Sujeevan Ratnasingham
Director of Informatics, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
University of Guelph


  • University of Guelph

International Barcode of Life

The International Barcode of Life project uses sequence diversity in short, standardized gene regions — DNA barcodes — as a tool for identifying known species and discovering new ones. By reinforcing traditional taxonomy, DNA barcoding is revolutionizing our capacity to know and monitor biodiversity.

iBOL's main mission is extending the geographic and taxonomic coverage of the barcode reference library, Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD), storing the resulting barcode records, providing community access to the knowledge they represent and creating new devices to ensure global access to this information. That includes a hand-held device that will provide real-time access to identifications by anyone in any setting. The initiative has a a multi-level governance structure that enables consultation with international stakeholders and industry, including an international scientific steering committee with representation from member nations and a research oversight committee that provides independent oversight of plans, processes and data product outcomes.

This collaborative is active in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, France, Finland, Germany, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, United Kingdom and the United States.


  • Generating new primary data
  • Opening, sharing and leveraging existing data
  • Catalyzing the mobilization and alignment of resources
  • ostering the development of principles and good practices

related sdgs

other data collaboratives