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Research at Llyn Brianne covers a wide range of organism groups from algae and bryophytes to invertebrates, fish and birds.  Our methods range from conventional taxonomy to molecular biology.

Dipper with food items in beak

Recent research

Two people taing water measurements from a experimental stream

Environmental DNA

Understanding the ecological relevance of eDNA in freshwater lotic ecosystems

In recent years, biologists have detected DNA in the environment from cells shed by organisms. It's hoped this will assist with monitoring endangered or invasive species. We are working with the Universities of Bangor and Birmingham, and the Center for Ecology and Hydrology, to understand how those sources of eDNA relate to living biodiversity, how long eDNA persists in the environment and associated ecological function in rivers.

Stream invertebrate

Aquatic invertebrates

Population genetics and demographic resilience in three aquatic invertebrates

Completed in 2016, Hannah MacDonald's PhD thesis focused on three widespread aquatic invertebrates. Using next generation sequencing, microsatellite markers were developed for Isoperla grammatica, Amphinemura sulcicollis and Baetis rhodani to enable conservation genetic investigations. We urge more use of these genetic tools to assess the impacts of environmental change, by examining genetic structure, dispersal and demographic resilience.