The Power of ‘Environmental DNA’ For Monitoring Whales

A pod of wild killer whales, also known as orcas (Orcinus orca), swims in the Puget Sound, also known as the Salish Sea. (Seattle in the background.)
(Credit: Candice Emmons / NOAA / Public domain)
Representation of oil emulsion technique used in digital droplet PCR.
Oregon State University researchers used environmental DNA filtered from seawater, to detect the passage of endangered killer whales (Orcinus orca), in Puget Sound.
(Credit: Candice Emmons / NOAA / Public domain)
Surrounded by onlookers, university researchers conduct an autopsy on a female beaked whale, probably a Gray’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon grayi), beached on Sunset Beach, Port Waikato, New Zealand. Another beached whale lies in front.
(Credit:
Avenue / GNU Free Documentation License.)

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𝐆𝐫𝐫𝐥𝐒𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐭, scientist & writer

𝐆𝐫𝐫𝐥𝐒𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐭, scientist & writer

PhD evolutionary ecology/ornithology. Psittacophile. scicomm Forbes, previously Guardian. always Ravenclaw. discarded scientist & writer, now an angry house elf