About Us

The CCDB is a state-of-the art DNA Barcoding facility founded on the campus of the University of Guelph by Dr. Paul Hebert in 2006 to advance DNA barcoding technologies. Its unique research capacity reflects the coupling of one of Canada’s largest genomics platforms with a workforce that includes world-class expertise in biodiversity science, DNA sequencing and informatics. The Centre is best known for its role in leading the development of DNA barcoding, a technology which is considered one of the top five life-changing breakthroughs made by Ontario universities over the past century.

The CCDB generates over one million barcode records a year and is the most prominent contributor of sequences to the global repository of DNA barcodes (v4.boldsystems.org) . The CCDB is a focal point for research into new methods for producing barcode records more rapidly and at lower cost.  Due to years of investment in collaborative efforts and leading technological development in the field, CCDB now plays a central role in training international researchers, government agency employees and private sector scientists.


It is the mission of the CCDB to provide academic researchers, government regulators and commercial partners with the technical support and knowledge to integrate DNA barcoding technology within their research programs and day-to-day operations. Our knowledgeable and professional staff will support, educate and problem-solve for our customers.

Commitment to Quality 

The CCDB adheres to strict quality assurance and control measures to ensure that we meet the highest quality standards. The CCDB employs a unidirectional workflow that passes through six isolated rooms, each containing separately labeled materials, supplies and equipment:

  • Sample Preparation
  • DNA Extraction
  • Reagent Room
  • DNA Amplification and Sequencing
  • Electrophoresis
  • Positive Hit Picking

Virtually all aspects of barcode generation are automated, from DNA extraction to sequencing. To verify that equipment is functioning properly, the CCDB follows a maintenance schedule as recommended by each instrument’s manufacturer. Quality assurance is supported by the CCDB’s proprietary Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) that guarantees a full audit trail for each sample processed within our facility, including who performed which procedure on which equipment on what date and time.


The core analytical functions of the CCDB are performed by a team of 20 staff members. All CCDB personnel performing DNA analysis are held to high standards and have training in molecular biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, or other course work that covers PCR and recombinant DNA theory and practice. Hands-on training, including the review of standard operating procedures (SOPs) or manuals, is completed for each technician under the supervision of experienced personnel (e.g., the Lead DNA Scientist or the Laboratory Manager). Each technician is also required to be knowledgeable in laboratory safety and QA/QC procedures.


Evgeny Zakharov, Director
Dr. Evgeny Zakharov holds a PhD in biology and has over ten years of research experience in molecular systematics, population genetics, and evolutionary biology. In 2007 Dr. Zakharov joined the International Barcode of Life (iBOL) project at the University of Guelph to advance the DNA barcoding of insect species. In April 2009, Dr. Zakharov accepted leadership of the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding (CCDB) and has expanded the capacity and range of services offered. Having a research background, Dr. Zakharov has a strong commitment to scientific accuracy and operational excellence and continues to advance capabilities at the CCDB.

Nataly Ivanova, Research & Development
Dr. Ivanova received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at Lomonosov Moscow State University in 1998. Most of her Ph.D. data on molecular systematics of lichens were gathered in NMNH, Smithsonian Institution. Since 1998 until 2004 she was working in a core sequencing facility at the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology in Moscow. In August 2004 Nataly joined the Hebert laboratory as a post-doctoral fellow and contributed to the development of cost-effective high throughput barcoding protocols and integrating robotics into analytical chain. Recently she developed a 384-well pipeline for cost-effective screening of mass collections. Currently she is overseeing automation, core lab quality control, forensic barcoding and R&D projects.

Constantine Christopoulos, Lab Manager
Constantine joined the CCDB with over eight years of experience working in large scale genomic environments. He has led teams at both Baylor College of Medicine’s Human Genome Sequencing Center in Houston, Texas, and at the Centre for Applied Genomics in Toronto.



Building Infrastructure:

  • Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation
  • Genome Canada
  • Ontario Genomics Institute
  • Ontario Innovation Trust
  • The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  • University of Guelph


Supporting Projects:

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • Canadian Greenhouse Conference
  • Canadian Museum of Nature
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Flowers Canada
  • Genome Canada
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
  • Ontario Centres of Excellence
  • Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers
  • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food
  • Ontario Soybean Growers
  • Ontario Research Fund
  • Ontario Wheat Board
  • Parks Canada
  • Royal Ontario Museum
  • The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation