Please join us for a Great Lakes Seminar Series presentation:
Time: 1:30-2:30 pm EDT
Location: NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, Lake Superior Hall
Presenter: Dr. Carol Stepien, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
Title: Understanding Marine and Aquatic Community Responses in Species Composition, Diversity, and Population Genetics: Targeted Metagenomics from eDNA and Plankton Samples
*Remote participation is available via webinar. To participate remotely, please register at: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7510707146728480769. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Abstract: Ecological sampling depends on accurate taxon identification, delineation, and abundances, yet is time consuming, expensive, involves considerable taxonomic expertise, and often is thwarted by lack of diagnostic morphological characters. Multiple targeted metagenomic analyses entailing (1) primer design for specific mitochondrial and nuclear DNA gene regions having appropriate levels of variation, (2) field sampling of water, plankton, sediment and/or gut contents, (3) high-throughput sequencing (HTS), and (4) custom bioinformatics offer means to rapidly and accurately simultaneously characterize the species diversity and compositions of entire communities, along with their relative representation and population genetic variation. This approach is useful for evaluating all taxonomic groups, all members, and all taxonomic levels of biological communities including rare and cryptic species, invasive species, and fishery stocks. Examples are presented of diagnostic assays that characterize fishes and invertebrates from environmental (e)DNA water and plankton samples in various marine and freshwater ecosystems, ranging from the hydrothermal vent plumes at Axial Seamount, the Salish Sea, Alaskan and Arctic waters, the Laurentian Great Lakes, and the Baltic Sea. These examples and analyses illustrate new ability to assess species diversity and population responses of biological communities to changing conditions, including acidification, temperature, harmful algal blooms, and hypoxia. Results from these metagenomic analyses demonstrate considerable application across marine and freshwater ecosystems at a scale, accuracy, complexity, and capacity for automation not otherwise feasible.
Bio: Carol Stepien has recently joined PMEL as our new Ocean Environment Research Division (OERD) leader. She comes to PMEL from directing the Lake Erie Research Center at the University of Toledo. She brings with her expertise in evolutionary biology, biogeography, and conservation genetics and genomics. Her special research interests include environmental DNA, sensor networks, genomic adaptations, and bioinformatics of marine animals, fisheries, and communities. She mentors several graduate students and postdoctoral associates and will continue to do so while at PMEL through the University of Toledo and the University of Washington’s Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean. During her time at the University of Toledo she was honored as a Distinguished University Professor of Ecology. She is also active in the community and enjoys participating in outreach events. Carol serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, and is an editor for the new journal Ecological Processes and the genetics editor for the journal Biological Invasions.
**Registration is not required, however please note important visitor information**
Important Visitor Information
All in-person seminar attendees are required to receive a visitor badge from the front desk at the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory facility. Seminar attendees need to present a valid U.S. photo ID or green card. If you are a Foreign National, advance notification of at least 48 hours is needed so that security guidelines are followed. You will need to present your passport (a copy will NOT work). For questions regarding building access, or assistance in obtaining Foreign National clearance, please call 734-741-2394. Email contact: Scott.Purdy@noaa.gov
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