About BIO

The Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO) is housed in two buildings on the University of Guelph campus, west of Gordon St., between the Animal Science Bldg and the Bovey Building. 

BIO represents a unique multi-faceted institute, dedicated to the study of biodiversity at multiple levels of biological organization. As the birthplace of DNA barcoding, much of the work carried out at BIO is dedicated to the advancement of this field of research. 

We envision a world where anyone can identify any species, on the spot, in an instant, anywhere on the planet. Our mission is to empower humanity with the knowledge, technologies and applications needed to identify, understand, monitor and preserve the richness of life, and use this capacity to address major social and economic issues.

We share this planet with millions of species, many at risk of extinction within this century unless decisive actions are taken. Scientists estimate that at least 80% of living species are still unknown. How can we preserve what we don’t know? BIO’s research efforts are focused on solving this fundamental problem and developing applications to leverage  this new knowledge to benefit society.

The University of Guelph

Guelph’s university (www.uoguelph.ca) history dates back to 1874 when the Ontario government bought a five hundred acre farm and the School of Agriculture opened with an enrolment of 28 students. In 1880, the school’s name was changed to the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) and by 1891, the degree program was fully running and short courses were offered to the general public.

The OAC was only one of the three founding colleges of the University of Guelph. The second was the Macdonald Institute (Mac), and the third founding college, the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), moved to Guelph from Toronto in 1922. OAC, Mac, and the OVC amalgamated in 1964, gaining official University status. Today, covering 1,017 acres, the campus is an attractive blend of historic architecture, brick walkways, and green space. While maintaining its connections to agricultural and rural life, the University of Guelph also influences the arts, culture and all domains of science. In fact, the University is now regularly ranked as the top comprehensive university in Canada. With an undergraduate enrolment of about 15,000 students, it makes a serious contribution to the national educational system. With an annual research budget in excess of $150M and more than 2000 graduate students, Guelph is also one of the most research-intensive universities in Canada.