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Environmental DNA (eDNA)

A process to survey nature from DNA in the environment, making biodiversity measurement simple for businesses globally

April 2022
Gallery Environmental DNA (eDNA) 1
Gallery Environmental DNA (eDNA) 1


eDNA enables data on species and ecosystems to be generated at unprecedented scales using DNA traces that organisms leave behind in the environment, especially in water. A simple kit is used to filter water from lakes, rivers or oceans, capturing the DNA traces the filter membrane, which is sent to a laboratory for analysis. In the lab, the DNA is sequenced and sequences are compared against a reference library to identify the species they came from. A single sample of just a litre of water can reveal hundreds of species, ranging from bacteria to blue whales and including both species that live in the water and those living on land nearby. The ease of sampling enables biodiversity to be surveyed in more places, more often, and by a wider range of stakeholders, providing the evidence-base for effective conservation, impact mitigation and restoration of our natural resources.

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Label Date April 11, 2022
From United Kingdom
Maturity stage Medium and large scale commercialization
Looking For Network, New clients, Visibility, Funding, Partners, Credibility

Implementation Stories

Environmental DNA (eDNA) by NatureMetrics
Implemented by MSC Cruises in Geneva (Switzerland) in 2023

The primary goal of this visionary project, named “eBioAtlas: Biodiversity Sampling from Cruise Liners using eDNA”, is to collect comprehensive biodiversity data for marine species using the innovative technique of DNA sampling. By collecting eDNA from seawater whilst on-board, and sending it to NatureMetrics for analysis, the team will discover and record the marine wildlife present across their MSC cruise routes. The project has global reach with the data contributing to the eBioAtlas, a global programme by NatureMetrics and IUCN. This valuable data will be made accessible to third parties free of charge through the eBioAtlas partnership between NatureMetrics and IUCN, fostering conservation and restoration efforts throughout the Northern Atlantic.



The environmental benefits

  • 1L of river water can provide as much data on the fish community as up to 10 years of annual electrofishing surveys
  • For surveying terrestrial mammals, eDNA can detect 25% more species than camera traps for half the cost
  • Over 90% reduction in CO2 emissions achievable in some locations through use of on-site personnel to conduct biodiversity surveys using eDNA, rather than flying in teams of ecologists to conduct conventional surveys
  • Over 10 times more sensitive to detect some invasive species at low population levels compared with conventional surveillance, enabling faster response for control and management to prevent further spread

The Financial benefits

  • 75% cheaper than mainstream alternative survey methodologies for some species
  • Hundreds of species can be surveyed with eDNA for the same cost as a single species surveyed with conventional methods

Activity Region

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Company Profile


NatureMetrics is a world-leading provider of Nature Intelligence & monitoring using environmental DNA

View company profile Solution website
Headquarters Guildford GU2 7HJ, UK
Contact the Solution Provider Add to Favorites

The information set out above, is solely for the purposes of information and the Solar Impulse Foundation does not provide any guarantee as to its authenticity, completeness or accuracy. This information does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation to buy into, transact or to enter into any agreement with any of the parties or persons mentioned above. Potential investors or interested parties are solely responsible for their investment or business decisions and for performing any due diligence required by the circumstances. The innovator NatureMetrics has asserted ownership of the intellectual property rights for images, videos, and content showcased above, affirming full and unrestricted usage rights, and has provided explicit permission for the Solar Impulse Foundation to publish such information designated as "public" in the application form.