News 2020

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15 June 2020 GGBN-GGI 2020 Award Recipients

We are happy to announce the results of the GGBN-GGI 2020 Awards Program. A total of eight highly competitive proposals representing institutions across seven 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 collection; 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 175,000 USD, 107,442 USD was awarded. Awardees will be contributing over 100,000 new genetic samples to the GGBN data portal by September 2021.

GGBN-GGI 2020 Awardees include:

  • Marine and Coastal Research Institute, INVEMAR/Colombia
  • National Biodiversity Cryobank of Canada, Canadian Museum of Nature/Canada
  • Ocean Genome Legacy Center/USA
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (BIOWEB, Escuela de Biología)/Ecuador
  • Steinhardt Museum of Natural History/Israel

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

Congratulations everyone!

21 April 2020 GGBN-GGI 2020 Awards Proposals Due April 24

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 2020 awards program. Deadline for proposals is April 24th.

20 April 2020 CryoArks and GGBN Partner on Animal Biobanking


CryoArks and GGBN are happy to announce a new partnership on long-term preservation of animal samples and their derivatives. This partnership formalizes a collaborative framework aimed at growing genetic collections and at enhancing the GGBN Document Library and its management with animal biobanking materials for conservation-focused research. CryoArks and GGBN will work together to:

  • improve curatorial practices and implement high-quality standards,
  • harmonize data sharing policies of animal samples and increase discoverability of these samples for conservation research in accordance with internationally recognized standards and best practices,
  • maintain a high compliance with national and international legislation and conventions in the exchange and use of animal material,
  • create and implement a joint strategy to be promoted through international fora and organizations involved in biobanking and biopreservation,
  • develop joint strategies to increase knowledge of the importance and need of biobanking and biopreservation for current and future research, and
  • promote knowledge exchange by development of the GGBN document library on biodiversity biobanking.

GGBN and the six UK-based CryoArks institutions will both compliment and leverage each other’s efforts towards achieving mutual biobanking goals.

30 March 2020 GGBN Annual Newsletter now available

Please visit GGBN's Newsletters page.

23 March 2020 Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research-New Zealand Arthropod Collection makes collections discoverable

We are happy to announce that Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research-New Zealand Arthropod Collection has made 8600 ethanol preserved specimens of New Zealand arthropods (primarily insects) discoverable on GGBN adding 11 new families and 250 new genera to the data portal as part of the 2018 GGBN-GGI Awards Program.

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12 March 2020 BioCASe webinar now available on GGBN's YouTube channel

The March 11th DarwinCore Hour webinar on BioCASe is now available through GGBN's YouTube channel. GGBN is planning follow-up webinars on step-by-step installation, mapping and using BioCASe as well as ABCD3.

02 March 2020 Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden makes genetic collections discoverable

We are happy to announce that the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden in Brazil has made more than 6,500 DNA and tissue samples of Brazilian plants discoverable through the GGBN data portal, adding approximately 250 new genera and 1,200 species to GGBN. Statistics for Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden can be found on the GGBN website.

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24 February 2020 Darwin Core Hour on BioCASe Provider Software and ABCD: March 11, 2020 (16:00 CET)

On 11 March 2020 (16:00 CET) Jörg Holetschek (Botanic Garden Berlin) will talk about the BioCASe Provider Software and ABCD in the Darwin Core Hour, which is one option for GGBN members to publish data to GGBN. The webinar will be recorded and made available for those who can’t attend the live presentation. More information on this webinar can be found at

21 February 2020 GGBN Conference postponed until March of 2021

Due to the coronavirus situation in China and globally, the GGBN Executive Committee has decided to postpone the GGBN 2020 conference in Shenzhen until early March 2021. Specific dates will follow soon. Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding in this matter. We look forward to a successful conference hosted by the China National GeneBank in 2021.

18 February 2020 Odessa National Medical University joins GGBN

We are happy to announce that the Odessa National Medical University has joined GGBN as its first member in Ukraine. Samples include plant DNAs and associated specimens.

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10 February 2020 The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History joins GGBN

We are happy to announce that the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History has joined GGBN as its first member in Israel. SMNH houses thousands of DNA and tissue samples representing over a thousand species of vertebrates and invertebrates.


03 February 2020 National Institute of Research for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE) joins GGBN

We are happy to announce that France's new National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), has joined GGBN. Genetic collections include thousands of microorganisms, plants, vertebrates, and terrestrial invertebrates.


14 January 2020 GGBN-GGI Awards Call for Proposals

We are happy to announce the call for proposals for the GGBN-GGI 2020 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 24 April 2020. 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.

08 January 2020 GGBN 2020 Conference: Abstracts for oral and poster presentations now accepted

The GGBN 2020 Conference Call for Papers is now open. Abstracts for oral and poster presentations will be accepted through April 1, 2020. The program committee is soliciting contributions that address the primary theme or other topics in biodiversity biobanking. Abstracts for oral and/or poster presentations may be submitted for the following session or symposium topics:

  • Biodiversity Biobank Collections (from vertebrates to microbes)
  • Large Scale Genomic Initiatives and GGBN
  • Frontiers in biobanking collections: sampling and preservation
  • Culture Collections
  • Environmental specimens
  • Nagoya Protocol-where to next?
  • Crop wild relatives and medical plant diversity
  • Biodiversity Biobank Data and Analytics
  • Large-scale biobanks/Biobank Networks in Asia-Pacific

Registration will be opening shortly. A breakdown of registration fees, along with other conference information can be found on the GGBN 2020 Conference page.

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:

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