Professor at McGill University and Lecturer at Princeton University. He is also Senior Editor of the journal Insect Conservation and Diversity (IF=1.937, 2013). His main research interests also include arboreal arthropods and tropical rainforest canopies, as well as the conservation of tropical insects. Most of his tropical experience originates from residence in Panama, Guyana, Papua New Guinea and Australia.
Tetsukazu Yahara Tetsukazu Yahara
Tetsukazu Yahara started his research from biosystematics of some agamospermous plant groups in 1980s and then made efforts to elucidate costs and benefits of sexual and asexual reproduction in the Eupatorium-geminivirus system. He discovered high evolutionary rate and high genetic diversity of geminiviruses infecting wild host plants, and higher infection frequencies in asexual lineages. He also studied the evolution of various sexual systems in flowering plants including cleistogamy and gynodioecy, and the evolution of diurnal and nocturnal pollination systems in Hemerocallis and Lilium. Recently, he worked in some international programs including DIVERSITAS and GEO BON and since 2009 he has been a co-chair of AP BON (Asia-Pacific Biodiversity Observation Network). Since 2011, he has been directing a project “Integrative Observations and Assessments of Asian Biodiversity” sponsored by the Ministry of Environment, Japan in which more than 100 researchers have been working. In this project, he is collaborating with SE Asian botanists to record all the vascular plant species growing within 5m x 100m plots placed in candidate hot spots of plant diversity in SE Asia. He and his collaborators have accumulated more than 160,000 herbarium specimens with DNA samples, and DNA barcoding of those specimens is in progress.


David Posada David Posada
David Posada ( is Professor of Genetics at the University of Vigo (Spain). He is a biologist interested in different aspects of the evolutionary analysis of DNA sequences. His contributions have entailed mainly the development of methods, together with their validation and implementation in friendly bioinformatic tools, but also their application to empirical data in order to address different biological questions. He is the author of the popular ModelTest program for model selection and of other successful tools for phylogeographic analysis and simulation. He has worked on different topics in molecular evolution, phylogeography, population genetics and bioinformatics, but always centered around a common theme: the phylogeny. More recently he has focused on genome-wide aspects of species tree inference, marine phylogeography and cancer evolution.
Derek Tittensor Derek Tittensor
Derek Tittensor is the Senior Marine Biodiversity Scientist at the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, UK, and an Adjunct Professor at Dalhousie University. His research interests lie in marine biodiversity, macroecology biogeography, and human impacts, particularly at global scales. His PhD on these topics won the Dalhousie University Doctoral Thesis Award in the Natural and Medical Sciences. Most recently, he has been involved in the ‘Madingley Model’, an attempt to build a general ecosystem model that integrates over a century of ecological ideas in an attempt to develop an approach to modelling all life on earth, both on land and in the ocean. He is currently using the model to explore ideas of ecosystem collapse, futures under climate change, and historical ecosystem reconstruction. He also contributes to science-policy work, including a recent assessment of global progress towards the 2020 ‘Aichi’ biodiversity targets. His work on species richness and diversity has been featured in many media outlets, including the BBC, the New York Times, CBC, the Economist, and others.
Sujeevan Ratnasingham Sujeevan Ratnasingham
Sujeevan Ratnasingham is Informatics Director at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph and the Chief Architect of the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD). He has a background in Computer Science from the University of Guelph with a focus on high performance computing and database analysis. Lately, his research has focused on machine learning approaches to sequence analysis and unsupervised clustering, most notably with the development of the BIN system, an effort to standardize and centralize the generation of molecular OTUs. He joined the Hebert lab in 2003 as one of the first researchers focused on DNA barcoding, providing bioinformatics support in the assessment of single gene markers to delineate animal species. His contribution to DNA barcoding has continued since then with the development and expansion of BOLD, development of high-throughput barcoding methods, and aiding in the establishment and implementation of standard markers for the barcoding of plants. As a member of the CBOL Database Working Group and CBOL Implementation Board, he has been heavily involved with the establishment of data standards and expansion of the barcoding community.


Nancy Knowlton Nancy Knowlton
Nancy Knowlton holds the Sant Chair in Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. Her research centers on the diversity and conservation of life in the ocean. She is the author of Citizens of the Sea and editor-in-chief of the Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal ( She is senior scientist emeritus at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, was the founding director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and was a leader of the Census of Marine Life’s coral reef program. She serves on the national board of the Coral Reef Alliance, is a winner of the Peter Benchley Prize and the Heinz Award, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2013.
Eduardo Eizirik Eduardo Eizirik
Eduardo Eizirik was born and raised in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil, where he got his B.Sc. degree in Biology (1994) and M.Sc. in Genetics and Molecular Biology (1997) from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. He got his Ph.D. degree in Biology from the University of Maryland, College Park, USA (2002), and subsequently was a post-doctoral fellow at the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity, NIH, Maryland, USA, in 2003. He returned to Brazil in 2004, when he obtained his present position as Associate Professor at the School of Biosciences of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS). In addition to leading a research group focusing primarily on carnivoran evolutionary and conservation genetics since 2004, he has taken on several teaching and administrative responsibilities in the same period, including service as chair of the Department of Biodiversity and Ecology (2007-2009) and chair of the Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology (2008-2013). His research interests include deep mammalian phylogeny and biogeography, felid pigmentation genetics, comparative phylogeography and population history of Neotropical carnivores, as well as population genetics and molecular ecology of threatened species. He has been an active participant of the Brazilian DNA barcoding initiative since 2005, a member of the iBOL Scientific Steering Committee, and one of the leaders of the BrBOL network, established in 2010.
Louis Bernatchez Louis Bernatchez
Louis Bernatchez is an evolutionary biologist specialised in genomics, conservation, and evolution of fishes in the Department of Biology at Laval University, Québec. He holds a Canadian Research Chair in genomics and conservation of aquatic resources and has received several prestigious awards, including the Prix du Québec Marie-Victorin, elected member of the Royal Society of Canada, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the E.W.R. Steacie award (NSERC), the Michel-Jurdant Award (ACFAS), and the Stevenson Lecturer of the Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research. He co-founded and is currently the chief-editor of the journal Evolutionary Applications and has also been Associate Editor with Molecular Ecology for the last 15 years. He is a co-founder of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution and served this Society as Treasurer for its first 5 years of existence. He has published over 300 research articles (h index of 62), with several important contributions to DNA barcoding of North American freshwater fishes.

Eco-evolutionary Dynamics

Rosemary Gillespie Rosemary Gillespie
Rosemary Gillespie is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also holds the Schlinger Chair in Systematics. She is currently President of the International Biogeography Society and Trustee and Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and serves as Associate Editor for Molecular Ecology. Gillespie was born and educated in Scotland, receiving her B.Sc. in Zoology from Edinburgh University in 1980. She came to the U.S. to conduct graduate work on the behavioral ecology of spiders at the University of Tennessee. After her PhD she spent several months at the University of South in Tennessee, and then started work at the University of Hawaii in 1987, initially as a postdoc, and then in 1992 as Assistant Professor in Zoology and Researcher in the Hawaiian Evolutionary Biology Program. It was during her first year in Hawaii that she discovered an adaptive radiation of Tetragnatha spiders. She joined the faculty at the University of California in Berkeley in 1999, where she continues her research focus on the islands of the Pacific, using islands of known age and isolation to assess the combined temporal and spatial dimension of biogeography and determine patterns of diversification, adaptive radiation, and associated community assembly.
Melania Cristecu Melania Cristescu
Melania Cristescu is a Canada Research Chair in Ecological Genomics and an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at McGill University. Her research addresses fundamental questions about the evolution and maintenance of biological diversity in aquatic systems. Her research group is involved in projects dealing with the genetics of aquatic invasions and habitat transitions; the nature and scale of recombination and mutation rate variation across genomes, populations and species; and speciation in ancient lakes. Currently her group is also working on metabarcoding techniques and their applications for biomonitoring and survey of freshwater ecosystems and early detection of invasive species.
Thibaud Decaens Thibaud Decaëns
Thibaud Decaëns is a professor at the University of Montpellier (France) and a researcher at the Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (UMR 5175 CNRS). His research interests include various aspects of invertebrate ecology, including community and functional ecology, taxonomy, and conservation biology. He is particularly interested in soil fauna and macrolepidoptera and has been involved in biodiversity studies in a range of temperate and tropical ecosystems in Europe, Latin America and Equatorial Africa. The use of molecular tools (DNA barcoding and meta-barcoding) in these studies provides a unique opportunity to remove the taxonomic impediment that limits the use of many groups of invertebrates in ecological surveys and to explore fundamental questions related to the determinisms of ecological communities.

Ecological and Environmental Genomics

Mark Blaxter Mark Blaxter
Mark Blaxter is a Professor of Evolutionary Genomics at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology of the University of Edinburgh, UK. He has built up two parallel strands of research activity. He is Director of Edinburgh Genomics, now the largest UK open-access genomics facility. In this role he has close collaborations with both technology providers (Illumina and others) and with a wide range of research scientists. He has also developed a research programme exploiting next generation genomics both in depth (determining the genome sequences of neglected organisms, from bacteria and fungi through to arthropods and vertebrates, but with a major focus on Nematoda) and in breadth (using DNA barcoding technologies to investigate organismal diversity in complex environments). Blaxter was involved “early on” in eukaryotic DNA barcoding with a 1998 grant from NERC UK to develop a nuclear SSU (18S) molecular barcoding system for nematodes. He participated in the discussions about how to turn DNA barcode data into estimates of species membership, and into hypotheses of taxon discrimination. Recent upgrades to next-generation sequencing platforms have improved quality, throughput and costs to levels that are accessible for large scale ecology initiatives and Blaxter is exploiting these for metabarcoding of meiofaunal communities.
Michael Hofreiter Michael Hofreiter
Michael Hofreiter studied biology in Munich, then moved to the Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, completing his PhD and a post doc working on various aspects of ancient DNA including population analyses of Pleistocene species, DNA extraction methods and palaeogenomics. From 2005 he ran an independent research group at the MPI investigating at mammoth and mastodon phylogenetics, functional ancient DNA analyses, and adapting Next Generation Sequencing for work with ancient DNA and multiple samples. From 2009 to 2014 he was Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Ecology at the University of York. Since October 2013 he is Professor for Evolutionary Adaptive Genomics at the University of Potsdam and Honorary Professor in the Biology Department at the University of York. He currently works on palaeogenomic analyses of a variety of species, including mammoths, cave bears, hyenas and a number of additional carnivore species with the aim to elucidate the demographic and adaptive changes underlying the population dynamics and evolution of extinct and extant mammals.
Mehrdad Hajibabaei Mehrdad Hajibabaei
Mehrdad Hajibabaei is an expert in molecular biodiversity and evolutionary biology, bioinformatics, and genomic technologies. He obtained his PhD from the University of Ottawa in 2003 focusing on building a DNA-based framework for studying evolutionary relationships among seed plants. He then pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Guelph where he contributed to high-throughput analysis of DNA barcodes for species identification. As an Assistant Professor at Biodiversity Institute of Ontario and Department of Integrative Biology of the University of Guelph, he has continued his work on the application of DNA barcodes, and expanded it to include the use of genomics information in biodiversity analysis. Dr. Hajibabaei has been one of the pioneers in the use of high-throughput genomics technologies, such as microarrays and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), for the assessment of biodiversity in samples as varied as natural health products to bulk environmental soil and water samples. By specializing on the development and application of cutting-edge technologies, he has helped lead the development of rapid and accurate analysis of biological diversity from genes to ecosystems. He has played a leadership role in establishing large-scale research projects and networks, such as the Canadian Barcode of Life Network and the International Barcode of Life (iBOL). He currently leads Biomonitoring 2.0 (, a large-scale applied genomics project that employs NGS technologies, as well as sophisticated bioinformatics tools, for the comprehensive assessment of biological diversity in environmental samples from Canada’s largest national park, Wood Buffalo National Park.

Ecological Interactions

Charles Godfray Charles Godfray
Charles Godfray is a population biologist with broad interests in the environmental sciences and has published in fundamental and applied areas of ecology, evolution and epidemiology. He is interested in how the global food system will need to change and adapt to the challenges facing humanity in the 21st century, and in particular in the concept of sustainable intensification, and the relationship between food production, ecosystem services and biodiversity. He has worked on pest and vector management and currently studies how novel genetic interventions can be used to control the mosquitoes that transmit malaria. He is also interested in biodiversity informatics and the evolving role of taxonomy and systematics in the 21st century. Charles Godfray was educated at Oxford University and Imperial College London and was on the faculty of Imperial College for twenty years, latterly as Director of the NERC Centre for Population Biology and head of the Biology Division. In 2006 he moved to become Hope Professor at the University of Oxford where he also directs the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food.
Naomi Pierce Naomi Pierce
Naomi E. Pierce is Hessel Professor of Biology at Harvard University and Curator of Lepidoptera at the Museum of Comparative Zoology. She received her B.S. in biology from Yale University and her Ph.D. from Harvard, and she held appointments as a Research Lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford, and as an Assistant and Associate Professor at Princeton. Her early work focused on insect behavioral ecology, and particularly the costs and benefits of symbioses between lycaenid butterflies and ants. Since then, she has contributed widely to the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, with research on symbiosis between ants and many other organisms, host/ pathogen interactions, speciation and diversification, and insect/ plant coevolution. She has also been involved in reconstructing the evolutionary ‘Tree of life’ of insects, and together with her co-authors, published the first detailed molecular phylogenies of both the butterflies (2005) and the ants (2006).  The author of over a hundred papers and an edited book, Dr. Pierce has been primary advisor for 36 graduate students, 34 postdoctoral fellows, and numerous undergraduates, and her students collectively nominated her to be a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America on the basis of excellence in mentorship (2011).  She was elected a senior fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows (1996), and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009),  and has received honors such as a Fulbright Fellowship and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur award.
Jana Vamosi Jana Vamosi
Jana Vamosi hails from the BC West Coast with a PhD from the University of British Columbia. She then went eastward for a postdoctoral position at the University of Toronto and is now an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary. Jana is a biodiversity scientist with broad interests, examining the macroevolution and community ecology of plants. Her work often brings phylogenetic approaches to questions pertaining to the study of plant-insect interactions and the conservation of ecosystem function. Research in her lab currently involves determining how diversification rates depend on past range expansion to regions where different pollinator guilds predominate. As climate change accelerates, we will increasingly need reliable predictions of how biological communities will respond to changes in their biotic and abiotic environments. Incorporating predictions from species distribution modeling, her team is gathering more precise information on the expected phylogenetic distribution of flowering plants at risk of extinction and investigating the role of plant trait diversity in determining stability and productivity of ecosystems.

Global Initiatives

John Kress John Kress
John Kress is Interim Under Secretary for Science at the Smithsonian and a distinguished scientist and curator with the Department of Botany at the National Museum of Natural History. He was born in Illinois and received his education at Harvard University and Duke University where he studied tropical biology, ethnobotany, evolution, pollination ecology, and plant systematics. Among his over 125 scientific and popular papers on tropical botany are his books entitled Heliconia: An Identification Guide, Heliconias – Las Lamaradas de la Selva Colombiana, A New Century of Biology, A Checklist of the Trees, Shrubs, Herbs, and Climbers of Myanmar, Plant Conservation – A Natural History Approach, and The Ornaments of Life, Coevolution and Conservation in the Tropics. His book, entitled The Weeping Goldsmith, describes his experiences exploring for plants in the isolated country of Myanmar. Dr. Kress was also a pioneer in the development and utilization of DNA barcodes in plants and published DNA Barcodes Methods and Protocols, which is the authoritative text in this field. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has been an Adjunct Professor of Biology at George Washington University in Washington, DC, and Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Yunnan. Dr. Kress received the Parker/Gentry Award for Excellence and Innovation in Conservation and Environmental Biology from the Chicago Field Museum and is an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. He has mentored numerous graduate students and post-doctoral fellows as well as more than 30 undergraduate interns and summer students at the Smithsonian.
Wolfgang Waegele Wolfgang Wägele
Wolfgang Wägele spent much of his childhood in Columbia, but received his PhD from Kiel University and his Habilitation from the University of Oldenburg. He held a professorship in animal systematics at the University of Bielefeld from 1991-1996 before his appointment as as Chair of Systematic Zoology at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. He relocated to Bonn in 2004 where he is Director of the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig and Chair of Systematic Zoology at the University of Bonn. His research has focused on morphological and molecular taxonomy, systematics theory, and techniques for biodiversity monitoring with an emphasis on marine crustaceans. Wolfgang has sustained a very active involvement in field expeditions, coupling studies of biodiversity in the Antarctic and South Atlantic Oceans with work in rain forests of Ecuador and Tanzania. He leads the German Barcode of Life Network, an alliance of museum and university researchers that have made a major contribution to the iBOL project.
Pete Hollingsworth Pete Hollingsworth
Professor Pete Hollingsworth is Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and a visiting professor at Edinburgh University and an honorary professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research focuses on understanding and conserving plant biodiversity. In recent years he has contributed to the international efforts of building a unified DNA based-index of life on earth, including Chairing the Scientific Steering Committee of the International Barcode of Life Project. He has a strong interest in linking scientific research to practical conservation outcomes, and has recently been involved in writing the new International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s guidelines on conservation translocations, and developing the Scottish Code for Conservation Translocations.

Taxonomy and Systematics

Roderic Page Rod Page
Perhaps best known as the author of the phylogenetic visualisation program “TreeView”, and more recently his “iPhylo” blog, Rod started out as a crustacean taxonomist, before being swept up in the debates on panbiogeography and vicariance biogeography that raged in the 1980’s and 90’s. After gaining a PhD at Auckland University, New Zealand, he worked as a post doc at the Amercian Museum of Natural History in New York, and The Natural History Museum in London, before taking up a lectureship at the University of Oxford. Since 1995 Rod has been at the University of Glasgow, where he is Professor of Taxonomy. A past editor of Systematic Biology, he is currently Chair of the GBIF Science Committee. His current work focusses on linking together biodiversity data from diverse sources.
John LaSalle John La Salle
John La Salle, Director of the Atlas of Living Australia, has been involved with the Atlas since its inception and played a key role in its establishment in 2006.  John is an internationally recognised insect taxonomist, who served as Director of the Australian National Insect Collection (ANIC) from 2001-2012.   He is a leading figure in adopting emerging technologies to accelerate the processes of taxonomy, species discovery and description, and delivery of information from natural history collections.  As Director of the Atlas of Living Australia he is helping to unlock the information stored in a huge range of biodiversity databases, and making this information accessible and useable online.  This huge, rich data pool is generating new efficiencies and possibilities for research, collection management, natural resource management, policy development, land-use planning, education and outreach. John received his PhD in Entomology from the University of California Riverside in 1984 and has over 150 scientific publications, with 225 co-authors from 35 countries. His 30 years of research experience in the systematics and biology of parasitic Hymenoptera has mainly been focused on the systematics, biology, and evolution of parasitic Hymenoptera; their importance to biological control and sustainable agriculture; and their significance in maintaining ecological balance in both natural and agricultural ecosystems.
Karl Kjer Karl Kjer
Karl Kjer is an insect phylogeneticist who received his PhD in Entomology in 1992 from the University of Minnesota. As a postdoctoral associate at BYU, working on lizard phylogenetics with Jack Sites Jr., Karl developed ideas on assessing homology in ribosomal RNA according to position and connection, linking molecular studies to morphology. He was hired as an assistant professor of Entomology at Rutgers University, in 1996. One of Kjer’s proudest accomplishments is to have advised Xin Zhou as a PhD student, from 2001-2006. Xin went on to be the campaign coordinator for the Trichoptera barcode of life initiative at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario. Karl organized the shipment of thousands of Trichoptera species to Zhou, as they built the Trichoptera barcode database. Kjer, Zhou (BGI, China) and Bernhard Misof (Museum Koenig, Germany) now lead an ambitious insect transcriptome project (see Karl continues to be active in building the Trichoptera barcode database, and is interested in adding additional data to the barcode fragment, in order to increase its utility for phylogenetics and formal species description (for example, see Arthropod Systematics and Phylogeny 2014, vol. 3; open access). Karl is currently a professor of Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers.

Special Plenary Session: State of Biodiversity

Brock Fenton Brock Fenton
Brock Fenton received his Ph.D. in 1969 for work in the ecology and behaviour of bats. Since then he has held academic positions at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada 1969 to 1986), York University (Toronto, Canada 1986 to 2003) and the University of Western Ontario (2003 to present). He has published over 200 papers in refereed journals (most of them about bats), as well as numerous nontechnical contributions.  He has written four books about bats intended for a general audience (Just bats 1983, University of Toronto Press; Bats 1992 – revised edition 2001 Facts On File Inc; and The bat: wings in the night sky 1998, Key Porter Press; Fenton and Simmons 2015 Bats: a world of science and mystery Univ of Chicago press). He continues his research on the ecology and behaviour of bats, with special emphasis on echolocation and evolution. He currently is an Emeritus Professor of Biology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada. He was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) in November 2014.
Stuart Pimm Stuart Pimm
Stuart Pimm is the Doris Duke Chair of Conservation at Duke University. He is a world leader in the study of present day extinctions and what can be done to prevent them. Pimm received his BSc from Oxford University (1971) and his Ph.D from New Mexico State University (1974). Pimm is the author of 300 scientific papers and four books. Pimm wrote the acclaimed assessment of the human impact to the planet: The World According to Pimm: a Scientist Audits the Earth in 2001. His commitment to the interface between science and policy has led to his testimony to both House and Senate Committees. In Africa, his work covers elephants, reintroductions of large mammals and most recently lions for National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative. Other research areas include the Everglades of Florida and tropical forests in South America. Pimm directs SavingSpecies, a 501c3 non-profit that uses funds for carbon emissions offsets to fund local conservation groups to restore degraded lands in areas of exceptional tropical biodiversity. His international honours include the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (2010), the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006), the Society for Conservation Biology’s Edward T. LaRoe III Memorial Award (2006), and the Marsh Award for Conservation Biology, from the Marsh Christian Trust (from the Zoological Society of London, 2004). Sigma Xi awarded him the William Proctor Prize for Scientific Achievement in 2007.
Paul Snelgrove Paul Snelgrove
Paul Snelgrove is Director of the NSERC Canadian Healthy Oceans Network, a national research network in Canada of ~65 scientists and 100 students working to develop new tools for sustainable oceans. He recently led the synthesis of the International Census of Marine Life research program, where he was a member of the program’s Scientific Steering Committee. He currently sits on the Advisory Boards for three European Commission Networks as well as the Canadian Scientific Submersible Facility. Dr. Snelgrove published the book “Discoveries of the Census of Marine Life: Making Ocean Life Count” with Cambridge University Press in 2010 and was a TED Global speaker in 2011. He was awarded the 2013 Timothy Parsons Medal for Excellence in Marine Sciences in Canada. He sits on the editorial boards of 5 international journals and has reviewed hundreds of manuscripts and proposals for a wide range of international journals and funding agencies around the world. He is frequently called upon as an expert panelist in Canada, and US and Europe, and has been an invited plenary speaker at meetings around the world. In 1996 he accepted a faculty position at Memorial University, where he is now a Professor of Biological Oceanography in the Department of Ocean Sciences and Biology Department. He held the 2012 Knapp Visiting Chair 2013 in the Department of Marine Science & Environmental Studies at University of San Diego, and was a Walter and Andée de Nottbeck Foundation Senior Research Fellow at the Tvärminnen Zoological Station, University of Finland in 2012.
Bridget Stutchbury Bridget Stutchbury
Bridget Stutchbury is an ornithologist and professor in the Department of Biology at York University, Toronto. Bridget completed her M.Sc. at Queen’s University and her Ph.D. at Yale, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution where she studied the ‘winter’ ecology of migrants in the tropics. As a Canada Research Chair at York U, Bridget studied migratory songbirds to investigate extra-pair mating systems, off-territory movements, and demographics in fragmented landscapes. She also published a series of papers, and a book, on the behavioural ecology of tropical birds and why it differs from typical temperate zone models. Her current research focusses on tracking the incredible long distance migration journeys of songbirds to understand their migration strategies and population declines. She serves on the board of Wildlife Preservation Canada and is the author of Silence of the Songbirds (2007) and The Bird Detective (2010).
David Hik David Hik
David Hik is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. His research interests are focused on the ecology of tundra ecosystems in Arctic and alpine environments, and the interface between science and policy. He has a particular fondness for collared pikas, hoary marmots and Arctic ground squirrels, and his long-term field sites are located in the mountains of southwest Yukon. David currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Arctic Council’s ‘Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON)’ initiative and Chair of the 3rd International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III). He recently completed a 4-year term as President of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) where he championed engagement of early career researchers, data management, and long-term planning for polar research coordination. He is also a member of many advisory boards, including the Canadian Polar Commission. Previously, he held the Canada Research Chair in Northern Ecology (2002-2012) and was Executive Director of the Canadian International Polar Year (IPY) Secretariat (2004-2009). He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and was awarded the Society’s Martin Bergmann Medal for Excellence in Arctic Leadership and Science in 2013.
Monte Hummel Monte Hummel
Monte Hummel is now President Emeritus of WWF Canada, having served as President for 26 years (1978-2004). He holds separate Masters Degrees in Arts (Philosophy) and Science (Forestry) from the University of Toronto, which also awarded him an Honourary Doctorate in 2012. An Officer of the Order of Canada, Monte is the author or co-author of six books, and over a hundred book chapters and journal or popular articles on conservation. He resides in the country near Beeton, Ontario.

Final Plenary Session

Laurence Packer Laurence Packer
Laurence Packer is a self-described melittologist (someone who studies wild bees) who likes to point out that asking him “a question about Apis melifera is like asking an ornithologist a question about chickens” and notes that “if all birds dropped dead tomorrow, only chicken farmers and academic ornithologists would be inconvenienced. If all bees died out, there would be worldwide food shortages and perhaps one-quarter of the human population would starve”. Laurence obtained a B.A. in zoology from the University of Oxford and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He has been at York University since 1988 and is currently a Professor In the Department of Biology, where he has four main areas of research interest: bee systematics and taxonomy, bee conservation genetics, sociobiology, and biodiversity. He has published more than 160 scientific papers and has served as a member of the Biological Survey of Canada (Terrestrial Arthropods) and the ommittee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (Co-Chair, Arthropods Specialist Subcomittee). Laurence spearheads the Campaign to Barcode the Bees of the World (BeeBOL) and recently published a book on “Keeping the Bees – Why all Bees Are at Risk and What We Can Do to Save Them”. His work to educate both students and public audiences alike are regularly featured in the media.
Thomas Lovejoy Thomas E. Lovejoy
Thomas Lovejoy is an innovative and accomplished conservation biologist who coined the term “biological diversity”. He completed his B.S. and PhD degrees in biology at Yale University and currently serves as Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation. In 2010 he was elected University Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University. He served as President of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment from 2002-2008 and was Biodiversity Chair of the Center from 2008-2013. Before assuming this position, Lovejoy was the World Bank’s Chief Biodiversity Advisor and Lead Specialist for Environment for Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation. Spanning the political spectrum, he has served on science and environmental councils under the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations. At the core of these many influential positions are Lovejoy’s seminal ideas which have formed and strengthened the field of conservation biology. In the 1980s, he brought international attention to the world’s tropical rainforests, and in particular, the Brazilian Amazon, where he has worked since 1965. In 1980 he produced the first projection of global extinctions for the Global 2000 Report to the President. Lovejoy also developed the now ubiquitous “debt-for-nature” swap programs and led the Minimum Critical Size of Ecosystems project. With two co-edited books (1992 and 2005), he is credited with establishing the field of climate change biology. He also founded the series Nature, the popular long-term series on public television. In 2001, Lovejoy was awarded the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. In 2009, he was appointed Conservation Fellow by the National Geographic and also won the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Ecology and Conservation Biology Category. In 2012 he received the Blue Planet Prize.
Dan Janzen Dan Janzen
Daniel Janzen is Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, and co-architect with Winnie Hallwachs and a host of Costa Ricans of the 30-year-old and 165,000 hectare Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica (; For 12 years, J&H, a team of 38 Costa Rican parataxonomists, twice as many supporting taxonomists, the BIO team, and a great diversity of Costa Rican private and government collaborators have tested the effectiveness of DNA barcoding for the identification and discovery of the ~ 30,000 ACG species of plants, herbivores, and parasitoids. As a result, ~7% (250,000) of all records on BOLD (about 13,000 species) are derived from ACG insects and plants. This effort has contributed to building public, national and global awareness of the power of DNA barcoding for connecting society to wild biodiversity, and facilitates an oncoming emergence of bioliteracy. As a member of the US National Academy of Science and recipient of the Crafoord, Kyoto, BBVA, and Blue Planet Prizes, their 495 publications and the ACG effort are overall focused on showing that a large complex tropical conserved wildland can survive through non-damaging biodiversity development based on private-public collaborations.

Barcodes to Biomes