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BiRC seminar: Philip Francis Thomsen

Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University

2019.03.06 | Ellen Bernadette Noer

Date Wed 24 Apr
Time 14:15 15:00
Location The Math. Department, Ny Munkegade 118, build. 1532-116. Aud. G1

Please note that the seminar will take place in room 1532-116, Aud. G1 at the Math. Department, Ny Munkegade 118 and NOT in room 1110-223, C.F. Møllers Alle.

Title:   Next-generation biodiversity research using environmental DNA

Ecosystems across the globe are under significant threat, suffering from various forms of anthropogenic disturbances, which are greatly impacting global biodiversity. At the same time, the majority of life on Earth is still un-described to science. Reliable monitoring of biodiversity is crucial for data-driven conservation actions, but remains a challenge due to non-standardized and selective methods that depend on practical and taxonomic expertise, which is declining. Environmental DNA (eDNA) – DNA obtained directly from environmental samples – has become a rapidly growing research field within the last decade and proven a successful research avenue, encompassing analyses of single species, population genetics and communities from mass sequencing data. The rapid advance in DNA sequencing technology and big data analysis has revolutionized the use of eDNA and opened new frontiers in ecology, conservation and environmental sciences. The eDNA approach may thus be an appropriate candidate for the conservation challenge, since it is cost-efficient and non-invasive. Furthermore, eDNA analyses may provide a better understanding of the unknown biodiversity we share this planet with. In this talk, I will give an overview of the achievements of environmental DNA research, especially for macro-organisms in aquatic environments, and address the challenges and perspectives of eDNA for fundamental and applied research.