From the 17th to the 20th of June 2019, EnvMetaGen team will be attending the 8th International Barcode of Life Conference. We are very excited, as we will have the chance of presenting 6 different talks during the 4 days we’ll spend in Norway, showing several aspects of our work in metabarcoding.
Most of the talks will focus on insect biodiversity, and how our efforts to build a reference collection of Iberian insects is allowing to fill the gap regarding Portuguese terrestrial invertebrate taxa, in particular Diptera, Neuroptera, and Trichoptera. DNA barcodes of Portuguese invertebrates facilitated the correct identification of enigmatic specimens, namely undocumented species in the region (indigenous and exotic), pinpointed the existence of undescribed species, and allowed linking males and females of sexually dimorphic species. Some of these outcomes have been published by our team.
Overall, this database is expected to become a fundamental tool for biodiversity monitoring and ecological studies in Portugal using metabarcoding. Two examples of these studies will be shown during the conference: the assessment of the conservation value of natural and agricultural habitats for nocturnal flying insects, showing the importance of natural habitats for insect conservation in farmed landscapes; and the assessment of diets in a bat community by applying DNA metabarcoding to bat droppings, that provides empirical evidence for the existence of dietary guilds that do not correlate to previously proposed ones based on other traits such as echolocation signal, foraging habitat, etc.
Don’t miss the opportunity of learning more about our work by assisting to the talks of Pedro Beja, Sónia Ferreira, Joana Paupério and Vanessa Mata next week in Trondheim, Norway, and by following us on twitter. Hope to meet you there!