The SureScreen eDNA team took a trip to Bristol Zoo Gardens this week to talk to their crayfish expert Jen Nightingale as part of our crayfish research project. Chris, SureScreen’s PhD student and primary DNA researcher, is focusing his research on detecting crayfish in natural habitats such as streams and ponds.
With help from Jen, SureScreen hope to collaborate on a number of related projects in this field. The situation with Britain’s native crayfish species, the white clawed crayfish, is perilous as they’re being swept away by an invasive American species called signal crayfish. Chris and Jen’s project hopes to be able to use cutting edge techniques already employed in SureScreen’s laboratories to detect the presence of white clawed crayfish in the field. This will allow a much more accurate survey of this tricky to spot species and help protect their environments from invasive species.
eDNA is an important emerging field which will give ecologists and researchers a robust tool to add to their surveys and reports.
Tom Wood, Laboratory Manager at SureScreen
SureScreen will be launching a commercial crayfish screen for water bodies thought to contain either signal or white clawed crayfish. This screen will then be quickly adapted to screen for all 8 species present in the UK.
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