Advancing taxonomy discussion

Prof. Rudolf Meier is the head of the Center for Integrative Biodiversity Discovery at the Museum für Naturkunde where he and his lab are at the forefront of novel methods to accelerate biodiversity discovery and monitoring using robotics, machine learning imaging and nanopore sequencing. The main foci of this work are the hyper-diverse invertebrate groups that are traditionally extremely difficult to sort, identify and describe – "dark taxa", groups for which <10% of all species are described and the estimated diversity exceeds 1000 species.

Meier’s lab develops new, rapid, accurate, scalable, and cost-effective species discovery and delimitation methods. Their innovative combination of molecular and morphological workflows has the potential to help tackle the otherwise daunting issues of accelerating discovery in hyper-diverse taxa and establishing robust eDNA approaches, with links to taxonomy (and hence ecology) for environmental and biosecurity monitoring. As such, Meier’s visit to Canberra will be of considerable interest to the Australian systematics and taxonomy community and align with the goals of initiatives such as Taxonomy Australia and the National Biodiversity DNA Library.

The CBA will host a seminar, followed by a round table discussion on Thursday 20 April at ANU to discuss Rudolf's work and its potential for Australian systematics and taxonomy. Participation in the discussion can be in person at ANU or online. We would appreciate you registering if you would like to attend the discussion so we have an idea of numbers.

Rudolf's visit is funded by the CBA Visiting Scientist program. Please get in touch if you would like to meet with him during his time in Canberra between 20-24 April.