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!

May 24, 2016

Hello citizen scientists! Here's another update from the lab.

We've finally extracted eDNA from samples collected from nearly a full year of sampling at Pigpen Branch! Now, we're performing 'PCR' (polymerase chain reaction), which replicates that DNA inside a test tube. Pictured here are a little more than half the samples getting ready for PCRs. Woo! 

After these PCRs, we'll pool our samples together for sequencing on a 'next generation s...

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© 2020 by Todd W. Pierson