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Biodiversity course

Biodiversity data course: Accelerating biodiversity research through DNA barcodes, collection and observation data

April 17-21, 2023

Training and experimental forest station G. St. Avramov, Yundola, Bulgaria

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This BioDATA course is organized by the Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics (IPPG), BAS with the support of the National Museum of Natural History, BAS, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the University of Helsinki and the University of Oslo  in the framework of the project BULCode.

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The BioDATA course will teach you how to use DNA barcodes, and collection and observation data to resolve research questions in biodiversity. The course consists of a combination of lectures, tutorials, and hands-on exercises. You will learn the basics of DNA barcoding and management of biodiversity data. You will gain practical experience in using open and digitally documented biodiversity data through GBIF and (Barcode of Life Database) BOLD platforms to answer research questions related to biodiversity.

After the course you will be able to:

  • explain what DNA barcodes are and how the are produced

  • use genetic sequence data, here DNA barcodes, to identify taxa

  • operate BOLD Systems either as a data provider or as a user of the database efficiently capture, clean, store, geo-reference, and citate data

  • critically assess the quality of own and external data and their fitness for a purpose

  • use the key tools and approaches to maximize data quality, data linking and data reuse

  • understand  the benefits of FAIR and open data principles in biodiversity research and collaboration and the value of data management as a research-enabling tool

  • understand the importance of international biodiversity infrastructures, and how these can contribute to biodiversity assessments, monitoring, conservation, and red-listing

Target group and prerequisites

The course is suitable for students, MSc and PhD students in biology and other relevant fields with affinity or professional interest in biodiversity studies. Participants need to have the motivation and interest to handle DNA barcodes, museum collection data, and observation data. A good understanding of English is compulsory.



The course is intended for participants from Balkan countries. Maximum 10 participants from Bulgaria and 6 participants from other Balkan countries will be selected after application review.



Accommodation expenses, including meals, at the field station are covered for all course participants. A free bus transport Sofia-Yundola-Sofia will also be provided. Participants from other places in Bulgaria or abroad should arrange their travel to and from Yundola or to Sofia for the bus themselves.

Course trainers 

Lecturers - GBIF Secretariat

Pavel Stoev - National Museum of Natural History, BAS

Stefaniya Kamenova - University of Oslo/National Museum of Natural History, BAS    

Helena Wirta – University of Helsinki

Dag Endresen - University of Oslo

Hugo de Boer - University of Oslo



Please send your application in English to as a word file with the following information:

1. Full names

2. Email

3. Affiliation

4. Stage of studies/degree, topic of theses if in process

5. Motivation to attend the course: How would participation on the course contribute to your current study or research interests?   (answer in max 200 words)    


Deadline for applications

10 February 2023


Selection to course will be done by 01 March 2023.

For more information, please contact:

Georgi Bonchev ( - course coordinator

The Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics, BAS has become a representative node for Bulgaria of the International Barcode of Life (iBOL) Consortium and its European hub BIOSCAN Europe

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       The Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences is the new node for Bulgaria of the International Barcode of Life (iBOL) Consortium with Dr. Georgi Bonchev as a representative member in the Science Committee of iBOL. The affiliation of IPPG to the Consortium is an outcome of the activities within the frame of the BULCode project ( aimed at the promotion of biodiversity studies in Bulgaria through DNA barcoding technologies and the creation of collaboration networks worldwide. 

     Established in 2008, the International Barcode of Life consortium ( is a research alliance of more than 40 nations undertaking the largest biodiversity science initiative:  explore  biodiversity by developing globally accessible, DNA based systems for the discovery and identification of all multicellular life and to create and develop a digital identification system for life that is accessible to everyone.


      BIOSCAN Europe ( is part of the International Barcode of Life Consortium (iBOL) and its global BIOSCAN initiative which aims to transform understanding of species diversity, their interactions, and dynamics. The aim is to unite and connect the national nodes of iBOL as well as the wider community of biodiversity researchers present in Europe, and to establish a European hub for the International Barcode of Life consortium.

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