The search of Loch Ness is about so much more than mysterious water monsters. It’s about cutting edge science which will make a real difference in how we monitor and protect the world’s increasingly fragile ecosystems.
DNA sequencing technology, first developed for the Human Genome Project, finds new uses to test the surrounding environment to find out what lives there. The Super Natural History Loch Ness project and others around the world are using the messy nature of living things to analyse them in a way that is accurate and does no harm. Whether it’s as small as a marine worm or as large as a blue whale, as old as a woolly mammoth or a species new to science, it can now be studied without even being seen.
This is thanks to environmental DNA (eDNA).
With Neil leading an impressive team of experts, multiple samples were collected and the analysis results have shown some surprising results!
Neil Gemmell, University of Otago (Project leader)
Michael Knapp, University of Otago
Gert-Jan Jeunen, University of Otago
Dianne Gleeson, University of Canberra
Adrian Shine, The Loch Ness Project
Tom Gilbert, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen
Kristine Bohmann, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen
Pierre Taberlet, Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine Grenoble
Beth Shapiro, University of California Santa Cruz
Eric Verspoor, The Rivers and Lochs Institute at Inverness College UHI, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands
Lucio Marcello, The Rivers and Lochs Institute at Inverness College UHI, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands
Lori Lawson Handley, University of Hull
Bernd Hänfling, University of Hull
Cristina Di Muri, University of Hull