Meet the Instructors
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Lead Instructor, Research Training Program in DNA Barcoding, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Dr. Ashfaq is the Lead Instructor of the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics Research Training Program in DNA Barcoding; his research interests are focused on economically important arthropod species. He has expertise in molecular entomology with emphasis on insect genomics and molecular genetics of agricultural pests and human disease vectors.
After finishing his Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas, USA, Dr. Ashfaq undertook postdoctoral fellowships with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (2001 – 2004) and with Okayama University, Japan (2004 – 2006), specializing in insect molecular biology. Later, he took on a faculty position at the National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Faisalabad, Pakistan (2007 – 2012), where he established a research program in insect molecular biology, with emphasis on DNA barcoding applications. Dr. Ashfaq has trained students and early-career researchers in molecular diagnostic approaches and has supervised thesis research of five doctoral and two master’s degree students. He joined the University of Guelph’s Barcode of Life initiative in 2012 and is currently a Research Scientist and Research Training Program Lead Instructor.
Ashfaq instructs “DNA Barcoding: Standard Operating Workflows”
Associate Director – Collections, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Jeremy has spent most of his adult life at the University of Guelph. He did his undergraduate degree here in Biological Sciences, followed by a master’s degree in Molecular Evolution. After escaping for four years to complete his doctoral degree in Molecular Biodiversity at the University of British Columbia, he returned to take up his current position as Associate Director – Collections at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics. Jeremy is responsible for leading a team of twenty staff and students, managing a natural history collection of over three million animal specimens, and overseeing all operations and research initiatives linked to the acquisition, assembly, and processing of specimens for DNA barcode analysis. His research interests include ecosystem monitoring, biosurveillance, systematics and conservation biology. Jeremy is now thrilled to be teaching an introductory course in DNA barcoding — a field he has been involved with since it was conceived nearly fifteen years ago.
Jeremy instructs “Introduction to DNA Barcoding”.
Adjunct Professor, Dept of Integrative Biology, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Before devoting his career to Biology, Dirk did an apprenticeship as a gardener. Later he graduated in Ecology & Evolution at the Johann-Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt and did his PhD in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Konstanz. In 2006, Dirk moved with his family to Canada and joined the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO). He has been involved in barcoding research since its early days.
Dirk’s passion was always aquatic life starting in his childhood when he and his father kept and bred hundreds of ornamental fish species in various tanks at home. Since 2005, Dirk has been active in FishBOL the initiative to barcode all fish species of the world and for over four years, Dirk has led a global project to barcode marine animals (MarBOL).
Dirk was involved in teaching throughout his academic career and enjoys sharing scientific knowledge with people of all ages. He has a blog on DNA barcoding, is editor of the Barcode bulletin, and a prolific writer on related subjects.
Dirk is an avid SF and Fantasy fan, a passionate cook, a collector of classic rock music, and enjoys model-building of historical ships. However, most of his free time he likes to spend with his wife and two children.
Dirk instructors “Metabarcoding” and “Regulatory and Forensic Applications of DNA Barcoding”.