We are thrilled to announce that we have been recognized by the University of Victoria (UVic) with a REACH Award for Excellence in Research Partnerships, environmental DNA (eDNA).

The award and research grant recognises research excellence as demonstrated through scholarly contributions and societal impact, jointly achieved by a UVic researcher in collaboration with an external research partner. Dr. Caren Helbing of UVic, with our support, developed a quick, easy and, crucially, reliable method to collect and test for eDNA —with just a scoop of water. This single scoop of water can inform the presence of at-risk, invasive, pest, and culturally & economically important animal species.

The analysis of eDNA—genetic material shed from organisms into their environment—is highly promising as eDNA can provide non-destructive, rapid, cost-effective, and accurate biodiversity information.

eDNA will undoubtedly be a mainstream assessment tool as many countries are currently investing in eDNA technology.

This annual award honors and celebrates the extraordinary teachers and researchers who lead the way in dynamic learning and make a vital impact at UVic, in the classroom and beyond.

In addition, we are excited to be involved as a collaborator on the recently successful Genome Canada Large Scale Applied Research Project, iTrackDNA, grant submission by Dr. Caren Helbing. Our own Dr. Doug Bright has been appointed as Chair of the End-user Advisory Committee for the project.

The iTrackDNA project is poised to help Canadians reach high environmental quality standards and position Canada as an international frontrunner on eDNA standards adoption, policy development and testing.