Environmental DNA (eDNA) designates the DNA which can be found and therefore extracted from environmental samples such as water, soil, air, snow, etc.
eDNA can be used as tool to detect a single species or multiple species, both approaches mainly based on Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). If the purpose is the detection of a single species, the best method is given by a quantitative PCR. Otherwise, an approach based on targeted PCR can allow the simultaneous detection of several taxa, this method being called “DNA metabarcoding”.
From this data, species presence can be determined, and overall biodiversity assessed. It is an interdisciplinary method that brings together traditional field-based ecology with in-depth molecular methods and advanced computational tools.
The rise in popularity of this molecular technique can be referred to the fact that it is a non-invasive sensitive and cost-effective method biodiversity monitoring in a large variety of environments.
Our research is dedicated to using this technology to understand how aquatic ecosystems are changing over time in response to climate change, urbanization, and other environmental stressors. We are interested in developing targeted sampling strategies and analytical techniques that allow to detect rare or invasive species, monitor ecosystem health, and understand the mechanisms driving ecological shifts.
Our research activity has important implications for environmental management and conservation, as it provides critical information about the health and resilience of aquatic ecosystems. By studying eDNA, we can identify potential threats to the biodiversity of ecosystems. Our team is committed to advancing this field through interdisciplinary collaboration, cutting-edge techniques, and thoughtful analysis of complex datasets.