Developing and Testing Methods for Extracting Environmental DNA from Soil Samples, with Applications to Detection of Brown Treesnakes
A Brown treesnake, Boiga irregularis. USGS photo.
This project uses eDNA methods to determine whether the presence of brown treesnakes can be detected from soil samples. Thus far, eDNA methods have focused on aquatic habitats detecting DNA in water samples. The ability to amplify DNA from soil samples would allow greater geographic utility of these methods, and would be logistically preferable because water samples require extensive filtering, cold storage in the field, and high shipping costs for large volumes of water. Further, eDNA from soil could be a useful tool for early detection and rapid response activities for species such as brown treesnakes that rarely use aquatic habitats and which threaten to colonize previously snake-free islands.