Workshop: Understanding the Ecology of Environmental DNA from Diverse Disciplines

Received an e-mail today from Cameron Turner (@enviroDNA) with information about an upcoming workshop “Understanding the Ecology of Environmental DNA from Diverse Disciplines” to be held at the annual ESA meeting, this year in Fort Lauderdale, FL, August 7-12th.  Some information from the e-mail below, also attached is the workshop flier.

The workshop is titled “Understanding the Ecology of Environmental DNA from Diverse Disciplines” and this is our motivation:

Powerful genetic & genomic tools enabled the realization that all organisms shed molecular traces of their presence into their environment. In ecology, use of extraorganismal “environmental DNA” (eDNA) gained prominence for detecting rare species. However, diverse disciplines also use and study extraorganismal DNA, including microbiology, fecal pollution tracking, forensics, hydrology, geology, and environmental biosafety. Despite methodological overlap between disciplines, interdisciplinary discourse has been limited. Thus, practitioners risk overlooking useful data and models, or worse, wasting resources on duplicative research.

In a recent open-access paper we introduced the phrase “the ecology of eDNA” to encapsulate the origin, state, transport, and fate of extraorganismal DNA-bearing matter. Our hope is that microbiologists studying the issue of intracellular vs extracellular nucleic acids can come share their knowledge and make connections with scientists studying similar issues with larger organisms. Holly Bik’s EukHiTS RCN is helping support the workshop and we’re reaching out to diverse groups.

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David Coil

David Coil is a Project Scientist in the lab of Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis. David works at the intersection between research, education, and outreach in the areas of the microbiology of the built environment, microbial ecology, and bacterial genomics. Twitter