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Thursday 17th November, 09:00 - 11:00

Session 4. Challenges and Opportunities for Museum & Environmental Biobanks
Chairs: Professor Ole Seberg & Mr Jan Koschorreck
Speaker
Talk
Ole Seburg

Biography
Towards a New Paradigm in Natural History Collections

Abstract
Jackie Mackenzie-Dodds

Biography
Biobanking at the Natural History Museum London

Abstract
Jan Koschorreck

Biography
Environmental Specimen Banks – journeys through time for chemical management

Abstract
Olivier F.X. Donard

Biography
Linking efforts for  Specimen Banking in France: The Amphore project

Abstract

Heinz Ruedel

Biography
The German Environmental Specimen Bank as a Tool for the Retrospective Monitoring of Chemicals of Concern

Abstract

 

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Professor Ole Seberg
Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
 
Biography
Ole Seberg, Ph. D., Dr. Sc., is Professor of Molecular Systematics and head of the Botanical Garden, Natural History Museum of Denmark (University of Copenhagen). He is a specialist in the systematics of the monocotyledons, has been member of the scientific advisory board of CBOL, and head of the SYNTHESYS network "Developing Storage and Retrieval Systems for New Types of Collections and Their Products".   
Abstract for presentation entitled:
"Towards a New Paradigm in Natural History Collections"

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has highlighted the general need for ex situ conservation of global biodiversity. Biological Resource Centres (BRCs) are an essential resource for biological sciences and provide the source material for scientific investigations, leading to many of the discoveries on which biotechnology is founded. Thus, conservation and preservation of material derived from biological specimens and their associated data are essential to ensure compatibility, reproducibility, and knowledge extension in all areas of biological research. Having this material readily available is an asset to academic, industrial, and public users, who are unable or unwilling to make the investments needed to recollect the material. Many Natural History Collections (NHC) in Europe are currently either building or planning to build centralised DNA and Tissue Banks and are due to their long tradition for curating traditional samples of multi-cellular organisms the obvious place to establish such facilities. Hence, all NHC’s have implemented standards for maintaining authenticity of their samples. However, they have little or no knowledge of how to handle DNA and tissues samples, and hence no established best practice. An equally serious issue is what to conserve of the worlds approximately 1.8 million known – not to mention the potentially unknown c. 12 million – species.

In this talk the opportunities and challenges connected with establishing DNA and Tissues Banks in a Natural History/Botanic Gardens environment are discussed.

 

 

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Ms Jacqueline Mackenzie-Dodds
Natural History Museum London
 
Biography
Jackie Mackenzie-Dodds: is the recently appointed manager of the new Molecular Collections Facility at the Natural History Museum (NHM) London. She has over 20 years of experience in and laboratory management and molecular biology research from both industry and academia (NHM, Royal Free Hospital Academic Department of Medicine, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Glaxo Group Research). Research at the NHM has included a variety of projects in non-human (plants and animals) in evolutionary development, phylogenetics and phylogeography. From 2008 – 2010 she has been actively involved in molecular collections management, research, and science policy collaborating in initiatives in the EU and US including SYNTHESYS, EDIT, ISBER, ESBB, CBOL. She was appointed manager of the NHM’s new biobank in February 2011 and is currently developing the facility to hold and curate around 0.5 million specimens over the next few years, making them accessible to the wider scientific community.
Abstract of talk entitled:
"Biobanking at the Natural History Museum London"

The NHM is the UK's national museum of natural history, a world centre of scientific excellence in taxonomy and biodiversity with 70 million specimens in its reference collections. An average of 25K new specimens are received each year, from focussed collections by researchers, opportunistic collecting, donations and bequests by scientists and public, and confiscations by Customs; all a source of genetic material for analysis.

A new Molecular Collections Facility (MCF) has just been built at the NHM (Jan 2011), designed to be a centralised storage facility for all collections destined for or created by molecular research at NHM and beyond, complementing the “traditional collections’’ and consolidating valuable legacy collections which have until now been in dispersed locations around the NHM site, hence mostly inaccessible.  This resource will support both current and future molecular research at NHM and externally. The facility has been designed to minimise risks to molecular collections (sample degradation over the long term) and ensure maximum future access to the scientific community worldwide.

The new facility will integrate its operations with the Sequencing Facility (all sequencing pipeline processes and next generation sequencing), the new Ancient DNA Laboratory, and workflows in the Molecular Laboratories via an NHM LIMS (in development). MCF will work closely with other initiatives worldwide including EU SYNTHESYS, where Joint Research Activity programmes are underway to optimize DNA extraction, damage evaluation, repair and Whole Genome Amplification from challenging museum/herbarium specimens.

 

 

 

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Jan Koschorreck
Umweltbundesamt - German Environment Agency, Dessau-Roßlau, Germany
 
Biography
Jan Koschorreck studied biology at the Free University of Berlin. After spending two years as a scientific journalist for different media he joined the German Federal Environment Agency in 2000. Jan Koschorreck worked on the environmental safety of pharmaceuticals and helped setting up the European and international guidelines for the environmental risk assessment of human pharmaceuticals and veterinary medicinal products within the framework of marketing authorisation. Since 2007 Jan Koschorreck is working for the German federal environmental specimen bank (www.umweltprobenbank.de). One of his prime interests is making environmental specimen banking more known to the general public, the scientific community and policy makers. Jan Koschorreck is also devoted to foster cooperation between the international environmental specimen banks and to develop close bonds to regulatory chemical management. In 2011, the German Environment Agency organised two workshops on environmental specimen banking for the European and the International ESB community.  One of the outcomes of these networking activities is a video documentary on ESBing (trailer (6 min): http://vimeo.com/18706748 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PXE4rEw0qs; documentary (23 min): http://vimeo.com/18749195).
Abstract for the presentation entitled:
"Environmental Specimen Banks – journeys through time for chemical management "

Environmental specimen banks (ESBs) are archives for samples that can be used to document and assess the quality of the environment we live in. Human and environmental specimens are collected at regular intervals to monitor changes in concentrations of various natural and anthropogenic (pollutant) substances over time.

In a unique manner, environmental specimen banks allow to compare today’s samples with specimens from the past. ESB samples are therefore carefully prepared and stored under cryogenic conditions that rule out any long-term alteration of the biological and chemical information.
The oldest ESBs go back to the 1960s and 1970s. Today, many millions of samples allow for chemical time trend analysis over periods of up to 50 years. The archives are fillesd with samples from ecosystems and human populations in Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, the Arctic and the Antarctic. Currently, a number of new ESBs are at start.
The specimen range from algae and terrestrial plants to top predators like polar bears and human beings. The archived samples enable retrospective analyses of substances which were not yet known, or could not be analysed, or were not considered to be important at the time of sampling. The results can then be used as eco-toxicological and toxicological evidence for chemical risk assessment.

In chemical regulation ESB time trend and spatial data helped to regulate various chemicals, e.g. DDT, Lindane (pesticides), tributyltin (biocide), polybrominated diphenylethers and phthalates (industrial chemicals) – just to name a few. Currently, ESBs seek to foster joint research strategies and policy advice.

 

 

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Dr. Olivier F.X. DONARD
ORQUE LCABIE-IPREM University of Pau, France

Dr. Elisabeth LECLERC
OPE ANDRA, Châtenay-Malabry France

 
Biography
Dr. Olivier F.X. Donard is a Research Director at the CNRS and the University of Pau (France). He is the director of the “Institut des Sciences Analytiques et de Physicochimie pour l’Environnement et les Matériaux” at the University of Pau (France). He has been a leader in the development of analytical strategies for trace metal speciation both from the analytical aspects as well as to improve our understanding of the fate of metals and metalloids in the environment. He has been closely involved in the development of reference material for speciation analysis. All these activities have leaded him to understand and promote in France the need for specimen banking. He has published more than 200 peer reviewed papers and over 90 invited international lectures on these different topics.
Abstract for the presentation entitled:
"Linking efforts for  Specimen Banking in France: The Amphore project"

Specimen banking in France has only recently recognized to be of interest. The main French initiatives ORQUE Observatoire de Recherche sur la Qualité de l'Environnement (University of Pau and CNRS) and the OPE Observatoire Pérenne de l'Environnement for ANDRA have decided to join their effort to provide a global national french infrastructure open to other national French agencies. The project should not only provide some of the combined largest national storage capacities but offer combined advanced analytical support through the academic partnership. The ORQUE project in rather focused on the long term preservation of fresh water, coastal and estuarine ecosystems, whereas the OPE is primarily targeted at storing the global food chain in the land ecosystem above the French national nuclear repository site. Both structures will develop research efforts to promote advanced development in long term storage technologies, representativity of sampling as well as advanced analytical strategies for long term monitoring. This combined effort will also promote the recollection of high quality scattered initiatives such as with IFREMER and INRA. Beyond the storage activity, both entities ORQUE & ANDRA are proposed to be united via the global French effort for new technologies as the AMPHORE project. In all cases, they will combine their effort to promote the development of an established structure in Specimen Banking in France open to coordination with other ESB in the world.

 

 

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Dr. Heinz Ruedel
Fraunhofer IME, Schmallenberg, Germany
 
Biography
Heinz Ruedel studied chemistry at the universities of Essen and Muenster and received a PhD from Westfaelische Wilhelms-University in Muenster. Since 1988 he is employed at the Fraunhofer-Institute in Schmallenberg, Germany (Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, IME). Heinz Ruedel is head of the environmental specimen bank (ESB) group at Fraunhofer IME and responsible for the operation of the German ESB for the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt). His research interests are in the field of environmental monitoring of chemicals with special focus on retrospective monitoring studies on emerging pollutants. Since October 2004 Heinz Ruedel is head of the Work Group on ‘Environmental Monitoring’ (WGEM) of the Division of ‘Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology’ within the German Chemical Society (GDCh). In 2009 the WGEM published a position paper on 'Substance-related environmental monitoring' (Rüdel et al. 2009, Environ Sci Pollut Res 16:486-498).
Abstract of talk entitled:
"The German Environmental Specimen Bank as a Tool for the Retrospective Monitoring of Chemicals of Concern"
Experience from the past reveals that problems with some chemicals became only apparent after long time of commercial usage. For example, substances with endocrine disrupting properties or perfluorinated compounds (PFC) were recognized as hazardous only after several decades. Furthermore, compounds are often not detected in environmental samples because of limitations of the applied analytical methods (current example: nanoparticles). The unique feature of an environmental specimen bank (ESB), i.e. the storage of regularly sampled material under conditions which assure that its chemical information content does not change over time, allows the retrospective analysis of biota specimens as well as of abiotic media such as soil or suspended particulate matter from aquatic systems. Such investigations may be used for chemicals risk assessment (e.g., identifying substances with increasing environmental concentrations) or policy success control (e.g., checking whether bans of chemicals are effective). ESBs are already operated in several countries, e.g., in Sweden, Germany, Canada, USA, and Japan (more information: www.inter-esb.org). This contribution will inform on sample preparation and bank operation protocols of the German ESB. According to the concept, pooled samples are prepared from annually sampled ESB material (e.g. mussels, fish fillet or bird eggs) by cryogenic milling. Finally, the samples are stored cryogenically (< 150°C in the gas phase above liquid nitrogen) as sub-samples in small vials which can be retrieved for future investigations. Examples from successful ESB investigations for policy success control (e.g., organotin compounds) will be presented.

 

 

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