Using Environmental DNA and Citizen Science to Monitor Salamanders in Great Smoky Mountains National Park


This is a page for real-time updates about our citizen science projects in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The goals of these projects are to evaluate the potential of environmental DNA surveys for 1) characterizing plethodontid salamander communities along an elevational gradient; and 2) detecting variation in life history phenology in plethodontid salamanders.


Citizen scientists, check back often for new results!

November 2, 2015

Here's a brief update for all of you citizen scientists! We're still accumulating eDNA samples for analysis in the lab.

In the meantime, Tiffany, Gar, and I went to the field last week to photograph some salamanders and refine the current dichotomous key for identifying them. Here's a quick photo of a salamander belly. Can you guess which species it is? A few hints: it's a species of dusky salamander (genus Desmognathus). The belly is relative...

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© 2020 by Todd W. Pierson