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Mark Stoeckle’s mentee, Samara Davis, earned the Grand prize in Science at the Genius Olympiad, an international high school project competition about environment issues, with her project on censusing threatened salamanders with eDNA (slide deck). See the full list of awardees here. Samara’s 11-minute video is here.
We recently showed that current laboratory protocols optimize sensitivity and reproducibility, especially for more abundant fish populations (ICES J Mar Sci 2022). eDNA metabarcoding is generally considered a qualitative tool for relative abundance. We hope to help develop eDNA metabarcoding as a quantitative tool for absolute abundance (link to pdf work-in-progress).
PHE student Samara Davis will present her work with Mark Stoeckle on eDNA detection of threatened salamanders at Northeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Annual Meeting http://northeastparc.org, to be held in West Virginia in August.
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.
Jesse Ausubel gave the opening talk on “A Cleaner Ocean” to the conference From Research to Action: Responding to Plastic Pollution through Science organized by the Embassy of France Office for Science and Technology in the United States, Global Council for Science and Environment (GCSE), and Long Island University 5-6 April in New York City.
The paper ‘Managing existing forests can mitigate climate change‘ published in the journal Forest Ecology and management discusses the advantages of better management of existing global forests to sequester carbon drawing on National Forest Inventory data from Scandinavian forests over the period 1960-2017.
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
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.