Webinar: New species, new barcodes, new taxonomists – the GBOL III: Dark Taxa concept

January 27, 2022

The iBOL Consortium presented its BIOSCAN: Illuminating Biodiversity webinar series on January 27th with Dr. Ralph Peters discussing the German Barcode of Life’s current project, GBOL III: Dark Taxa.

GBOL III: Dark Taxa is a taxonomy and DNA barcoding initiative, the first of its kind, focusing solely on the understudied or unknown part of biodiversity. While the project targets Central-European fauna, its “new species, new barcodes, new taxonomists” concept can be replicated across other regions and faunae.

Ralph discussed GBOL’s fundamental goal of shedding light on dark taxa and how taxonomy delimitations, descriptions, and species characterization are crucial elements of truly illuminating biodiversity. Ralph and his colleagues use modern integrative taxonomical approaches including morphology, DNA barcodes, genomes, historical information, and new research collaborations with experts that can strengthen and deepen knowledge about the natural world.

Ralph was joined for the Q&A by Dr. Vera Rduch, GBOL III: Dark Taxa’s project coordinator. Vera, a mammalogist by training, has been coordinating the GBOL consortium’s activities since 2019.

Ralph is head of the GBOL III: Dark Taxa project and head of the Hymenoptera section of the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig (ZFMK), Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB). He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Molecular Biodiversity Research at ZFMK in 2011 and was the curator of entomological collections at the Zoological Museum in Hamburg. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Hamburg.

Malaise trap deployed in Suriname as part of the Global Malaise Program
Dr. Ralph Peters, head of GBOL III: Dark Taxa

For more information or if you would like to present a webinar, please contact iBOL’s Communications Team at: media@iBOL.org

This webinar series is hosted by the International Barcode of Life consortium and is part of a new program with the aim of generating discussion, sharing knowledge, and building community. Subjects reflect one or more of BIOSCAN’s research themes: Species Discovery, Species Interactions, Species Dynamics. Talks could feature fascinating field research sites, novel use of DNA technologies, use or generation of biodiversity data, the intersection of research with emerging social or political issues, or the mobilization of scientific knowledge for greater societal benefit.

Media Contacts:


International Barcode of Life 

Hannah James
Manager – Media and Strategic Communications

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

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