We are starting a new project:
Gunnar Jacobs (who is also working for Emschergenossenschaft, the local water board) starts his PhD thesis. He will investigate the occurrence, distribution and dispersal ability of the “Emscher sculpin” (Cottus cf. rhenanus) in the river Emscher and its tributaries.
The Emscher sculpin is a fish which survived the major industrial pollution of rivers in the Emscher catchment during the last 100 years in the upper reaches of a few streams. Specimens from these relic populations are now used to repopulate ecologically restored streams and rivers in the region.
Gunnar will use eDNA (environmental DNA) to study the occurrence and distribution of the Emscher sculpin and how fast it can disperse and repopulate streams after the reintroduction. Using eDNA means that that Gunnar will filter water from the stream and analyze the sculpin DNA in it, which also means that he does not need to catch the fishes. Gunnar’s work will greatly help to understand the Emscher sculpin and the Emscher ecosystem and to subsequently make protection of the ecosystem easier.
Welcome, Gunnar! We are looking forward to the exciting project!