eDNA - The Power of a Forensic Ecology Laboratory at Your Fingertips
SureScreen Scientifics specialise in the analysis of ecological samples. We provide a diverse range of laboratory services to the ecological industries, including forensic ecology eDNA-based species detection from environmental samples and molecular species identification and sexing. We also have extensive expertise in eDNA assay design.
Great Crested Newt eDNA
SureScreen Scientifics is one of the UK’s leading great crested newt eDNA service providers.
We’re proud to say we scored 100% (10/10) on the latest proficiency test (January 2022).
The great crested newt Triturus cristatus is an ecologically important species, protected under legislation within the UK. eDNA-based surveys of great crested newts are nationally recognized as an approved methodology for ecological impact assessments for the planning and development sector.
For more information on GCN, click here.
Fast and reliable identification of bat species from droppings.
eDNA species detection for white-clawed crayfish, signal crayfish, marbled crayfish and crayfish plague.
Detection of a wide range of species from water samples including smooth newt, freshwater pearl mussels and more...
Molecular DNA-based method to determine the sex of a bird from feathers, eggshells or blood samples.
SureScreen Scientifics offers an array of easy-to-use sample collection kits and tools to get you started with your project.
Visit our online shop to purchase your sample collection kits now.
Experts in eDNA Assay Design
We have a comprehensive list of species which we can now detect using DNA-based molecular approaches from the identification of bats and other species from biological samples using DNA barcoding approaches, to the detection of crayfish, freshwater pearl mussels and Atlantic salmon from water using qPCR-based eDNA presence/absence surveys.
Can’t see your species listed here? Let our in-house team of molecular biologists help and design an assay for any target species.
We have experience in designing, developing and validating a wide range of assays for species including white-clawed crayfish, marbled crayfish, freshwater pearl mussels and demon shrimp.
eDNA Survey Seasons
Great Crested Newt
Results for GCN eDNA surveys are only accepted by Natural England if the samples are collected between mid-April and late-June, however, we can analyse samples taken all year round for other applications.
Bat Dropping Identification
Although bat activity levels vary over a 12-month period, droppings found within roosts often stay in place for a number of months, meaning that if they have not degraded beyond the capabilities of our analysis, we can test the droppings all year round.
All UK Crayfish & Crayfish Plague
Due to seasonal weather conditions and changes in crayfish activity over the year, sample collection is best suited to the summer months where crayfish activity levels are higher.
Freshwater Pearl Mussel
Freshwater pearl mussels are present in water throughout the year; however, activity levels drop off over winter. In the summer months, individuals are feeding and reproducing which allows a much greater chance of detecting DNA from the water.
Similar to GCN, adults emerge from hibernation on land from late February, returning to freshwater to breed. By October, most smooth newts will be back on land and preparing to hibernate.
Overwintering demon shrimp begin feeding in the spring and reproducing in April. With up to 3 generations produced each year, the breeding seasons finish in October and activity levels drop until the next spring.
Plant Species Detection
Over winter, leaves and shoots of most plants die back, with only the dormant roots remaining as living tissue. Over the spring and summer, leaves, stems and flowers are all viable sources of DNA for testing. Exception: Live roots and evergreen plants are viable all year round.
Other Species - Biological Samples
Highly species-dependent – check with us before collecting a sample for advice.
Molecular DNA-based method to determine the sex of a bird from a feather or eggshell sample can be carried out all year round.
About Forensic Ecology
As one of the first providers of great crested newt eDNA analysis, we have grown to employ a diverse range of molecular biologists, consultant forensic scientists, bioinformaticians and ecologists to provide a wide range of services and product development for the ecological industry. We are committed to developing and improving current methods and researching and patenting new technologies. We have supported two PhD students in conjunction with the University of Derby and over the last few years we have launched a number of new eDNA services including bat species identification from faeces and the first commercially available eDNA test for white-clawed crayfish, signal crayfish and the crayfish plague.