Our lab is passionate about education and community engagement with the environment and have an eDNA community science project called Sequence Our Seas (SoS). The aim of this project is to visit school classrooms and provide the students with a sample bottle. They’ll go down to their local beach or waterway, scoop up a litre of seawater, and filter the biological grunge out of it in their classroom. We’ll then use our eDNA workflows to analyse the contents of the filter and create a list of all the fish, birds, and mammals present.
This project provides a conduit where people can engage with the biology in their local marine ecosystems that are under various anthropogenic pressures. It also teaches people genetic literacy and draws on many of the STEM skills, which we feel is extremely important.