WK 10
Sampling for Species Using Environmental DNA (eDNA): Applications, Methods, and Analysis

Saturday, August 8, 2015: 12:00 PM-5:00 PM
305, Baltimore Convention Center
Tara Chestnut, US Geological Survey
Stephen Spear, The Orianne Society; Anna McKee, US Geological Survey; and Todd Pierson, University of Tennessee Knoxville
Increasingly, ecologists are interested in utilizing molecular techniques to survey for rare and elusive species, detect invasive species, characterize microbial communities, and quantify pathogens in the environment via the isolation and detection of DNA collected from environmental samples (i.e. environmental DNA; eDNA). Recent advances have made eDNA research more accessible, yet there are still challenges in initiating studies using these techniques.

This workshop will include four sections that address 1) eDNA research applications, 2) methods for field sampling, 3) QA/QC in the field and lab, and 4) data generation and analysis. Application topics to be addressed will include the systems in which eDNA has been successful, what systems and goals it is best suited for and why, eDNA detectability, probability of success with rare species, potential for use with terrestrial species, occupancy studies, and assay cost. Field sampling topics will include resources needed to start an eDNA study (logistic, genetic, and field supply) and sample collection and storage protocols. The QA/QC section will discuss sterile technique for collecting samples, decontamination, and controls in the field and lab. Data analysis and sequencing topics will include the sequence data needed to design an assay, the utility of amplification-based and sequencing-based eDNA assays, and methods for analyzing quantitative PCR and sequencing data.

Participants will leave the workshop with a greater understanding of eDNA applications and limitations, how to design a study using eDNA, protocols for collecting samples, the analytical methods involved, and how eDNA may be applied to their research or management interests.

Registration Fee: $30

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