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06 January 2020=University of Kansas makes Ichthyology genetic collections discoverable with Specify 7

The KU ichthyology tissue collection

The University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute Ichthyology frozen tissue collection is housed in a state of the art cryogenic facility and has broad representation of both marine and freshwater fish diversity – over 11,200 individual tissue samples from 2,843 taxa (342 families and 1275 genera) and representing material from 85 countries (significant representation from the US, Australia, Belize, Ethiopia, Fiji, Nepal, Seychelles, South Africa, Taiwan, Tonga and more, as well as oceanic localities). The collection is 95% georeferenced and has linkages to vouchered specimens as well as over 14,000 Genbank sequences (and vice versa through the NCBI LinkOut system) and over 550 cited publications. These samples are now accessible through the GGBN data portal.

Specify 7

Specify 7 is a web implementation of the Specify Consortium biological collections data management platform. Specify 7 server code is open source and available from GitHub. This new generation of Specify combines the interface design components and data management foundation of Specify 6 with the efficiency and ease-of-use of web-based data access and cloud computing. Specify 7 is capable of exporting collections data in the Darwin Core Archive (DwCA) format. This capability expands on the existing Specify 6 functionality by supporting extensions to the core format (for GGBN, media and reference works amongst others) and also circumvents the IPT architecture currently used through Specify 6 data publishing. The Specify Consortium recently updated its data model to include all necessary fields to support GGBN publishing - Find out more about Specify Collections Management Software here:

16 December 2019-GGBN 2020 Conference Travel Support Opportunities

GGBN is starting a travel support program in 2020 designed to assist members with the costs of attending the network’s meetings. While any GGBN member can apply, preference will be given to participants from upper middle income, lower middle income, and low-income countries, with additional consideration given to the value of the individual’s participation at the conference either for the member institution or for GGBN. The number of travel support recipients will be determined by the GGBN 2020 Conference organizing committee and be dependent on the number and quality of the applicants.

Those receiving travel support are required to make either an oral or poster presentation at the meeting and to be the first author on the presentation. Notification of support is contingent on the acceptance of the applicant’s abstract by the organizing committee.

All applicants will be notified by February 18, 2020. For those receiving travel support, directions will also be provided regarding how to book your travel. Please do not make any travel arrangements until receiving further instruction, as doing so may disqualify you from receiving support.

Please submit the following to no later than February 1 to complete your application:

  • Completed application form
  • Copy of paper/poster abstract you intend to present
  • Letter of support/recommendation from senior professional, supervisor, mentor, department head, or director that knows your work (sent directly from the recommending individual to
  • In case your institution is already a GGBN member, then also a letter of support/recommendation from GGBN primary contact from your institution (also sent as a separate email to

See the GGBN 2020 Travel Grants Application Form for more information.

31 October 2019-the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México joins GGBN

We are proud to announce that the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México has joined GGBN as its second Mexican member. The Instituto de Biologia, UNAM houses thousands of DNA and tissue samples representing over one thousand species of microorganisms, plants, vertebrates, terrestrial invertebrates, and marine invertebrates.


29 October 2019-Denver Museum of Nature and Science makes genetic collections discoverable

We are proud to announce the fourth Arctos partner, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science has made a subset of its genetic collections discoverable through GGBN as part of the 2017-2018 GGBN-GGI awards program. The collection adds more than 31,000 vertebrate tissue samples to GGBN, mainly representing birds, mammals, and associated parasites, adding 50 new species to GGBN’s online collections.

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15 October 2019-Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley makes genetic collections discoverable

We are proud to announce the third Arctos partner, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley has made a subset of its genetic collections discoverable through GGBN as part of the 2017-2018 GGBN-GGI awards program. The collection adds more than 160,000 vertebrate tissue samples to GGBN representing 40 new families, 400 new genera and 500 new species.

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09 October 2019-University of Alaska Museum of the North makes genetic collections discoverable

We are proud to announce that the second Arctos partner, the University of Alaska Museum of the North has made a subset of its genetic collections discoverable through GGBN as part of the 2017-2018 GGBN-GGI awards program. The online collection includes more than 200,000 tissue samples representing mostly mammals and birds, in addition to other animals and plants. The collection adds 100 new families, 100 new genera and 100 new species to the GGBN Data Portal.

More Arctos partners will be making their genetic collections discoverable in the upcoming weeks.

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02 October 2019-Museum of Southwestern Biology makes genetic collections discoverable

We are proud to announce that the first Arctos partner, the Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico/US has made a subset of its genetic collections discoverable through GGBN as part of the 2017-2018 GGBN-GGI awards program. The online collection includes more than 580,000 vertebrate tissues representing mostly mammals and more than 200,000 associated specimen data. The collection adds 100 new families, 400 new genera and 1,000 species to the GGBN Data Portal.

More Arctos partners will be making their genetic collections discoverable in the upcoming weeks.

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13 September 2019-University of Torino joins GGBN

We are pleased to announce that the University of Torino has joined GGBN as part of the 2019 GGBN-GGI awards program. The collection comprises 2234 specimens representing approximately 120 families, 376 genera and 589 species of mainly Western Palearctic species. Genetic samples will be made discoverable through GGBN by September 2020.


11 September 2019-GGBN 2020 Conference: At-a-glance agenda, session topics, invited speakers and travel logistics

The GGBN 2020 organizing committee is happy to announce updates to the GGBN 2020 conference webpage to include the at-a-glance agenda, theme and session topics, invited speakers, travel logistics and accommodations. Early bird registration and abstract submission will open November 1st.

15 July 2019-Chicago Botanic Garden joins GGBN

We are pleased to announce that the Chicago Botanic Garden has joined GGBN as part of the GGI Gardens Program, an effort to enhance global plant collections by strategically collecting and preserving genome-quality samples representing global plant diversity. The Chicago Botanic Garden's collection comprises 13,286 samples representing approximately 5,000 plant species, a subset of which will be made discoverable through GGBN by August 2020.

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11 July 2019-GGBN 2020 Conference Widening GGBN’s Horizon – engaging new users and collections

GGBN 2020, the 4th Conference of the Global Genome Biodiversity Network, will take place in Shenzhen, China from May 11-15. We are putting together an exciting program on topics surrounding the main theme of Widening GGBN’s Horizon – engaging new users and collections.

Sessions on the following topics are planned:

  • Regional Biobanks (Asia-Pacific)
  • Biodiversity Biobank Collections (from vertebrates to microbes)
  • Frontiers in Biobanking Collections: Sampling and Preservation
  • Biodiversity Biobank Data and Analytics
  • Culture Collections
  • Environmental Specimens
  • Crop Relatives and Medicinal Plant Diversity
  • Large Scale Genomic Initiatives and GGBN
  • Nagoya Protocol

Invited speakers will be announced on the GGBN website this fall. We invite participants to submit abstracts for oral and poster presentations through the GGBN 2020 Conference registration system starting in November 2019.

Organizing Committee:

  • Jonas Astrin, Zoological Research Museum-Koenig/Germany
  • Katie Barker, GGBN Secretariat, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian/US
  • Jason Chen, Beijing Genomics Institute, China National GeneBank/China
  • Manuela da Silva, FIOCRUZ/Brazil
  • Gabi Droege, GGBN Technical Secretariat, Berlin Botanic Garden/Germany
  • Meiliang Zhou, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation/China
  • Sarah Tassell, Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research/New Zealand
  • Thai Pham, Vietnam National Museum of Nature/Vietnam
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09 July 2019-Upcoming Regional Workshop in Tbilisi (November 4-7 2019)

We are sorry to inform you due to unforeseeable circumstances we were unable to secure funding for the dates of November 4-7, but are actively working with different State organizations and donors within Georgia to secure funding for this workshop sometime next year.

Workshop Title: New Horizons for Conserving and Restoring Biodiversity in Gene Banks and Regional Cooperation

  • Location: Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Host: The Association for Farmers Rights Defense, AFRD

The Workshop will provide a platform for discussion on the following key themes:

  • Recent country experience and efforts on mainstreaming biodiversity conservation, ex-situ, in situ into Gene Bank development
  • Approaches and partnerships to mainstream National Gene Bank cooperation at Post Soviet and Eastern European, Central European sectoral levels
  • Insights, challenges, and opportunities to manage for better results harmonizing GGBN Methodologies, Measurements, and Taxonomy Data


  • Day 1, 04.11.2019 Plenary session
  • Day 2, 05.11.2019 Working Groups
  • Day 3, 06.11.2019 Working Groups
  • Day 4, 07.11.2019 Excursions

Outcomes: The workshop is expected to guide the development of the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity's modern conservation methods and the cooperation and networking of Gene Banks. The results of the workshop should be disseminated and taken up and promoted by concerned stakeholders in such a way that they are ultimately reflected in the Genetic Resource management practices for both developed and developing countries. The overall aim is to help improve the cooperation of scientific and research communities and achieve truly sustainable use of Genetic Resources that is environmentally sound and economically viable.

Please contact Dr. Kakha Nadiradze ( and GGBN ( by July 20th to express your interest in participating.

08 July 2019-University of Karachi joins GGBN

We are pleased to announce that the University of Karachi, Center for Plant Conservation has joined GGBN as part of the GGBN-GGI 2019 Awards Program. The awarded project will publish 1,000 samples from across Pakistan representing a diversity of biotic communities and relatively rich flora.

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01 July 2019-Job Advertisement-Cell Culture Specialist-Zoological Research Museum A. Koenig

The Biobank at Zoological Research Museum A. Koenig in Bonn, Germany, is looking for a full-time cell culture specialist. The position can be filled immediately and is funded for three years within the project "Forensic Genetics for Species Protection", aimed at protecting endangered animals. Tasks include:

  • Establishing cell cultures and cryopreservation
  • Developing methods and coordination of lab workflows, especially for cell culture; data analyses
  • Management of the cell culture lab; responsible for instruments
  • Handling biobank samples (incl. DNA, tissue): documentation, databasing, preparation, preservation
  • Sample acquisition & research: international correspondence on samples; organizing logistics
  • Supervision of research assistants, students, and interns

Your profile:

  • Extensive, documented hands-on experience in the cell culture lab (ideally, but not necessarily with animals)
  • Finished vocational training or university degree in life sciences
  • Capacity to organize and manage molecular infrastructures and projects
  • Good IT skills (esp. with spreadsheets, database knowledge)
  • Fair knowledge of the English language for international correspondence etc.
  • High interpersonal skills; most meticulous and responsible, proactive way of working; competent at problem-solving

ZFMK offers a highly motivating environment at a renowned and pioneering research facility and the possibility to work independently. Salary and benefits are according to a public service position in Germany, TV-L E 9.

Equally qualified severely disabled applicants will be given preference.

Please send your application by e-mail attachment, including a detailed CV, until July 19, 2019 to Mrs. Heike Lenz: In case of questions concerning the position please contact Jonas Astrin:, tel. +49-228-9122 357.

For more information about ZFMK see

18 June 2019-The University of California, CALeDNA Program joins GGBN

We are proud to announce that the University of California, CALeDNA Program has joined GGBN. As part of the GGBN-GGI 2019 awards program, the project will develop pipelines for e-DNA collections to GGBN and GBIF, acting as a prototype model for other e-DNA collections and will work with GGBN to demonstrate best practices for e-DNA curation. Approximately 1,000 soil, sediment and water samples representing 18,000 species will be added to GGBN.

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10 June 2019-Job Advertisement-Director of Biodiversity Banking - Institute for Conservation Research

The Institute for Conservation Research has recently posted a job opening for a Director of Biodiversity Banking. The deadline for applications is Sunday, June 30, 2019.

3 June 2019-GGBN-GGI Awards Program 2019 Recipients

We are happy to announce the results of the GGBN-GGI 2019 Awards Program. A total of seven highly competitive proposals representing member and non-member institutions across four countries were received and ranked by a peer review committee representative of GGBN membership. The panel ranked the proposals on the following metrics: complementarity to existing collections on GGBN; the size, scope, and quality of the collection; the genomic novelty of the collections; adherence to GGBN best practices; the efficiency or cost-effectiveness of the proposal; contribution to the GGBN community; and the timeline for completion. The total funding requested was nearly 190,000 USD, and a little over 95,000 was awarded. Awardees will be contributing new genetic samples to the GGBN data portal by September 2020.

GGBN-GGI 2019 Awardees include:

  • Centro de Ornitología y Biodiversidad (CORBIDI)/Peru
  • Missouri Botanical Garden/USA
  • University of California, Los Angeles, UC Conversation Genomics Consortium/USA
  • University of Karachi, Centre for Plant Conservation/Pakistan
  • University of Torino, Dipartimento de Scienze della Terra/Italy

The titles and abstracts of these proposals can be found on the GGBN awards program page, along with general award program information.

Congratulations everyone!

28 May 2019 Call for Conference Host: GGBN 2022

GGBN’s Executive Committee is seeking a host organization for the 2022 conference. GGBN conferences are an opportunity to exchange knowledge on biodiversity biobanking, grow the community and facilitate best practices in genetic collections management and discoverability.

Emerging as a world leader in genetic collections databasing, the Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) is an international scientific research network of biodiversity biobanks that collaborate to ensure the long-term preservation and discoverability of genetic samples from all life. GGBN advocates for the value of genetic samples, both today and into the future, and addresses key challenges associated with the management and use of these important resources. Together, GGBN’s member institutions promote access to information about, and legal exchange of, the genetic samples that they maintain. Our strategic areas include genomic sample management and discoverability, best practices for genetic collections, knowledge exchange and training, and communications and outreach. So far GGBN conferences have taken place in London, England; Berlin, Germany; Vienna, Austria and Shenzhen, China and we are always looking forward to expanding to new continents, countries, and cities.

The hosting location should have good travel connections and be able to host 100-150 participants. The local organizer is responsible for the facilities and the execution of the conference and conference budget. The organizer also has to secure sufficient funding (the Organizing Committee can offer their assistance in seeking grants and soliciting vendors). Conference dates will be determined in cooperation between the Organizing Committee and the local organizers.

Proposals to host the GGBN 2022 conference should include:

  • Motivation. Describe your motivation and highlight the benefits.
  • Budget. No real detail of the budget is required at this stage, however, the approach to hosting the conference and the resultant budgetary implications are required.
  • Conference hosting options to include the possible venue/s, accommodations, meals, activities, and transportation options.
  • Key attributes of the location and potential venues. Bullet points describing the advantages of the location and potential activities for attendees.
  • Date options for the conference.
  • Primary contact name and contact information.Preliminary list of names of members of the local organizing committee and their responsibilities.

Interested parties should submit their proposals to host the 2022 conference no later than December 1, 2019. Proposals will be reviewed by the Executive Committee and the 2022 host will be announced at the 2020 conference in Shenzhen, China.

The Conference Programfrom GGBN's 2018 conference is available as a reference.

23 May 2019 GGBN 2020 Conference May 11-15

It is our pleasure to announce that GGBN 2020, the 4th Conference of the Global Genome Biodiversity Network, will take place in Shenzhen China, May 11-15, hosted by the China National GeneBank. We hope that you can join us!

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23 April 2019-Kostrzyca Forest Gene Bank joins GGBN

We are proud to announce that the Kostrzyca Forest Gene Bank has joined GGBN as its first Polish member. The genetic collection comprises 11,525 plant and 52 animal tissues, 8,497 plant and 14 animal DNAs and 20,000-50,000 specimens representing 163 plant and 2 animal species. Samples are stored in cold rooms (-3, -10, -20C), Freezers (-80C) and cryogenic containers (vapors of liquid nitrogen).

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19 April 2019-GGBN-GGI Awards Due May 1

Thinking your genetic collections should be more visible for research? Do you require staff or other resources to make this happen? If so, then apply to the GGBN-GGI 2019 awards program. Deadline for proposals is May 1st. See

12 April 2019-GGBN Focus Group Meeting, Washington DC

GGBN members met this week at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC to 1) discuss GGBN's dues model and possible changes based on needs of the network and 2) to develop a marketing strategy to facilitate better communication with the research and collections communities. Member participants attended from Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Georgia, Germany, United Kingdom, United States. A report will be developed over the next few weeks and distributed to the Executive Committee and the 88 members of the General Assembly for review and comment this summer.

Thanks to everyone who participated this week!


02 April 2019-GGBN March 2019 Newsletter Published

GGBN's March 2019 Newsletter is now available for your reading pleasure.


18 March 2019-Botanical Research Institute of Texas joins GGBN

We are proud to announce that the Botanical Research Institute of Texas has joined GGBN as its 22nd United States member. BRIT's biorepository opened in January of 2019 and will help lead the Global Genome Initiative Gardens collecting program, which partners with arboreta, botanic gardens, and greenhouses worldwide to preserve the incredible diversity contained within these living collections.


01 March 2019-National Biodiversity Cryobank of Canada, Canadian Museum of Nature joins GGBN

We are proud to announce that the National Biodiversity Cryobank of Canada, Canadian Museum of Nature, has joined GGBN as its 3rd Canadian member. The genetic collection includes 4,500 DNA and 30,000 tissue samples representing microorganisms, plants, vertebrates, terrestrial invertebrates and marine invertebrates.


06 February 2019-GGBN-GGI Awards Program 2019 Call for Proposals

We are happy to announce the call for proposals for the GGBN-GGI 2019 Awards Program. The program provides funding for projects that support the discoverability of new genetic collections through the Global Genome Biodiversity Network's Data Portal. The next submission deadline for proposals will be May 1 2019. The proposal review committee will consider requests for up to 30,000 USD with clearly articulated budget justifications. For more information on the GGBN-GGI awards program, including information on how to apply, please visit the Global Genome Biodiversity Network-Global Genome Initiative Awards Program Page.

22 January 2019-Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Center joins GGBN

We are proud to announce that the Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Center has joined GGBN. The genetic collection includes 16,890 tissues and 3,609 DNAs of plants.


News Archive

Older news can be found in the GGBN News Archive.