Lake fish monitoring and other adventures with environmental DNA

Thursday 17 January 2019, 1.00PM

Speaker(s): Dr Lori Lawson Handley, University of Hull

We are currently experiencing a revolution in how we monitor biodiversity, thanks to developments in molecular techniques such as environmental DNA (eDNA). Studies have repeatedly shown that eDNA is more sensitive - and in many cases more cost-effective - than established methods. Current methods for monitoring lake fish communities are limited by the fact they are either destructive or highly selective. At present, there is no method in place for lake fish monitoring in the UK, despite the fact that it is a legal requirement. We are therefore working closely with the UK government agencies to develop a method for lake fish monitoring based on eDNA metabarcoding. The method has been tried, tested and refined in our main study lake, Windermere, and rolled out to over 100 lakes in England, Scotland and Wales. The method is sensitive, robust and repeatable, and we are now entering the final phase of determining whether the community data is indicative of water quality. In addition to the lake fish project, we have a number of other ongoing eDNA based projects on, for example, ponds, river macroinvertebrates, and invasive species. This talk will focus on our lake fish work, but introduce the range of projects ongoing in the group.

Location: K018