Broadly, environmental DNA (eDNA) is genetic information recovered from samples of water, air, or soil; such samples contain information about all species present within the area from which the sample was taken. This position will help develop molecular and bioinformatics tools to analyze eDNA for rare and endangered species. This position is funded to work on a new project entitled "Methods for marine species conservation and management using environmental DNA,” which focuses on developing tools for eDNA analysis in the natural-resources management arena. Project goals include developing generalizable eDNA methods for conservation and management of living species, specifically protocols for ddPCR, short-read Illumina sequencing, and longer-read MinIon sequencing. The immediate project focuses on yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus), the Puget Sound population of which is listed under the Endangered Species Act. Critical management needs include 1) distinguishing between ESA-listed and non-listed individuals, 2) mapping genetically distinct populations in space, and 3) developing an index of species abundance across sites.
University of Washington
Rolling review process