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Interdisciplinary Seminar, David Malcolm: Following Genetic Footprints: An Overview of eDNA Techniques
November 21 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Abstract: Environmental DNA (eDNA) is defined as organismal DNA originating from shed cellular material that can be found suspended in aquatic and terrestrial environments1. Since the mid-1980s, researchers in the field of metagenomics have worked to develop the capture, sequencing, and analysis of eDNA for use in biodiversity assessments, phytoplankton bloom monitoring, and fishery management as well as multiple additional ecologically significant goals in marine ecosystems. Though the protocol from capture to subsequent genetic data is critical to obtaining actionable insight into marine ecosystems, the role of environmental physics and chemistry in transporting and degrading eDNA prior to capture cannot be ignored. Through this seminar, I aim to discuss a selection of the dynamic environmental processes that contribute to the transport of eDNA from its original shedding event to its capture as part of a marine eDNA project, and how knowledge of these processes contributes to the contextualization of marine eDNA results.