On April 24, 2018, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences announced that they have awarded the 2018 Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences to University of Guelph biologist Paul D.N. Hebert. The Research Chair in Molecular Biodiversity at the University of Guelph, Dr. Hebert is receiving the Heineken Prize for his “pivotal contribution to developing a genetic barcode capable of classifying every biological species on Earth.”
The International Barcode of Life Project (iBOL) is the largest biodiversity genomics initiative ever undertaken. Over 250 researchers from 25 countries are working together to construct a DNA barcode reference library that will be the foundation for a rapid and inexpensive DNA-based identification system for all multi-cellular life.
The resource being generated by iBOL enables many practical and commercial opportunities related to health, trade, environment, agriculture, and food, providing significant benefits to Canada.
Genome Canada, with funding from the Government of Canada and through Ontario Genomics, provided significant ongoing financial support to Dr. Hebert and to the Barcode of Life research program, and played a key role in catalyzing activation of iBOL's first phase of operations, from 2009 to 2015.
The Heineken Prizes will be presented on September 27, 2018 in Amsterdam.