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The German-Ecuadorian Biodiversity Consortium (BIO-GEEC) financed by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit” (GIZ) in close collaboration with the Ecuadorian “Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad” (INABIO) started stage 1: Establishing barcoding pipelines for biological systems of public and economic relevance. BIO-GEEC joins four German (Nees (UoB), IEB (UoM), ZfMK, CeNAK) and four Ecuadorian (ESPE, Ikiam, UTN, PUCE) institutions to identify and characterize organismic groups that have public and/or economic importance.

BIO-GEEC will establish the physical infrastructure, databases, IT protocols and a Web App for a comprehensive barcoding workflow, and transfer the skills and tools available in Germany to our partnering institutions in Ecuador. The infrastructure and associated workflows, once established, will serve as an umbrella for project pipelines that document major fractions of Ecuador’s biodiversity at the taxonomic level. Second, we will implement and test this infrastructure in four sub-projects (SP) that address patterns of biodiversity in taxa of high economic or practical relevance: plants (tissue, seeds & pollen), pollinators (in particular insects), venomous arachnids, and soil microorganisms. Additional sub-projects under this research umbrella will be added in the future (Stage 2 of BIO-GEEC). Third, we will generate an international network for reciprocal training and ongoing collaborations between participating institutions. Training young career researchers is one of our core aims because they will facilitate the transfer of skills and knowledge to practical/private enterprises, but also future jobs in research, government bodies, and politics. #cocibio

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