Nathaniel Thomas Marshall
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Nathaniel is a research fellow for the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR) at the University of Michigan, working with Dr. Hank Vanderploeg of NOAA GLERL. His research involves the use of environmental DNA, or eDNA, to assess aquatic diversity in the Great Lakes, and incorporating this technique into biomonitoring and bioassessment management plans. He believes eDNA and eRNA can be used to address fundamental and applied research questions within ecology and conservation by exploring bioassessment of aquatic ecosystems through ecogenomic approaches. He strives to establish methods for utilizing eDNA/eRNA in future biomonitoring programs that would concurrently detect living organisms and provide information on the stress-level of those organisms. Nathaniel hopes this can develop into a powerful technique for estimating ecosystem health. Prior to working with CIGLR and NOAA GLERL, he has applied eDNA and DNA barcoding, among other genetic tools, to understand the spread of invasive species, such as the Eurasian ruffe and Dreissenid Mussels, and for establishing management efforts for threatened and endangered species, such as Unionid Mussels.