BIODIVERSITY STUDIES AT ILIA STATE UNIVERSITY (CAUCASUS BARCODING OF LIFE PROJECT) FUNDED BY THE GERMAN MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND SCIENCE (BMBF)
Ilia State University won funding for a grant competition donated by the German Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF)
In 2018, the German Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF) funded a small-scale pilot project to encourage German-Georgian co-operation in biodiversity research. The project was quite successful and the German government offered our German partners to prepare a large-scale project with us, within the framework of which a new research center would be established at Ilia State University and lay the foundation for Caucasian biodiversity barcoding.
Biodiversity is a background of the normal functioning of the Earth Ecosystem. Biodiversity global report, prepared by UN in 2019 stated that biodiversity, specifically species diversity declines rapidly, which undermines the sustainability of the environment. For several years, the German Government supports a project called the German Biodiversity of Life (GBOL). This project showed that real species diversity, especially in some insect groups, may exceed several times the diversity so far described by taxonomists. Within our project (the scheme is quite similar to GBOL with some specifics, however) it is planned to study genetic markers of 50,000 insects, snails, birds, mammals, and other animals and plants and aggregating this information in a single database. Student team of Iliauni will conduct a primary determination of collected specimens, and leading zoologists and botanists from all throughout the World will determine thousands of individual species, some of that most likely will be new for science. Importantly, DNA laboratory of Ilia State University will be substantially updated within this project framework, which will be able in future run next-generation sequencing; this is important for treating a high number of individuals and genes simultaneously.
Our students will participate in gaining and analyzing genetic data.
The total budget of the project is 1,999,903, the budget of Ilia State University is 781,959 Euros, and 912 000 Euros will be spent in Georgia within the framework of this project.
Current project partners are:
- Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia
- Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, Germany
- Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, Forest Inventory and Remote Sensing, Göttingen, Germany
Please contact us if you are interested to collaborate:
- (Tbilisi): D. Tarkhnishvili, C. Anderson, L. Mumladze, G. Chaladze, M. Murtskhvaladze, Stefan Otto
- (Bonn): B. Misof (project PI), J. Astrin, B. Rulik; turs: E. Bärmann
- (Göttingen): C. Kleinn, L. Fehrmann (forestry), NILS HEIN