An economic component will also be developed for the DETECT theme. For example, we will assess the cost-efficiency of different eDNA isolation techniques by collating data on time, effort and monetary costs associated with each method and weighing these against their accuracy. The resulting tool can be used to inform the optimisation of sampling strategies and regional biosecurity surveillance designs – to achieve significantly improved pest detection at acceptable costs.
In association with the citizen science component of DETECT, we will conduct a cost-benefit analysis of expanding community-based molecular biosecurity surveillance at different scales. We will involve representatives from different groups, such as local kaitiaki (guardians of the sea) and whanau (families), environmental organisations and enthusiasts, schools and educators. We will account for the costs (surveillance kits, training and engagement activities, centralised data collection and management resources), potential drawbacks (e.g. limited sampling accuracy and need for data quality assurance), and for the community benefits (e.g. education and environmental engagement) of such campaigns.