Towards A Feral Free Future

3. Making the invisible visible through environmental DNA samples

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Episode notes

Wondered what that was lurking in the bushes or in the waterway, but it got away before you could see it? This is exactly what Dr Alejandro Trujillo-González a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Institute for Applied Ecology at the University of Canberra is finding out.

One of Australia’s leading environmental DNA detectives, Dr Trujillo-González takes samples from the environment (water, soil, even air) and uses a portable machine, the size of a fishing tackle box, to analyse these samples for the presence of DNA.

In the space of 60 minutes, Alejandro can know whether there are any species in the environment we should be concerned about or need to be managed, in what would usually take up to 7 days if done back in the laboratory.

Real time DNA detection could revolutionise the way we manage surveillance both at the border and within our environment.