Environmental DNA & Genomics Core Facility

About the Facility

The Environmental DNA and Genomics Core Facility (EGCF) works to understand the patterns and processes of evolution through the application of genomics and genetics techniques. Doing so, we can better inform conservation and management strategies. In collaboration with international, federal and state agencies our lab studies a broad range of taxa, including threatened, invasive and pest species. The IUCN, USDA and Parks Canada are some of the organizations that have translated our scientific work into action. Completed in 2017, the EGCF clean labs are designed specifically to meet the most stringent recommended practices for eDNA analysis, including 2 separate pre PCR-rooms plus a PCR/post PCR room in a different building. This allows us to offer both eDNA and and high-throughput genomic services.

Our Staff

The EGCF is a collaborative effort between Jose Andres (Faculty Fellow at the Atkinson Center for Sustainability) and Steve Bogdanowicz (Research Support Specialist IV, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology).

Please contact us with any questions at egcf@cornell.edu

E344 Corson Hall, 215 Tower Road
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-2701

(607) 255-8088: fax
(607) 254-4297: landline

Non-invasive and Environmental DNA (eDNA)

Non-invasive and eDNA sampling have grown in popularity in ecological studies to reveal important information about the distribution, diversity and abundance of species. Sequencing and genotyping methods can be applied to DNA that organisms leave behind (e.g. feces or hair). Water/soil samples can also be tested for the presence of single species (qPCR & ddPCR), species assemblies, or entire communities (multiplex PCR, metabarcoding and metagenomics).

  • Quantitative (qPCR) and digital droplet PCR (ddPCR)
    qPCR/ddPCR detection and quantification of environmental samples typically targets highly species specific DNA sequences. We can detect invasive species using our own or publicly available assays. We also develop new assays to meet specific needs.
  • Metabarcoding
    eDNA metabarcoding combines PCR and Next Generation Sequencing for the simultaneous identification of individual taxa belonging to different taxonomic groups (e.g., bacteria, invertebrates, fish, metazoans, etc). This approach can generate many gigabytes of data requiring substantial bioinformatics analyses.
  • Multiplex assays
    Multiplex eDNA assays allow co-detection of tens to hundreds of species of interest with high reliability at low cost. This approach is based on the sequencing of PCR amplicons; it does not require the complex bioinformatic analyses associated with metabarcoding.

Contact ecgf@cornell.edu for all inquires and further information.

High-throughput Genomic Analyses

Next generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized population and conservation genetics by enabling the high-throughput assessment of genetic variation from a single gene to entire genomes. In the EGCF we discover and genotype with a wide range of repeat- and SNP-based genetic markers in amplicons (targeted loci), reduced-representation libraries, and entire genomes.

We can help with the experimental design to maximize the value of your data. We also provide analytical advice, and direct assistance with bioinformatics.

Contact ecgf@cornell.edu for all inquires and further information.