IBOL CONSORTIUM – NEWS

DONALD HOBERN APPOINTED EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE iBOL CONSORTIUM

15 April 2019

The International Barcode of Life Consortium (iBOL) welcomes Donald Hobern as its new Executive Secretary. He comes to iBOL from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Based in Canberra, Australia, Hobern will be responsible for expanding iBOL’s international partnerships and for ensuring both administrative and scientific support for its diverse research projects.

“I’m delighted to have Donald join iBOL at this critically important time — just as it prepares to launch BIOSCAN, a 7-year, $180 million research program,” said Paul Hebert, iBOL’s Scientific Director.

“Given his prior leadership positions with the Atlas of Living Australia and with GBIF, it’s certain no one is better positioned to propel BIOSCAN on a successful trajectory,” said Hebert.

Hobern’s passion for biodiversity began as a teenager studying insects and birds along England’s eastern coastline. After completing a master’s degree in Classics at the University of Oxford, Hobern began his career as a software developer and web architect for information technology company, IBM. From 2007-2011, Hobern served as Director of the $13 million Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) Project, overseeing the creation of the national database and web portal for Australian biodiversity data. Serving at GBIF’s Executive Secretary from 2012 to 2019, Hobern was instrumental in developing and implementing its strategy for biodiversity data sharing. His goal was to work with governments and organizations to form a global network for the mobilization and use of free and open data for studying biodiversity patterns.

“I am very excited to become more involved with iBOL and the exciting opportunities presented by DNA barcoding as a tool that can support both taxonomic research and mapping biodiversity patterns across ecosystems,” said Hobern.

Until now it has been difficult to collect genuinely comparable and useful data on insect communities and many other important and diverse groups of species, Hobern noted. Without such data, we cannot understand or respond to the effects of climate change and alterations in land use.

“iBOL, and especially the BIOSCAN program will give us the chance to collect these data cheaply and efficiently. I look forward to working with the vibrant iBOL community to make this happen,” said Hobern.

Hobern takes up his appointment with iBOL on April 15, 2019.

Donald Hobern

iBOL Executive Secretary

Until now, it has been difficult to collect genuinely comparable and useful data on insect communities and many other important and diverse groups of species. Without such data, we cannot understand or respond to the effects of climate change and alterations in land use.

iBOL, and especially the BIOSCAN program, give us the chance to collect these data cheaply and efficiently.

I look forward to working with the vibrant iBOL community to make this happen.

Media Contacts:

International Barcode of Life Consortium

Hannah James
Manager – Media and Strategic Communications
hjames@ibol.org

Michelle D’Souza, Ph.D.
Science Research Communications
mdsouza@ibol.org

The International Barcode of Life (iBOL) Consortium is a research alliance of 30 nations with a mission to develop and apply a globally accessible, DNA-based system for the discovery and identification of all multi-cellular life. Our vision is to illuminate biodiversity for the benefit of all life.

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