Traces of environmental DNA, so-called eDNA, left behind by animals and plants in their habitat can help scientists identify which species are present. The eDNA is collected from the air, water, or from surfaces and subsequently analyzed in a laboratory to determine the species of origin. Based on these traces, the biodiversity in a threatened ecosystem can be deduced, which in turn is important information for appropriate protective and conservation measures.
The international research team «ETH BiodivX» is currently testing innovative tech solutions such as a drone in the air to collect eDNA in the Masoala Rainforest of Zoo Zurich.
Video: Zoo Zürich, Sandro Schönbächler
In this context, our mini-ecosystem on the Zürichberg offers a unique opportunity to test different technologies for collecting eDNA in a near-natural environment before being deployed in an international competition at an unknown location of the Singapore rainforest in 2023.
Learn more about the research team:
Update: The team has qualified for the final round of the competition! It will take place in Brazil in 2024.