This course was organized by the National Museum of Costa Rica, the School of Biological Sciences of the National University from Costa Rica, the Costa Rica Group of the Mesoamerican Society for Conservation Biology and EnvMetagen (Joana Paupério, one of our reserachers and that has been collaborating with Costa Rica researchers for several years). This was the 3rd edition of this course, and took place from October 25-26, 2019, in San José.
The interest of the National Museum in the course arose from the analyses of some small mammals samples, provided by the museum for DNA barcoding, in the scope of Alexander Gomez Lepiz PhD thesis, supervised by Paulo Célio Alves and Joana Paupério. Therefore, the course approached several general themes in the field of conservation genetics with a large focus on Barcoding and Metabarcoding, and the presentation of the first results of the analyses of the samples collected from the Museum.
A total of 16 students participated in the course, including students from the University and staff from the National Museum. The course included several theoretical lectures in the morning and practical lectures in the afternoon. The practical lectures comprised a DNA extraction of museum samples and the bioinformatics analyses of DNA sequences.
The students showed great interest in the approached themes and participated actively in the course. Moreover, Joana Paupério and Paulo Célio Alves had the opportunity to reinforce the existing collaborations with the National University from Costa Rica, as they met with the Rector, Dr. Alberto Salom Echeverri and with the director of the School of Biological Sciences of the University, Dr. Ángel Herrera Ulloa, and discussed possible lines of collaboration and potential for capacity building in the University. Also, they strengthened the relation with the National Museum of Costa Rica, and discussed future collaborations.