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Taxonomy & Biodiversity

Huntsman is recognized as a leader in Canadian Atlantic marine fauna taxonomic and biodiversity services since 1977 when our original Larval Fish Laboratory was established. We offer a full service from study design and field sample collection to sample processing, specimen identification and curation, quality control, and statistical data analysis, interpretation, and reporting.


Huntsman Taxonomy & Biodiversity research is led by Dr. Claire Goodwin, who has a wealth of experience in biodiversity research, project management, and data analysis. Claire has over 15 years of experience in benthic taxonomy covering the North Atlantic, Arctic, Antarctic, and sub-Antarctic faunas and has published many scientific papers relating to marine biodiversity. She has particular taxonomic expertise in sponges (Porifera), having described over 70 species new to science. She also brings extensive scientific diving and diving project management experience to the Huntsman team. Huntsman taxonomic work is supported by Rebecca Milne (M.Sc.) as our Taxonomy Projects Supervisor. Rebecca has over 10 years of experience in both benthos and plankton sample processing and marine species identification. She is considered to be an expert in many taxonomic groups but specializes in Crustacea. This expertise is complemented by our team of taxonomic technicians, each with several years of experience in their own taxonomic specializations and many hours within on-site environmental monitoring projects. 

If you are inspired to support Huntsman Taxonomy & Biodiversity research, discovery of new marine species, or graduate student research at then please donate or choose other ways to support the Huntsman mission today!



In May 2020, we provided the first description to science of two new sponge species  (Demospongiae: Chalinidae and Suberitidae) isolated from hyperarid mangroves of Qatar along with research colleagues from Qatar University. 


Taxonomic Services

Biodiversity Services



Atlantic Reference Centre (ARC) museum

Example Projects

Collaborations with Academia 

Selected Recent Publications

Taxonomic Services

The Huntsman team is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in identification of a broad range of faunal groups, including most metazoan aquatic animals spanning the taxonomic range from sponges to fishes. These faunal groups include all life stages, from eggs and larvae to juveniles and adults. We can customize established protocols to suit Study Sponsor needs and budgets. 

  • Marine and Freshwater Zooplankton and Ichthyoplankton
    We have particular expertise in identification of Atlantic and Arctic marine species. Our staff participate in the North-east Atlantic Marine Biological Analytical Quality Control Scheme for zooplankton and scored top marks in the last test.


  • Marine Benthos
    Our specialties are identification of north-west Atlantic and Arctic macrobenthos. The team is skilled in the identification of infaunal macrobenthos from grabs and cores, epifaunal macrobenthos from trawls and other collections, and analysis of video and still imagery. 


  • Freshwater Benthos
    Staff are certified as project managers for the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) water quality assessment scheme. 

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