We help you build a better understanding of where the wild things are

Often referred to as an Environmental DNA (eDNA) survey, we provide your field teams with sample collection kits and analysis for targeted detection of species eDNA from environmental samples. We have developed large-volume sampling methods to maximise the probability of eDNA capture and detection. Our sampling kits provide everything you need to collect consistent eDNA samples, quickly and easily.

In many cases you can instruct us to undertake multiple assays on the same sample for detection of a number of species, improving your efficiency by reducing field time and sampling costs.

Protected species

Species in decline often end up, not in habitat most favourable to them but in habitat least favourable to the agent of their decline. Our highly sensitive eDNA techniques enable your teams to discover and manage these remnant and fragmented populations. Here are some examples of species we can detect:

Following a DEFRA-funded research project (Biggs et al, 2014), Natural England have approved the use of an environmental DNA analysis protocol for detection of the Great Crested Newt (GCN) using pond water samples.

Our GCN eDNA kits have been assembled in accordance with the DEFRA WC1067 Guidance. They contain everything that is required for field collection of great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) environmental DNA in pond water samples.

Pond water sampling may be undertaken in a single visit to the target pond, between 15th April and 30th June. Your samples may be returned to Applied Genomics' laboratory using our pre-paid overnight courier service. Your samples will be analysed in strict accordance with the laboratory protocols described in the DEFRA WC1067 Guidance.

Important: Water samples must be collected by a licensed GCN surveyor following the methods described in the DEFRA WC1067 Technical Report.

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For identification of UK bat species, we have developed an efficient and accurate method to identify all 17 native and 3 vagrant species.

It is important for ecologists to correctly identify the species of bat that occupies a habitat so that an appropriate mitigation plan may be designed that is specific to the ecology of the particular bat species.

Bats in the UK play an important role in controlling insect populations and are indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem health. Conservation of UK bat species is a high priority and managing threats to bat populations and their habitats is a key aim of the relevant articles of legislation.

Our Bat Dropping Sample Collection Kits contain all you need for reliable collection of up to 12 samples. We only require a small number of droppings for a viable sample; however, as the DNA in droppings may be degraded, we recommend submitting replicate samples for best results. You can order your sample collection kits exclusively though WildCare.

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White-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) are classified as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species and their populations are declining throughout much of their range with predictions that the species will face extinction in much of their former range within the next few decades. White-clawed crayfish populations are under threat in Britain and Ireland from a fungal disease, crayfish plague (Aphanomyces astaci), carried by a number of introduced North American species of crayfish, and competition from non-native crayfish populations.

Our freshwater eDNA sampling kits provide a simple and efficient method of sample collection which can greatly improve the efficacy of your ecological surveys.

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The critically endangered freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) is under threat from habitat degradation and illegal pearl fishing. Its natural habitat extends throughout northwest Europe. The species is long-lived with a complex life cycle, requiring a salmonid host for their larval development.

It is our hope that improved monitoring of the species will lead to better conservation outcomes. To that end, our freshwater eDNA sampling kits provide a simple and efficient method of sample collection which can greatly improve the efficacy of your ecological surveys.

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We are continuously working to validate new assays for species detection. If you have an organism of interest not listed here Contact us to see what solutions we can develop for you.

Non-native species

Protect the ecological and financial value of your site; protect your critical infrastructure. Effective management of non-native species begins with surveillance and monitoring of their distribution. Early detection of non-native species is key to mitigating harm, protecting infrastructure and reducing the cost of management.

Parasites & Pathogens

Parasitic infestations and virulent infectious diseases are an increasing threat to natural populations and food security. Highly sensitive eDNA techniques are an essential part of your biosecurity surveillance toolkit.

  • Crayfish plague (Aphanomyces astaci)
  • Chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis)
  • Bat white-nose syndrome (Pseudogymnoascus destructans)
  • Ranaviruses
  • Ash Dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus)
  • Phytophthora spp. and other fungi
  • Sea lice
  • Flatworms
  • Roundworms
  • Protozoans

Detection of water-borne pathogens affecting human and animal health

Our team is an extension of yours. Contact us to discuss your project requirements.

Analysis

We integrate metadata from your eDNA surveys to provide responsive and meaningful insights for your project environmental planning and monitoring.

Using tissue, hair or faecal samples, we can provide quantitative analysis of the genetic diversity of wild populations. This provides insights into population size, demography, geographical distribution, migratory patterns, and population viability.

  • GIS mapping
  • Remote sensing
  • Fate-and-Transport modelling

Analysing DNA extracted from environmental samples (i.e. from water, soil, sediment, faeces and other sources) we can detect the presence of species in the environment. The methods we apply are sufficiently sensitive that they are useful for the detection of inconspicuous, rare or temporarily absent target species.

However, detection is only part of the story. Depending on how, when and where environmental samples were collected, environmental DNA may have persisted in the environment for a very wide range of time (i.e. from hours to many years).

Combining the sensitivity of ecogenomics analysis with our proprietary mathematical models, we are able to determine the likelihood of occupancy of rare or cryptic species detected in the environment, providing a more rigorous assessment of habitat use for the target species.

Our occupancy assessment is useful for....

  • Detection and occupancy estimation of threatened, protected or invasive species
  • Biosecurity
  • Spatial analysis of species distributions

We can provide invertebrate taxonomy for comparative analysis of sediment or soil samples from marine, aquatic or terrestrial environments.

Our team is an extension of yours. Contact us to discuss your project requirements.

Sampling kits

Good sampling is the foundation of a good study. It is, arguably, the only step in the process that cannot be repeated. So, it’s worth doing it correctly the first time.

Building on our extensive experience collecting environmental samples in challenging environments, we have developed environmental DNA sampling solutions to suit projects of various sizes in terrestrial, aquatic and marine environments. Each of our eDNA sampling kits provides everything you need for convenient and consistent sample collection, to maximise the probability of detection and ensure meaningful results.

Low-volume Sampling Kit

  • Suitable for shoreline and surface-water sampling, our low-volume (up to 5 litres/sample) eDNA sampling kits provide a simple and cost-effective method of sample collection which can greatly improve the efficiency of your ecological surveys.

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High-volume Sampling Kit

  • We have developed proprietary technology for autonomous collection of large-volume water samples (up to 50 litres/sample).
  • Our sampler will collect your sample over a programmable time-period of hours to weeks, which enables the flexibility to eliminate temporal variability due to tidal cycles and other current flows.
  • Deployment options include buoy-mounted or benthic demersal layer sampling.
  • Deployment at the benthos further eliminates physical variables from tidal depth, Ekman effects, Langmuir circulation, etc.
  • Demersal currents are slower than surface currents and eDNA from the demersal layer is more likely to contain locally relevant eDNA of both epifauna and fishes.

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Low-volume Soil & Sediment Kit

Designed to enhance your current sampling programme, this kit allows you to collect up to 250 grams of soil or benthic sediment per sample. Samples are stored in a non-hazardous DNA preservative solution that can be easily transported by land, sea or air.

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High-volume Soil Kit

Suitable for site-based assessment, this kit enables collection of larger volume samples for consistent and comprehensive eDNA surveys. Samples are stored in a non-hazardous DNA preservative solution that can be easily transported by land, sea or air.

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“You send us the faeces, we’ll tell you the species!”

Suitable for species identification (whose poop is this?) and diet analysis (what did it eat?)

We are continuously working to validate new assays for species detection. If you have an organism of interest not listed here Contact us to see what solutions we can develop for you.