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Independent researcher

Jen Bayer

Bio for Jen and Hilary Bayer

We are young independent scientists.  Two years ago we initiated Silicon Valley Barcode of Life (, through which we engage people in DNA barcoding to catalog local biodiversity, and to learn about its importance, threats to it, and how each of us can act to protect it. With SVBOL we integrate research, citizen science, and science advocacy.  Through the Hadly Lab we’re working towards a comprehensive inventory of current arthropod biodiversity at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve as part of our study of Silicon Valley. Last year, we worked alongside preserve docents and a Hadly Lab post-doc to collect arthropods, extract specimen DNA for sequencing, and edit and publish sequences.

As of August 2020, we’ve uploaded 316 unique DNA barcodes to the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD). We’re in the process of ascertaining exactly how many of these are novel to BOLD, and/or unique U.S. records. Some may represent yet-to-be-named species. We’ve engaged nearly one hundred volunteers in our work and have advocated for biodiversity to hundreds of people through presentations at schools, conferences, and civic organizations. 

We’re enthusiastic about adding to knowledge of Jasper Ridge arthropods and potentially inspiring similar projects at other preserves and elsewhere.  We appreciate that in addition to researching to understand how biodiversity is changing in the Anthropocene, people in the lab are also acting to conserve it.