Dr. Paul Hebert, the founder and CEO of the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics at the University of Guelph, Canada, and a long-time collaborator with Dan Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs, has won the Benjamin Franklin Medal for Earth and Environmental Sciences for 2024. The prize was awarded for his work pioneering the use of a “genetic barcode” capable of identifying species using a tiny segment of DNA, known as DNA barcoding. The technology underpins a global effort to catalog all life on Earth and has been hugely important to the bioinventory work initiated by Dan and Winnie in Área de Conservación Guanacaste. “It’s thrilling to receive the 2024 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science,” Hebert said. “Importantly, this award endorses a planetary research program led by Canada that is providing humanity with the knowledge required to better insulate biodiversity from global change.” During a recent talk to the GDFCF Board of Directors, Hebert noted that the collecting of specimens in ACG has been critical to his overall work and a significant part of the global effort to advance humanity’s understanding of biodiversity. “For the pure volume of specimens,” he said, “no one can match Costa Rica.” You can read more about the prize and Dr. Hebert here.