Ethan Jacobs

Optimizing environmental DNA detection methods while analyzing the presence of river otters in the Northeast

Ethan Jacobs, New York, USA 16-18

Environmental DNA research uses cost- and time-efficient methods of collecting, filtering, extracting, amplifying, and analyzing eDNA (the DNA contained in animal excretes), having the potential to expand the fields of detection of species, biodiversity monitoring, and conservation efforts. In my research I worked on improving a new method of eDNA detection and analysis called GoFish Nested PCR using a nested amplification protocol with the design of 12S broad-range and MiFish species-specific primers. I used this methodology to analyze the presence of eDNA in three rivers for four different non-marine mammals: river otter, beaver, muskrat, and raccoon.

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