Tag Archive for: ABOL

DNA barcoding workshop - lab work. Photo: M. Sonnleitner

 

DNA barcoding workshop at the University of Zambia

In early October, ABOL held a DNA barcoding workshop at the University of Zambia (UNZA) in Lusaka together with Prof. Cyprian Katongo. The workshop – as part of the OeAD cooperation development research project “DNA barcoding of Zambia’s biodiversity” (led by the University of Graz) – aimed to teach students and employees the method and applications of DNA barcoding. The workshop started with two keynote lectures by Prof. Christian Sturmbauer (Univ. Graz). This was followed by a series of lectures on various aspects of biodiversity and DNA barcoding, held by Stephan Koblmüller (Univ. Graz), Cyprian Katongo (UNZA), Nikola Szucsich and Michaela Sonnleitner (ABOL coordination). After the strenuous introduction, the sampling trip to the Kafue and Zambezi rivers was certainly a highlight for the approximately 30 participants. Equipped with nets, the participants tried to catch different species of dragonflies and damselflies, which was very successful after a short training phase. Odonata are good indicator organisms for the quality of water bodies and are therefore well suited for starting a biodiversity survey. Suitable identification literature is also available. In addition, fish specimens for sampling were provided by the Department of Fisheries. The next day, tissue samples were taken from the dragonflies and fish and the animals were dry mounted/prepared for storage. The DNA extraction was carried out in the laboratory of veterinary medicine under the guidance of Lukas Zangl (University of Graz, Universalmuseum Joanneum) and Stephan Koblmüller. The last two days were dedicated to data analysis and interpretation. The participants were able to edit sequence data provided by the course leaders, calculate phylogenetic trees, etc. The participants were enthusiastic and committed to the task until the very end. We hope that the workshop has contributed to establish DNA barcoding as an approach to investigate Zambia’s rich biodiversity.

Impressiones from the workshop:

Dear ABOL Community

the joint registration page for the ABOL meeting and the Biodiversity Forum is now online.
Please register on the following page: -> Days of Biodiversity – Program & Registration

Abstracts for talks (15 min. + 5 min. discussion) and flash talks (5 min. + 3 min. discussion) can still be submitted for the ABOL meeting on November 30th. Please send your abstract by Nov. 7th by email to: abol@nhm-wien.ac.at. We look forward to your interesting talk!

Unfortunately we have to announce that the ABOL meeting will take place again this year as a pure ONLINE conference. The Covid-19 regulations do not allow a cozy get-together, so we did not consider it useful to hold a face-to-face conference. However, we are confident that the online meeting will also be successful thanks to your help!

The ABOL coordination team

In Tyrol, ABOL was once again able to participate in the Day of Biodiversity with a BioBlitz Initiative. Selected areas in the Nature Park Kaunergrat were examined – from wet to dry, lean meadows to bog areas, boulder fields, alpine meadows and alpine grasslands. In addition to butterfly experts, who began their surveys with light traps on Friday evening, experts on beetles, grasshoppers, flies, hymenoptera, birds, mammals, plants and fungi took part in the event. On Saturday, the participants flocked to the various survey areas to compile as comprehensive a species list as possible by late afternoon. Finally, at 16h, an invitation was extended to the Experts’ Coffee in the Nature Park House “Gacher Blick”, where there was time to exchange ideas and to let the Day of Biodiversity come to a pleasant end. A final presentation of the results will take place this year for the first time in autumn – probably partly online.

We would like to thank all participants of the ABOL BioBlitz! A big thank also goes to the organisers of the Day of Biodiversity, who managed with great spontaneity to move the planned event location from the Pfundser Tschey to the Kaunergrat Nature Park and still provide perfect catering and accommodation.

Impressions from the study area: (Photos: C. Leeb):

After two successful runs in 2019 and 2020 ABOL BioBlitzes are already well known in the community . This year we will again take part in the Days of Biodiversity and call collectors to take part in the ABOL BioBlitz campaign. The aim is to sample collected and determined animals (especially insects) for genetic analysis. Thereby, added value can be created – we can contribute to the DNA barcoding database, secure the determination and convey an innovative method.

For the first time this year, we are also offering Data Workshops in which the handling of DNA barcoding data and the international BOLD database can be learned and practiced. The online workshops can be attended by collectors and other interested persons. The dates are set as required. If you are interested, please send an email to Oliver.Macek@nhm-wien.ac.at.

Dear ABOL Community

It is our pleasure to announce that the ABOL coordination is funded for another 3 years, so that we can continue to record the Austrian biodiversity and to support the biodiversity community in general.
The filling of the reference database is of course still the focus of our activities, but the application sector of DNA barcoding will play an increasingly important role. The ABOL BioBlitz campaigns will also be continued and expanded.
In times of a global biodiversity crisis, the national and international bundling of activities is of central importance. Global and European initiatives to record biodiversity are currently emerging, such as Lifeplan or BioScan Europe, in which ABOL is involved representing Austria. National networking plays an equally important role, because international cooperation requires strong national partners.
Since ABOL has no overall financing, the data production is carried out in many larger and smaller projects. We are always on the ball to develop funding channels and generate project ideas, but we rely on the help of the community. We hope and look forward to further successful cooperation.

The ABOL coordination team

Press release (in German only): https://www.nhm-wien.ac.at/presse/pressemitteilungen2021/abol

The new ABOL workshop offer “BOLD & data analysis” has started successfully.

In February, the first two workshops familiarized already a total of 28 participants with the international Barcode of Life Database (BOLD) and enabled them to get insights into the analysis tools of this platform. During the workshops the participants had the opportunity to work actively with the platform and practice the interpretation of the DNA barcoding data.
The online format of the workshops facilitated cross-border participation – members from a total of 15 institutes were represented from Austria, Germany, Croatia and Italy. Due to the different levels of knowledge, from DNA barcoding newbies to veterans, lively discussions developed about the BOLD, its various functions, details and possibilities and the topic of DNA barcoding in general.
Equipped with introductory information, the participants were able to use a test data set to cope with simple and advanced exercises autonomously and to experience the most common situations on BOLD themselves. BOLD offers good possibilities to solve (simple) DNA barcode analyzes without much effort. In addition, individual and special questions from the participants were addressed, such as the topic of DNA barcoding of museum material, data upload to BOLD & communication with other BOLD users, as well as the weak points of the platform.
Furthermore, we wanted to show how important good data quality is for the usability of a reference database and that BOLD promotes this approach, but the community is just as responsible for constantly improving the quality.

We are very pleased, that the participants also took the chance to strengthen the network of the Austrian and neighbouring biodiversity community in the course of these ABOL workshops.
The next workshop is on March 26th, and more workshops will certainly follow in the future! If you are interested, please contact Oliver Macek by email!

Current information about the workshops can be found on our website:

Dear ABOL Community,

the conference program for the ABOL meeting is now complete. We are happy about the many interesting contributions that have been submitted!

Registration for the ABOL meeting is possible until the meeting!

programme-abol-meeting3-forweb

We look forward to an interesting event in a format that is new to us!

Your ABOL coordination team

 

 

Dear ABOL community,

due to the current situation, we can finally announce that there will be an ABOL conference this year, on December 5th following the Biodiversity Forum.
Both events will take place together as Days of Biodiversity in St. Pölten – the 3rd Austrian Forum on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services on December 4th and the 7th ABOL conference on December 5th. At the same time, it will also be possible to take part in the conference virtually (live streaming).

The conference fee for the ABOL meeting of € 20 for meals will be collected on site (free for students).

Abstracts for lectures and posters on DNA barcoding and its practical application can now be submitted! Please send an email to abol@nhm-wien.ac.at.

Please save the date! More detailed information will follow!

With kind regards,

the ABOL coordination team

The DNA barcode library for Austrian amphibians and reptiles is now complete. All native species were analyzed, with the exception of Vipera ursinii rakosiensis and Lissotriton helveticus, which are probably extinct or extremely rare and spatially limited.

As part of the ABOL initiative, 194 DNA barcodes were created at the University of Graz, mainly from material in scientific collections, but also from fresh material. The species identification via the respective DNA barcodes was successful in most cases, except in the hybridogenic complex of water frogs (Pelophylax spp.) and the crested newts (Triturus spp.) from regions of sympatric occurrence. The presence of Natrix helvetica and Pelophylax bergeri has been recorded for the first time in Western Austria. The comparison with existing data of European reptiles and amphibians confirmed the results obtained, but also showed the strengths and limitations of DNA barcoding in amphibians and reptiles in some special cases.

DNA barcoding once again turned out to be an efficient approach for species identification at all stages of development, but also for the discovery of new, and also invasive species. On the one hand, these data act as an important scientific basis, on the other hand, as a basis for national and transnational conservation efforts.

We congratulate the team for the successful publication! Read it here.

Dear ABOL community,

this year, the ABOL meeting took place in Innsbruck for the first time. Gorgeous winter weather formed the framework for the 3-day event, which consisted of the first D-A-CH User Group Meeting (UGM) on the subject of DNA methods in environmental management and the 6th ABOL meeting. The first two days with top-class lectures and interesting discussions were dedicated to the application of DNA-based methods in environmental monitoring and implementation at the legal level. At the method pitch, the participants could explore details about different methods. The last day’s ABOL meeting amended the scientific basis of DNA barcoding and the important issue of creating reliable references that are essential for further applications. The breadth of international participation and the diversity of the presentations ideally reflected the opening up of ABOL to the entire biodiversity community. We thank all speakers for the exciting contributions and all participants for coming!
Special thanks go to Michael Traugott and his team for the perfect organization and last but not least for the world premiere of the first genetic determination of a Krampus at the conference dinner :-)

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and hope for fruitful cooperation next year.

Best Regards,

the ABOL coordination team
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Some impressions from the DACH-UGM and ABOL meeting (Photos by Veronika Neidel and Michaela Sonnleitner):