- 2018–Present: PhD candidate, SSCP DTP, Institute of Zoology and Imperial College London: Developing environmental DNA methods to assess the distribution of cryptic sharks and rays
- 2016–2017: MRes, Ecology, Evolution &Conservation (Distinction), Silwood Park, Imperial College London
- 2013–2016: BSc, Zoology (First Class), Imperial College London
I am interested in using environmental DNA (eDNA) to monitor biodiversity in marine ecosystems. As this is a relatively new field, I am interested in determining how the design and methods used can impact the results of a study and, ultimately, how these methods can be applied for the monitoring of sharks and rays in the ocean.
My PhD project aims to develop environmental DNA methods to assess the distribution of sharks and rays (elasmobranchs) and will address key methodological questions and explore novel uses of eDNA techniques to identify elasmobranch species in the ocean. The study of eDNA is a non-invasive and rapid method for the assessment of the presence and distribution of marine species through the extraction and sequencing of genetic material present in water samples. Because of its non-invasive nature, species do not need to be observed or captured in order for their presence to be recorded, making the technique ideal for the study of elusive and cryptic species such as sharks and rays. I will investigate how variations in eDNA sampling techniques impacts the detection rates of elasmobranch species and assess the biodiversity of elasmobranchs in a key conservation area, the British Indian Ocean Territory.
Dr Chris Carbone (Institute of Zoology)
Dr David Curnick (Institute of Zoology)
Prof. Vincent Savolainen (Imperial College London)
Peck, L.S., Clark, M.S. and Dunn, N.I., 2018. Morphological variation in taxonomic characters of the Antarctic starfish Odontaster validus. Polar Biology, pp.1-7.
Dunn, N., Priestley, V., Herraiz, A., Arnold, R. and Savolainen, V., 2017. Behavior and season affect crayfish detection and density inference using environmental DNA. Ecology and Evolution, 7(19), pp.7777-7785.