Check out our newest episode in the Series of Solutions titled The Postdoc: using environmental DNA to solve ocean mysteries !
How do you find ocean wildlife when you can't see it? Collect a scoop of sea water! All marine organisms shed pieces of skin, scales, or other tissue that contains traces of their DNA. These small bits of DNA can be collected and analyzed to see which species were present in an area, providing important information where visual surveys may not be sufficient.
Collin Closek, an Early Career Science Fellow at Stanford University's Center for Ocean Solutions, and a team of scientists from Stanford, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research institute, University of South Florida, Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, and National Marine Sanctuaries, are using environmental DNA (eDNA) to examine the presence of different species in the ocean. The eDNA research is part of an initiative called the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) which is testing new technologies and developing integrated data systems to track biodiversity in our marine sanctuaries so that we can better manage and protect these species.
Watch the video on Youtube here