"We are fairly ambitious in terms of our long term goals: a digital identification system for eukaryotic life," Hebert says. "Closure for life on the planet will be a difficult task. There will always be a nematode lurking under a rock."
"But now I'm getting worried that there isn't enough to keep me busy," he adds. "This job is going to get done." Assuming, of course, that there is sufficient interest and funding for the work of testing the DNA of the estimated five million species on the planet. Already, the fish and mammals of the world will soon be complete and there is an extra urgency to the task, in Hebert's view: "For $100 million we can register life on the planet while it's still here."