Marine Biosecurity Toolbox scientist Dr Ulla von Ammon joined the BLAKE Expedition and shared with the expedition team the eDNA tools, including the newly designed Cruising Speed Net, for detecting unwanted organisms in marine environments.
Learn why our scientists design Japanese obstacle courses for predatory snails and investigate nutritional value of marine biofouling.
With the experienced science teacher onboard we are aiming to develop an engaging educational toolkit that brings eDNA technologies into the classroom, introducing students to the cutting edge molecular technologies and building up a strong sense of kaitiakitanga for their local environment.
Welcome our new PhD researcher - Michelle Scriver. By answering critical questions regarding eDNA distribution in coastal waters and where, when, and how to sample, her project will contribute to optimized and more efficient detection of marine pests.
To find out what features of the reef attract mussels, we dropped baby green-lipped mussels on several types of 3D printed tiles representing rocky reef structures in seawater tanks and saw where they went. This experiment will help us designing eco-engineered structures that would give this native species a competitive advantage over invasive species on artificial structures.
In 2021, the DETECT team had a big year on the water participating in two research expeditions, in two very distant and ecologically different areas of Aotearoa: Northland and Fiordland. These expeditions allowed us to collect valuable data on distribution of the high-profile non-indigenous species while testing our optimized molecular surveillance tools and protocols.
Acknowledging the need for a coordinated effort to accelerate the uptake of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) based tools for biodiversity surveys and biosecurity applications, an international cross-laboratory experiment was conducted to evaluate replicability of a metabarcoding protocol and explore how laboratory-based variance in sample handling and processing impacts biodiversity assessments.
Learn about PhD project of Dayanitha Damodaran, investigating the habitat requirements of the endemic, green-lipped mussel. Her work will help in designing eco-engineered artificial structures that will encourage settlement of this culturally and economically valued species.
Our 12-14 day expedition will collect microplastics and biosecurity data in the Hauraki Gulf & Islands areas and Whangarei, whilst exploring the wider marine environment of coastal Greater Auckland and Northland. This interdisciplinary oceanic research expedition aims to inspire and engage the public and educate people about the importance of working collaboratively to preserve a healthy ocean.
Follow-up updates on the development and testing of the point-of-need molecular assay for detecting the invasive Mediterranean fanworm from environmental samples.