Detecting season presence of sharks in the water—with eDNA

From,  August 6, 2020

New research reveals it’s possible to detect sharks moving into an area without actually seeing any of them. All that’s needed is a couple liters of water.

People leave DNA everywhere. Sharks do, too. In fact, they leave a lot of stuff behind in the water—sloughed off skin, mucus, and, yes, even poop. Once it’s left behind, the DNA released from it becomes known as environmental DNA or eDNA.

Florida International University (FIU) marine scientists Demian Chapman, Bautisse Postaire, and Judith Bakker—along with a collaborative team of researchers from New College of Florida and Havenworth Coastal Conservation—wanted to see if a spring and summer influx of blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus) into Florida’s Terra Ceia Bay could be detected by filtering and extracting eDNA from water samples.

Read more here.


Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is the state's only legislatively designated Honors College of Florida. New College prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in liberal arts and sciences, a master’s degree program in data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.

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