The Biological Survey of Canada (BSC) is a volunteer driven, not-for-profit organization that helps to coordinate scientific research among specialists on the Canadian biota. We are managed by a Board of Directors who are elected for 2-year terms, and meet bi-monthly to discuss projects and activities. We hold an Annual General Meeting of the members each year by conference or video call.

This page provides background information about the BSC and its work.

Our Objectives

To promote and synthesize the discovery and inventory of Canada’s biological diversity, and to promote awareness of Canada’s biological diversity by inspiring, educating, and engaging Canadians. Since 1977, we have facilitated biodiversity projects relating to arthropods in Canada’s north, grasslands, forests, as well as publishing keys and guides to various arthropod groups. 

Membership in the BSC

The BSC is a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization managed by a board of directors. BSC promotes projects and activities that are carried out by the membership in collaboration with the greater scientific community, federal and provincial government departments and museums, academic institutions, and concerned citizens.

BSC Membership

Membership in the BSC is free and open to those who are interested in Canada's biodiversity. Members receive the BSC Newsletter twice per year and are eligible to vote at the annual AGM. All members are encouraged to become actively involved in BSC projects, or to run for the positions on the Board of Directors.

Want to join?

With your name, affiliation if applicable, preferred email address for correspondence, your biodiversity interests. Please include a statement indicating that you are willing to receive occasional emails from the BSC.


Annual general membership meetings are held once per year by conference call. The Board of the BSC meet bi-monthly to discuss BSC matters.

History of the BSC

The history of the Biological Survey of Canada has been explored in Hugh Danks’ 2016 book, “The Biological Survey of Canada: A personal history“.

The Biological Survey was started in 1977 as a Pilot Study (through an unsolicited proposal to the Department of Supply and Services) by the Entomological Society of Canada (ESC). After a series of contracts – including one primarily for production of a book about the insects of the arctic – the Survey was established in 1980 at the Canadian Museum of Nature (at that time called the National Museum of Natural Sciences) under a continuing partnership with the ESC. In 2009 the BSC became a not-for-profit corporation in anticipation of reduced financial support from the Canadian Museum of Nature. The BSC’s ties with the ESC remain very important as the BSC’s current and future work will have a strong entomological component.

2023/2025 Board of Directors

Morgan Jackson (McGill University, Montreal): President
Dan Peach (University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia): Vice-President
John Soghigian (University of Calgary, Calgary): Treasurer
Donna Giberson (UPEI and Sechelt, BC): Secretary and Editor: Newsletter of the Biological Survey of Canada
Shawn Abraham (U. of Alberta): Director and Student rep
Carlos Barreto (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Sault Ste. Marie, ON): Director
Joel Gibson (Royal BC Museum, Victoria): Director
Scott Gilmore (Lantzville, BC): Director
Julia Mlynarek (Insectarium de Montreal): Director
Armin Namayandeh (Trent U., Peterborough ON and Wayne State University, Michigan): Director
Cass Chowdhury (Simon Fraser U., Burnaby BC): Webmaster
Heather Proctor (U. of Alberta): Editor-in-Chief: Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification