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Environmental DNA

Environmental DNA (eDNA) refers to DNA fragments deposited by organisms into the environment through slime, skin/scales, gametes, tissues, and excrement. The ability to capture, quantify, and identify species from these small fragments has opened up new veins of research with direct implications for both ecology and conservation. My current work focuses on utilizing the concentration of DNA deposited by a target species and the environmental factors of a habitat which may degrade or preserve eDNA to develop a quick, accurate, and unbiased estimate of local abundance. However, I have taken workshops focused on metabarcoding in the hopes that I may branch out into assessing community structure and species richness using eDNA.

Credit: FISHBIO

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