Hakai Institute Biomolecular Observing Network (HI-BON)

The Hakai Institute Biomolecular Observing Network (HI-BON) is a highly coordinated network of partners across British Columbia, Canada who are using long-term genetic-based assessments of marine biodiversity to create baselines, track changes through time, and provide local-scale biodiversity data in remote areas.

The taxonomic focus of this research is broad, with core initiatives quantifying the diversity of fish, invertebrates, and microbes along the British Columbia coastal margin. Biomolecular sampling began at the Hakai Institute in November 2014, in partnership with Hakai’s Ocean Observing program. In 2019, we started a community science eDNA sampling network, the Integrated Coastal Observatory, that has grown to include over 20 partners collecting monthly samples across nearshore habitats along the BC coast. Altogether, our network emphasizes:

  1. Standardization of biomolecular monitoring approaches in BC, with the goal to align with global OBON standards.
  2. Building capacity by developing community partnerships to enhance spatial and temporal coverage and supporting these partners in the stewardship and conservation of their local waters .
  3. Open data and contribution to a broad coalition of partners across regional and global communities (i.e. GOOS) to assist in conservation and sustainable management of BC waters and beyond.

HI-BON also carries out regional DNA barcoding campaigns, including organizing BioBlitzes in British Columbia and through participation in national initiatives such as Bioscan Canada, to improve the representation of marine species global DNA reference databases.

The ultimate goal of the HI-BON initiative is to promote sustained and collaborative long-term biomolecular monitoring across the BC coast. We hope this will lead to a broad appreciation for the use of environmental DNA as a means to survey the diversity of local waters and as an important tool that our partners can use to inform local-scale conservation and management decisions. The resulting biodiversity data are then publicly accessible and can be broadly applied to conservation and management initiatives locally, nationally, and internationally.

Lead Institute
Collaborating institutes
Project updates

Project period

8 June, 202220 December, 2030 

Joined OBON in June, 2022
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