Urban Barcode Project Team Pollution and Plant Diversity
Urban Barcode Project
Research Topic:
Biodiversity & trade
Taxonomic Group Studied:


Can Emission Standards Improve Plant Biodiversity in a Metropolis
Ali Hamdard, Bennett Choi, Jaden White, Veer Malhotra
The Browning School, Manhattan
Akira Wong


Twentieth century urbanization precipitated New York City’s descent into one the United States’s biggest offenders of NO2 pollution. Recognizing pollution as one of the largest threats to human health and our planet’s biodiversity, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) under the Clean Air Act, and these limits have led to a 36% decline in Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) pollution in New York City since 2009. Our goal for this research project is to study how lower NO2 pollution correlates with biodiversity. We will measure biodiversity using DNA barcoding to calculate the Simpson’s Diversity Index in sample regions that have seen different evolutions in NO2 pollution. We hypothesize that a visible payback of higher biodiversity in regions with lower pollution over the past 15 years in New York City, a very short period when climate cycles historically have been viewed as lasting hundreds if not thousands of yea


DNA Barcoding Poster
View team poster (PDF/PowerPoint)

Team samples: