Project title: Metabarcoding the Thames: Application of eDNA to investigate fish communities
Summary: In the UK, the Water Framework Directive management plan includes the monitoring of fish and invertebrates within surface waters, rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands. Freshwater ecosystems are under increasing pressure, with climate change, invasive species, and anthropogenic stressors major threats to freshwater biodiversity. Running through the heart of London, the Thames has been subjected to pollution events, local extinctions, and recolonizations of both native and invasive species throughout its history. Using environmental DNA (genetic material collected directly from the environment) and metabarcoding, this project aims to investigate fish communities in this iconic river, and to develop standardized eDNA protocols that will provide a robust method for determining the presence and distribution of aquatic species in river systems.