Welcome to the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario
Biodiversity measures the variation of life shaped through ecology and evolution from genes to species and ecosystems. Genetic variation plays a critical role in the ability of individuals and species to respond and adapt to environmental change while the diversity of species within and between ecosystems provides significant advantages to ecosystem function and resilience. One of the ironies of biological research is that after more than 250 years of dedicated biological science, the total number of species within any country or region remains unknown. While we often have a good idea of the identities and ecological roles of the larger, more charismatic animals (birds, mammals) the truth of the matter is that most of life is small (insects, bacteria, fungi) and currently undescribed. Shedding light onto these lesser known groups is important because all of the larger groups, including ourselves, depend on these smaller organisms for some part of their daily natural history. In order to protect and understand the diversity of life in Ontario, we must be able to know the species and ecosystems upon which humans, and our industry and lifestyle, depend.
Departmental News and Events
- Field Trip Leads to Close Encounters With Wildlife
April 8, 2013 - After their polar bear spotter shouted a warning, Kelsie Paris and her U of G classmates packed up and scrambled into the van. Only then did she realize that she’d left her digital camera out there on the tundra. Read more.
- Prof, DNA Barcoding Make Headlines
April 1, 2013 - DNA barcoding and its University of Guelph creator were featured in a prominent story, video and photo essay that ran in the National Post this past weekend. Read more.
- Minister Tours BIO, Talks Commercialization, Opportunities
February 21, 2013 - Kevin Hall, vice-president (research) and Paul Hebert, a U of G integrative biology professor and director of the Guelph-based Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO), hosted Gary Goodyear, minister of state, on campus Thursday. Read more.