Wow, 2022. Before we steamroll into the new year, we wanted to reflect on the year that’s past. It’s been a huge year for us at EnviroDNA that featured exciting projects, new faces in the team, a facilities upgrade, increased service offerings, new distribution partnership and most importantly remarkable research undertaken by our team. A note from EnviroDNA Director, Helen Barclay:
"A big thank you to our growing team, clients, collaborators, and suppliers for making a successful 2021 year possible during the trying times of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our dedicated team has persisted through the curve balls, juggling the many months of lockdown restrictions in Victoria and associated challenges all while moving facilities to establish a new lab! Our clients and collaborators have continued to have confidence in us, showed flexibility as we’ve navigated challenges and jumped on board with new ways of doing things to help us deliver in restricted times. All the while every person has been faced with what the Covid-19 pandemic has meant for their home and personal lives. How fortunate we are to have amazing people around us! All of whom have in some way led to great outcomes for our team and the important sectors we serve like biodiversity conservation and biosecurity.
Exciting projects at scale
>200 sites comparing pre and post bushfire in NSW
We worked on several exciting projects that applied eDNA on a broad scale, including The Great Australian Platypus Search in partnership with Odonata. This initiative is one of the largest eDNA-based citizen science projects, involving a state-wide investigation in Victoria to better understand Threatened platypus populations. With over 2000 sampling sites, it’s been a tremendous effort and we are now at the stage of rapidly processing samples. Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time to help safeguard the future of platypuses in our waterways.
Our team worked collaboratively on a project led by Monash University and funded by the Australian Government in response to the devastating 2019/2020 Black Summer bushfires. This project investigated landscape-level impacts on aquatic biodiversity (fish, frogs and decapods) using eDNA metabarcoding on >200 sites comparing pre and post bushfire samples (with control sites). Results will be shared soon by Monash University.
During 2021 we saw our team grow with many new staff members coming on board. The molecular team was joined by Dr Luke Noble – Leader, Molecular Science, Nenad Bartonicek – Bioinformatician, Lily Tran - Molecular Entomologist & Field Scientist, Sarah Hale - Senior Project Manager and a number of casual staff. In our new lab, we were excited to have one of our amazing molecular scientists, Dr Rachael Impey, take on the role as Laboratory Manager. Our field team grew with new Field Scientists Taylor Gundry and several casual staff, as well as our business team with Ana Giraldo as Office & Administration Manager. Learn more about our team.
We moved into our new office and purpose build eDNA laboratory! A huge thank you to the Amicus team who have not only brought our plans with Cesar Australia to life but gave us some shiny new photos to match. Learn more about our facilities and new DNA laboratories.
In 2021, our team developed some exciting new qPCR assays for several clients undertaking targeted species detection. These new assays include the booroolong frog (Ranoidea booroolongensis), short-finned eel (Anguilla australis), Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri), purple-spotted gudgeon (Mogurnda adspersa), South Gippsland spiny crayfish (Euastacus neodiversus), Pilbara leaf-nosed bat (Rhinonicteris aurantia), white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier), bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) and mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus). Some assays are widely applicable across the species' range while others may be quite specific to a local population. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a species of interest not listed on our website.
New services and distribution
We ventured into our partnership with Smith-Root Inc. EnviroDNA is now an exclusive distributor of Smith-Root eDNA sampling products in Australia and New Zealand. These sampling systems are developed by scientists dedicated to producing quality aquatic research systems. It's been a pleasure so far assisting environmental professionals to easily access this world-class equipment. View the full range.
In 2021, we were (somewhat strangely) excited to announce that we eagerly will receive your poo samples – in other words we offer eDNA services for wildlife scat analysis. If you are looking to identify a species from scat, find out the diet of a species of interest, or even as an innovative way of detecting species in a region if they have been predator prey, we have two DNA analysis options available: species identification and diet analysis.
What a crazy year. Now that we’ve taken stock and said one more big THANK YOU to all the amazing people around us, time to bring on 2022!