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!

March 3, 2016

Thanks to the hard work of our citizen scientist volunteers, we now have monthly eDNA samples collected from Pigpen Branch from Summer 2015 until now. 

We're ramping up our lab work here in Knoxville, and we'll hopefully be sending final samples to be sequenced in the next few weeks. Pictured here are some of these samples as DNA is being extracted from the filter paper. This process involves a series of chemical reactions designed to isolate DNA a...

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© 2020 by Todd W. Pierson