This research aims to develop a better understanding of the resilience of coastal and estuarine ecosystems to multiple stressors.

DNA barcoding
DNA barcodes generated from individual specimens can be used to assign species identifications
for biodiversity assessments and assist with pollution monitoring.


We are developing genomics approaches for biodiversity assessments in freshwater and marine environments. This consists in using DNA analyses to identify living organisms.

Our goal is to use genomics to measure biological communities in surface waters and sediments for routine pollution monitoring and assessments. To do this we are working on DNA extraction and high throughput DNA sequencing approaches for different sample types. We are using a variety of DNA barcodes that identify common taxonomic groups in different environments and are developing new bioinformatics workflows to streamline the interpretation of high throughput DNA sequencing data.

Adopting genomics approaches using new DNA sequencing technologies for biological community assessment is continually becoming more cost-effective. Over the next few years we expect to demonstrate the use of genomics as a standalone monitoring tool and in combination with other ecotoxicology approaches to detect impacts of pollution in freshwater and marine environments.

For more information, please contact Dr Melissa Carew