University of Victoria biochemist Caren Helbing co-leads a pan-Canadian project called iTrackDNA that includes Indigenous groups across the country to build capacity to track regional biodiversity changes using eDNA technology. eDNA analyzes genetic material shed from organisms into their environment. This project includes enhancing computer predictive models to determine the best sites for species re-introduction, protection, hunting/trapping and other land management decisions.
We are very excited about working with First Nations, regulators, industry and non-governmental organizations to build capacity for eDNA applications. Current practices will be transformed to make more informed and timely management decisions. It’s a game changer.Caren Helbing, Project Shared Leader¸ University of Victoria