The DNA Field Kit
As a conservation geneticist I’ve always had a deep fascination with mysterious and intriguing animals, particularly apex predators, as they offer insight into the health and wellbeing of our planet’s ecosystems.
Focusing first on Snow Leopard and Tiger, I'm creating a field kit to identify species from droppings and other samples, rapidly and without the need for expensive equipment.
The technology adapts current genetic methods (read more here) into a portable, inexpensive kit that can be used for species identification by non-specialists.
One of the biggest challenges for wildlife conservationists is that many rare and shy species are seldom seen in the field.
So this field kit will help revolutionise community conservation projects as well as assisting in monitoring the illegal wildlife trade.
The potential applications are vast and significant for species conservation.
So it's an extremely exciting project. We've already proved we can identify Snow Leopard from its DNA and now we're embarking on the next phase, which is to downsize the kit to a point it can be used as a 'litmus test' for endangered species identification in the field.
We need your help, so please consider supporting the project and contacting us.
Dr Natalie Schmitt