Barcoding NL – engaging with amateur expert collectors

Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden (NL)

7 October 2023

Last October 7th, Naturalis Biodiversity Center (the Netherlands) hosted the ‘Barcoding NL’ event. BGE joined forces with another Naturalis-led project, ARISE, to bring together dozens of amateur expert collectors from all parts of the Netherlands. Expert collectors usually build their collections along years of practice, which makes them a particularly relevant audience for BGE, specially for our project’s effort to build barcode reference libraries. The event aimed at networking with this group of important stakeholders and gathering their support and access to their collections for BGE’s scientific purposes.

During the ‘Barcoding NL’ event, around fifty enthusiastic collectors were present with a variety of expertise (ranging from mushrooms to mites). The day began with a plenary lecture program and was followed by an information market. During this market, the collectors had the opportunity to ask all their questions, to already hand in some of their species and to pick up a free sampling kit. The experts also had the opportunity to join an workshop -on fungi sampling or DNA sequencing- before the fruitful day concluded with a round of well-deserved drinks.


  1. Engaging the Dutch expert community in building the (national) DNA-barcode reference library
  2. Raise awareness about DNA-based methods used in biodiversity research and their implications for monitoring, conservation
  3. Collect samples relevant for the target list of BGE


  1. Plenary lecture programme: What are the goals of BGE and ARISE? What is DNA and DNA barcoding? What does DNA information tell us? How do you collect species for DNA barcoding? Which species do we still need? How can I submit them and where do these specimens end up?
  2. Information market: Possibility to ask all their questions, to already hand in some of their species, to learn more about the newest monitoring techniques and to pick up a free sampling kit.
  3. Workshops: Informative and inspiring workshops on mushrooms or genome sequencing. 
  4. Closing drinks: Possibility to network, ask questions and socialize with other experts or staff.