June 10th, 2024. 11h. 

Aula Fèlix Serratosa (Parc Científic de Barcelona)



"Earth BioGenome Project: Progress on Biology’s Moonshot"

By Harris Lewin, Professor

Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)




Join us for an insightful Scientific Talk featuring Harris Lewin, leader of the Earth BioGenome Project.


The primary goal of this international initiative is completing high-quality DNA reference genomes for a wide range of organisms on Earth, an estimated 1.8 million species. A great opportunity to discover how to drive genomic solutions for preserving biodiversity and sustaining human societies, from the voice of a prominent genome scientist.


CNAG collaborate with the Earth BioGenome Project through the Biodiversity Genomics Europe (BGE). Our institution is one of the five main DNA sequencing and data analysis centres that will generate data for reference genome assembly of 500 species. 




Earth is in a global biodiversity crisis, with species loss at 100 to 1,000-fold above the background extinction rate. Loss of biodiversity threatens vital ecosystems on which humans depend and would eliminate new sources of biomaterials, pharmaceuticals, and genetic variation to mitigate the effects of climate change. The Earth BioGenome Project (EBP) was launched in response to this crisis in 2018. The EBP aims to sequence, catalog, and characterize the genomes of all of Earth’s named plant, animal, and microbial eukaryotic biodiversity; ~1.8 million species. The ultimate aims of the EBP are to create a foundation for revealing the “rules of life” and delineating the mechanisms of how biological systems evolve under changing environmental conditions. The lecture will present recent progress made by the EBP and the challenges faced in reaching the project’s goals.



Harris Lewin is a Research Professor at Arizona State University and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Evolution and Ecology at UC Davis. He served for 5.5 years as Vice Chancellor for Research at UC Davis after a 27-year career as a faculty member and institute director at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests have ranged from host genetic control of resistance to infectious diseases to comparative and evolutionary analysis of mammalian genomes. He co-founded the Earth BioGenome Project and chairs its Executive Committee. Harris was awarded the Wolf Prize in Agriculture in 2011 and is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences.