discussion / eDNA & Genomics  / 5 December 2019

Virtual Meetup Discussion: eDNA

Hi everyone, 

We're a couple of hours out from our eDNA virtual meetup. If you want to join, you'll need to register here

Today we're going to be joined by four speakers: 

  • Kat Bruce @naturemetrics, Co-founder and Managing Director of NatureMetrics
  • Alice Valentini @alice_valentini Research Officer at Spygen 
  • Robin Naidoo and Arnaud Lyet @Arnaud+Lyet , World Wildlife Fund 

We've had 100 registrations from 27 countries so far with lots of interesting, practical questions coming through from participants. The key areas you want us to cover in the talks and discussion include: 

Practical Applications

  • Can eDNA be used in marine ecosystems with species with low density? (USA)
  • How reliable eDNA techniques are presently in identification of fish species in rivers with high fish diversity. Have been following up on eDNA work being done in river basins in Nepal. (Pakistan)
  • I would like to understand better the possibiities of environmental DNA.  How could be used for terrestrial environment studies. (Peru)
  • I am aquatic biodiversity specialist and work in the development of monitoring tools. In river, what is the upstream length that eDNA documents the biodiversity? (Nepal)
  • Alternative for environmental baselining. Is regulatory using eDNA as a requirement? (USA)
  • What are useful targets where DNA detection can help in education and conservation (France)

Best Practice

  • Do different filtering methods produce different results? How best to standardize? (USA)
  • We are interested in using eDNA as  biodiversity monitoring method - Details about sample collection and storage, as well as genetics methods used (Namibia)
  • Do you use coding and non-coding DNA for identification? (USA)
  • We hope to employ this for monitoring and P/A of fishes in Asian rivers. How does one assess the potential for false positives and negatives?  ( USA)
  • I am a molecular scientist interested in using Environmental DNA in the future. How to effectively conduct sampling to avoid potential contamination (South Africa)
  • What are the best methods to use environmental DNA techniques in ornithological research? (UK)
  • What minimum protocols are required for obtaining robust data ( USA)

Current Limitations and Future Directions

  • Is eDNA a reliable tool for monitoring species, and what are the caveats? (UK)
  • Interested in uses and current limitations. Examples of successful case studies? (UK)
  • I'm interested in portable genetics and (meta)barcoding. How can we use eDNA from faecal samples to move wildlife conservation forward? (UK)
  • I’m interested in snow tracking for carnivores. How close are we to genotyping with eDNA? (USA)
  • We currently use eDNA for confirmation of protected amphibians in the UK and for bat species identificaiton. What advances and novel are being developed with eDNA? (UK)

How to get started?

  • Would love to learn more and see the potential to use it in my marine research projects. If I only know basic genetics, how much training do I need to do environmental DNA analyses? (UAE)
  • I’m interested because of my work on One Health platform data storage and exchange of field sampling for monitoring and research purposes. Which data formats will best suite to descripe set species dna sets and meta data (South Africa).

See you in the meetup. 


Hi Stephanie!

Thank you for organizing the meetups. I had registered for the eDNA meetup and was unable to participate due to a last-minute scheduling conflict. Is there a link available to watch the meetup if we missed it, like there have been for past meetups? Thanks!

Hey Alex, 

Our pleasure! Yep, we will be uploading the recording along with our notes from the session to this page. We'll also upload the individual talks to our yourtube channel here. We'll have them up in the next few days, probably early next week. 

We're starting to think through topics for next season - I'm interested to hear if there are any technologies/tools or questions you'd like us to cover?