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May 7 roundtable will explore eDNA in the Salish Sea

The Salish Sea Science Roundtable speaker series continues on Tuesday, May 7 from 12:30 – 1:30 pm. Ryan Kelly, Director of the eDNA Collaborative will highlight new and recent research using eDNA in Puget Sound and the region, with an emphasis on management applications. For example: how far does dolphin DNA travel? Tune in to find out.

Because all living things make DNA — and DNA sequences can distinguish species from one another — the residual genetic information left behind from the living parts of an ecosystem (environmental DNA, or eDNA) is a goldmine of information for environmental management. Analyzing eDNA lets ecologists work at unprecedented resolution and scale.

Within Puget Sound, researchers have used eDNA to track killer whales (Baker et al. 2018), count endangered salmon (Shelton et al. 2019), map different harmful algal species across space and time (Jacobs-Palmer et al. 2021), and track the invasion front of European Green Crab (Keller et al. 2022). Bigger-picture examples include measuring the effect of urbanization on nearshore ecosystems (Kelly et al. 2016), predicting ecological shifts in plankton as a consequence of ocean warming and acidification (Gallego et al. 2020), and commercial fisheries management at large scales (Shelton et al. 2022).

Roundtables occur virtually on the first Tuesday of each month as a way to share emerging science that is shaping Salish Sea ecosystem recovery.