The NBP is running full steam ahead! Last week, the entire team met at the McGill University research station in Mont Saint-Hilaire to discuss the context of the project, our research objectives, and field protocols. It was a wonderful opportunity for members from different universities to meet and share expertise.
We enjoyed two very informative sessions with partnering experts. Sara Adamowicz from the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding (CCDB) provided protocol advice and highlighted how our field collecting will contribute to the goals of the CCDB. Several experts from the Canadian National Collection (CNC) of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes demonstrated a range of collection/extraction techniques and equipment.
We spent several sessions practicing collection techniques in the field. An entire morning of pouring rain did not dampen our enthusiasm as we set up Malaise, Pitfall and Yellow Pan traps, hunted in streams for aquatic critters, and dipped pools for fly larvae. Later, the sun came out and dried up the vegetation sufficiently to permit some sweep- and aerial-netting. Excitement about the project and the upcoming field season was palpable throughout these jam-packed three days, the learning opportunities were top-notch and team meshed amazingly well. We have an incredible adventure ahead of us!