Making environmental DNA FAIR

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is a cutting-edge scientific technique that involves collecting and analysing genetic material shed by organisms into their surrounding environment such as water and soil. While millions of DNA sequences are typically generated and assigned to taxa in each eDNA study, these records are stored in various locations and formats, which makes the data difficult to be found, combined with similar datasets, and reused for further studies. We will seek to make eDNA data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) through multiple stages including establishing a standard vocabulary, encouraging authors to make data available through journal publication procedures, and developing scripts to bring datasets to one biodiversity platform such as GBIF and ALA. FAIR eDNA will enable its value to go beyond individual researchers and projects and achieve its revolutionary potential.

[Image: Fig 2 from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/edn3.173
A conceptual diagram of how eDNA data can be incorporated into biodiversity databases and exploited by a broad range of end-users. Also illustrating the workflow already available in ALA and GBIF that produces static observations, and a future model where eDNA-based observations are dynamic through periodic automated and standardized re-analysis]

Lead Institute
Collaborating institutes
Key contacts

Miwa Takahashi

Project period

26 June, 202326 June, 2028 

Joined OBON in April, 2024
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