Generating DNA Barcodes to identify and discover species (Years 9 & 10) – At GTAC


COVID-19 Notice: Please note that this program may require modifications to enhance physical distancing and infection control standards for delivery in 2021. GTAC continues to monitor the evolving COVID safety advice from the Department of Education and Training to ensure our programs adhere to School Operations Guidelines. GTAC will communicate with schools booked into this program to provide relevant program updates in a timely manner. 


A Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series event for high ability students in Years 9 and 10. This program is only open to students in Victorian Government schools.


Over 2 million plant and animal species have been described and named to date. This represents a small proportion of the total species on the planet. Join us at GTAC to conduct research that could lead to the discovery of a new species.

Use DNA technologies and bioinformatics programs with confidence, gaining exclusive insights from practicing research scientists.

Feel energised as you contribute to a real research project identifying species using their unique DNA sequences, their “DNA barcodes”.

Stand out from the crowd and get recognised for your research contributions.

Stretch your imagination and consider how DNA technologies will impact careers of the future. Could you be a de-extinction geneticist?

This GTAC event comprises 3 parts:

  1. An online course preparing you for your research project at GTAC
  2. A visit to GTAC laboratories where our GTAC Scientist Mentors will guide you to generate DNA barcodes for animal or plant tissues of environmental or commercial interest. The DNA generated by your team will be sent to the Australian Genome Research Facility (AGRF) for sequencing.
  3. A virtual learning workshop following your lab visit. You will use bioinformatics programs to analyse DNA data sets that include the DNA barcodes generated by your team.

This event will expose you to topics studied in Unit 4 VCE Biology, such as techniques for manipulating DNA and the concept of ‘molecular homology’.


Level – Years 9 and 10

Venue - At GTAC in Parkville

Timing - Program runs from 9:30am – 2.45pm with a 60 minute lunch break.

Approximate dates -

Term 2: 25th May - 11th June, 2021

Term 3: 27th July - 5th August, 2021


Click here to express your interest in this program


Click here for booking information


Program developers - Dr. Tony Chiovitti