Our Team

Dr. Alex Borisenko

Dr. Alex Borisenko

Dr. Borisenko graduated from Moscow University (Russia) and holds a PhD in Zoology. He has been involved in DNA barcoding at the University of Guelph since 2004, working on the development and implementation of collection processing workflows compatible with high-throughput DNA barcoding analysis.

He has expertise in collection management and curation, biomaterial transactions, and collections data processing. Since 2012, he has been managing BIO’s international capacity building projects, including the Research Training Program.

His responsibilities involve general oversight and coordination of training activities and instruction in collection-based workflows and data management.

Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq

Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq

Dr. Ashfaq is part of the research team at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario where his research interests are focused on the DNA barcoding of economically important arthropod species. He has expertise in molecular entomology with a focus on insect genomics and molecular genetics of pest and disease vectors.

After finishing his Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas, USA, Dr. Ashfaq did  postdoctoral fellowships at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and  Okayama University Japan, specializing in insect molecular biology. Later he joined the National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Faisalabad under the Higher Education Commission Pakistan where as faculty he established a research program in insect molecular biology.

He served as a focal person for the International Barcode of Life Project in Pakistan and trained students and researchers in DNA barcoding with special emphasis on barcode applications.

For the barcode training at BIO-CBG, Dr. Ashfaq supervises the molecular analysis and bioinformatics modules of the training.

Dr. Adriana Radulovici

Adriana Radulovici has been involved in DNA barcoding projects since 2006 when she started her PhD at the University of Quebec at Rimouski (Canada). Interested in marine biodiversity seen through genetic diversity of crustaceans, she conducted her PhD as part of the Canadian Barcode of Life Network and the Canadian Healthy Oceans Network. During her PhD, she visited BIO multiple times for training and sample processing and analysis.

She joined BIO in 2012 as postdoctoral fellow, then moved to the BOLD team as data manager. She has experience with data management and data curation but also with end-to-end processing of marine organisms (from fieldwork to lab processing and data analysis).

In 2016 she joined the International Development unit as coordinator of the Research Training Program.

Ms. Susana Miranda

Ms. Susana Miranda

Ms. Miranda completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph, majoring in Molecular Biology and Genetics. She has been part of the BIO-CBG team for over two years, is currently part of the International Development unit at BIO-CBG, and has experience with front-end processing and collection workflows.

For the Research Training Program, Ms. Miranda is the liaison for the international research trainees, where she helps with managing the logistics of their visit, including air and ground transportation, accommodations, and safety training prior to hands-on activities.

Professor Robert Hanner

Prof. Robert Hanner

Professor Hanner’s research is aiding food security through the bio-surveillance of agricultural pests and by measuring the impacts of varied agricultural practices (e.g. crop rotation, tilling practices) on the biodiversity underpinning the productivity of soils. His group is currently using Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) and quantitative PCR to detect trace contaminants and to quantify mixtures, work which has attracted new industry partnerships focused on compliance biomonitoring. He is also leading efforts to promote DNA barcoding as a tool for the authentication of genomic resources and co-chairs a Committee for the American Type Culture Collections Standards Development Organization.

For the Research Training Program, Prof. Hanner is the Faculty Advisor of BIO-CBG’s International Development unit.

Dr. Masha Kuzmina

Dr. Masha Kuzmina

A plant taxonomist by training, Dr. Kuzmina received her PhD in botany from Komarov Botanical Institute, St-Petersburg (Russia). Since 2005 she worked in the University of Toronto, University of Guelph (Canada), and Smithsonian Institution (USA), focusing on plant molecular evolution and DNA barcoding. At the Canadian Center for DNA Barcoding (CCDB) she is in charge of designing, optimizing, and troubleshooting high throughput protocols for plants; establishing and curating reference libraries for the multiple genetic markers; monitoring taxonomic checklists for plants in the Barcode of Life Data management system (BOLD). A unique combination of experiences in vascular plant systematics and DNA barcoding helped her to create a global network of the specialists in plant biology, ecology and natural history, who are interested in the wide range of applications of plant DNA barcoding.

For the Research Training Program, Dr. Kuzmina oversees the collection, preparation and analysis of plant samples.

Dr. Suresh Naik

Dr. Suresh Naik

Dr. Naik has been a Research Scientist at the Center for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph since 2007. He has over 15 years of experience in the field of Molecular Biology and Genetics. His current responsibilities include CCDB DNA Archive and Curation and QA/QC of laboratory processes.

He is a Plant Geneticist by training, his education includes a broad background in Genetics supplemented by graduate research in Biotechnology with specialization in molecular markers in crop plant improvement. Before joining the University of Guelph, Dr. Naik held an NSERC post-doctoral position at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Summerland, BC and worked on a project on genome mapping of apple and identification of molecular markers for apple scab resistance gene and plant-microbe interactions.

For the Research Training Program, Dr. Naik assists with instruction during the molecular analysis unit.

Former Team Members

Ms. Anne Chambers

Ms. E. Anne Chambers

Ms. Chambers obtained her master’s degree from the University of Guelph at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, working on assembling a DNA barcode reference library for North American reptiles and amphibians. In 2014, she was involved with the research training program and instructed visitors on molecular techniques and downstream bioinformatics. Ms. Chambers is now completing a PhD at the University of Texas at Austin focusing on species delimitation and phylogenetics in herpetofauna.

Dr. Emily Berzitis

Dr. Emily Berzitis

Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Dr. Berzitis first arrived at the University of Guelph as an undergraduate student majoring in Ecology. In the final year of her degree, she completed a thesis project at BIO that focused on DNA barcoding in spiders. She went on to pursue a PhD in Environmental Biology, combining field and laboratory experiments, along with meta-analyses, to study the effects of climate change on plant-animal interactions, particularly in an agricultural setting. Currently, Dr. Berzitis is part of the Education and Outreach unit at BIO-CBG and is the co-editor of the Barcode Bulletin, iBOL’s quarterly newsletter.

For the Research Training Program, Dr. Berzitis provided instruction on collection management, with specific expertise in databasing, microscopy imaging, and tissue sampling of arthropods.