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Paul Barber & Zachary Gold in UCLA Newsroom, UCLA scientists help simplify DNA testing for tracking marine species

“eDNA is a really powerful tool for providing insights into the plants and animals inhabiting an ecosystem,” said Paul Barber, a UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, member of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and a co-author of the research.

The study’s authors created a DNA index so that genetic material in water samples from the ports can be matched against the species known to live there.

“Our guide will make eDNA surveys accessible for resource managers who aren’t molecular biologists and haven’t done a Ph.D. in marine biology,” said lead author Zachary Gold, who did the work while he was a UCLA doctoral student in ecology.