The proceedings from the 2nd National Workshop on Marine Enviromental eDNA 11-14 Sept 2022 in southern California have now been posted. Mark Stoeckle presented the opening Plenary.
Jesse Ausubel will be honored with the 2022 Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest. This award is presented annually by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and the Nierenberg Family to honor the memory of William A. Nierenberg, an esteemed physicist and national science leader who served Scripps Oceanography as director for two decades. Previous awardees include atmospheric scientist Warren Washington, biochemist and Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna, filmmaker Sir David Attenborough, and primatologist Dame Jane Goodall, among others.
Samara Davis’ poster on “Detection of Threatened Pool-Breeding Amphibians with eDNA Analysis” for the Northeast Partners in Reptile and Amphibian Conservation conference won top prize for undergraduate presentation—nice recognition for a high school student! PHE’s Mark Stoeckle advises Samara.
Mark Stoeckle’s summer mentee, high school student Daisy Palaguachi, reports on her work in this poster “Yes, Virginia, There are Oysters in New York Harbor” describing use of aquatic environmental DNA to assess presence of oyster populations. Thanks to Jeanne Garbarino’s RockEDU summer program for introducing PHE to another excellent student.
PHE’s guest investigator David Thaler offers some stimulating ideas in a memo about ways of understanding and learning from degradation of aquatic eDNA. The title: How long has each particular species’ eDNA been outside the organism from which it came? Some thoughts on the possibility to obtain more information from eDNA analysis of water samples
Meanwhile, Jesse Ausubel and Mark Stoeckle are involved in the program for the 2nd US National Workshop on eDNA, 12-15 September in Southern California. PHE hosted the 1st US national meeting in 2018.
Samara Davis’s salamander eDNA project is a finalist in 2022 Genius Olympiad. Genius Olympiad is an international high school project competition about environmental issues founded and organized by Terra Science and Education and hosted by the Rochester Institute of Technology. The Olympiad will host projects in five general disciplines with an environmental focus.
A paper by the Working Group on Acoustic Measurement of Ocean Biodiversity Hotspots of the International Quiet Ocean Experiment (IQOE) published “Sounding the Call for a Global Library of Biological Underwater Sounds” in the journal “Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.” Congratulations to Miles Parsons, Aran Mooney, Lucia di Iorio and company on a landmark contribution, which should become a major acoustic goal of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
Terry Collins’ press release contains a superb description of the paper as well as snippets of sound from a toadfish, piranha, gurnard fish, sea urchin, crab, and whale and information about 14 sound libraries.
The Guardian, United Kingdom Fish love songs and fighting talk: underwater sound library to reveal language of the deep
El Mundo, Madrid, La ‘biblioteca’ de los sonidos submarinos: los científicos graban el coro natural de los habitantes del océano
Popular Science, Why ocean researchers want to create a global library of undersea sounds
PHE’s marine eDNA expert Mark Stoeckle comments on new papers on airborne eDNA in the video Scientists ID Dozens of Plants, Animals from Free-Floating DNA. In a trio of studies, researchers report capturing and analyzing airborne prepared for the magazine and website The Scientist. The report is spurred by widely reported terrific new papers measuring airborne DNA around zoos.
While presented as a first, this study of airborne DNA began in 2005 under the auspices of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Paula Olsiewski and Jesse Ausubel recruited and managed a series of grants to explore the potential for airborne DNA studies. The largest grant went to the Venter Institute, which pioneered the techniques:
After Mapping the Human Genome, Analyzing the City’s Air Mar 7, 2005 — Dr J Craig Venter will study New York City’s air by installing filter system atop one of Midtown-Manhattan’s skyscrapers and studying its …
Among resulting publications: A metagenomic framework for the study of airborne microbial communities …, J Glass, MD Adams, R Friedman, JC Venter – PloS one, 2013 – journals.plos.org Understanding the microbial content of the air has important scientific, health, and economic implications. While studies have primarily characterized the taxonomic content of air samples by sequencing the 16S or 18S ribosomal RNA gene, direct analysis of the genomic …
Among other findings, while focusing on microbial aspects, the Venter team found more rat DNA circulating in the air of NY than human DNA.
Current laboratory protocols for detecting fish species with environmental DNA optimize sensitivity and reproducibility, especially for more abundant populations by Mark Y Stoeckle, Jason Adolf, Jesse H Ausubel, Zach Charlop-Powers, Keith J Dunton, Greg Hinks appears in ICES Journal of Marine Science, fsab273, 11 January 2022.
We test modifications to lab components of an eDNA metabarcoding protocol for marine finfish. Higher-read (more abundant) species were amplified more reproducibly and with less variation in read number than were lower-read (less abundant) species. Our results support the unofficial standard collection volume of one liter for eDNA assessment of commonly encountered marine fish species. We conclude that eDNA rarity poses the main challenge to current methods.
The paper is a sequel to our December 2020 entry: Fish abundance survey by eDNA published
Thanks to our partners at Monmouth University, the New Jersey Bureau of Marine Fisheries, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.