ARC Linkage Grant Success for eDNA Marine Monitoring Project
BMT Oceanica has partnered with Curtin University and the Western Australian Department of Fisheries in an ARC Linkage funded project which will focus on development of environmental DNA (eDNA)-based methods for marine monitoring. eDNA are trace amounts of DNA obtained from environmental substrates such as water or sediment rather than directly from a biological source and provide a lens through which to study and monitor marine biota and ecosystems.
We believe that the use of eDNA techniques has the potential to revolutionise our approach to marine environmental monitoring. Potential applications of eDNA monitoring include biosecurity (monitoring the presence/absence of introduced marine species), environmental impact assessment (baselines/ongoing monitoring and assessment) and conservation (to detect the presence/absence of threatened species).
The team will work on applied projects with government and industry, to build our understanding of the benefits and limitations of the use of eDNA in marine environmental monitoring, with a view to developing best-practice techniques.
Our focus will be on sites in the Kimberley, Cocos-Keeling Islands and Fremantle, as well as deep-sea oil and gas and aquaculture sites. Anticipated outcomes are improved management and monitoring of fisheries, ports and offshore oil/gas and aquaculture sites. For more information on BMT Oceanica’s involvement please contact Dr Mark Westera, alternatively please visit the TrEnD Lab.