Advances in eDNA-based Approaches to Fish Ecology and Management

Dates: July 15, 2019 - July 19, 2019

Location: University of Hull, United Kingdom

Over the last ten years the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) has become one of the most promising new approaches to obtain biodiversity data in aquatic environments, especially for fish. The technologies which underpin eDNA research evolve constantly, leading to a rapidly increasing quality and quantity of data. This has opened up exciting new opportunities for applied and fundamental research alike, but also challenges in terms of data analysis and interpretation. eDNA methods are rapidly penetrating biomonitoring for management purposes and increasing our understanding of ecological interactions within communities and of the drivers for biodiversity decline. Sessions on eDNA have become a regular feature of fisheries and ecological conferences but to date there has been no dedicated conference for eDNA research.

This symposium will, for the first time, bring together the international community of fish eDNA research and provide an overview of the field. We are adopting a broad definition of eDNA to include DNA which has not been sampled directly from the targeted organism, including DNA extracted from water and sediment as well as from faecal and gut samples. Topics will range from the development of methods to addressing fundamental ecological questions, as well as applied aspects of biodiversity monitoring and include:

Fisheries and conservation issues in freshwater and marine fish communities
Monitoring and predicting the spread and impact of invasive fish
Molecular food webs and trophic interactions
Fish pathogen and parasite detection
The dynamics and ecology of fish eDNA in the environment
Methodological advances, incl. metagenomics, population level analysis, new technologies
eDNA based monitoring and translation into policies