Dr. Hebert carried out his undergraduate studies in biology at Queen’s University, his doctoral work in genetics at the University of Cambridge, and then held a Rutherford Fellowship at the University of Sydney. He currently holds a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Biodiversity at the University of Guelph where he is both a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Director of the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics. He brings 30 years of experience in the oversight of major research and academic units. He was Director of the Great Lakes Institute at the University of Windsor from 1986 to 1990 and Chair of the Department of Zoology at Guelph for the subsequent decade. He was Vice-President of Research at the Huntsman Marine Science Centre from 1992 to 1998 and then served as the Chair of its Board until 2003.
Since this time, he has focused his efforts on building a major research program in DNA barcoding, raising more than $100M to construct specialized research facilities, and to sustain a research team with outstanding capabilities in biodiversity science, informatics and genomics. He was Director for the Canadian Barcode of Life Network from 2005 to 2010. Since then, he has served as Scientific Director of the International Barcode of Life project, the largest research program ever undertaken in biodiversity science.
Dr. Hebert’s research program has employed diverse molecular approaches to advance understanding of issues such as breeding system evolution, invasive species and genome size evolution. He is, however, best known for proposing DNA barcoding as a tool for both specimen identification and species discovery. His 440 publications have attracted more than 50,000 citations and an h-index of 103 (Google Scholar), placing him as one of 35 Canadian researchers included in both the 2014 and 2015 lists of highly cited researchers. He has trained 102 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, nearly half of whom now hold faculty positions. He is an Officer in the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Waterloo and Windsor.