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Biography Lori has a passion for molecular ecology, and uses DNA-based tools such as environmental DNA (eDNA) to understand impacts of environmental stressors on biodiversity, with a focus on invasive species and monitoring of rewilding and reintroductions. She has worked at the Universities of Uppsala, Lausanne and Cambridge, and has been a lecturer at the University of Hull since 2007. She loves teaching in the field and engaging the public and stakeholders in her research.
Research Interests We are currently experiencing a global biodiversity crisis, with an average fall of 68% in population size of well-monitored species seen in the last 50 years (WWF Living Planet Report 2020). In order to protect biodiversity we need better tools for monitoring, and increased understanding of the impact of environmental pressures. My research focuses on developing DNA-based tools for monitoring biodiversity to understand how species are distributed, how they interact with one another, and how they respond to environmental pressures and conservation strategies such as reintroduction and rewilding. I have a particular interest in invasive non-native species, including harlequin ladybirds and freshwater invertebrates such as Dreissenid mussels and killer shrimp. My group have developed environmental DNA (eDNA) methods for detecting invasive species, monitoring entire communities, and investigating impacts, for example of invasive species, beaver reintroductions and more general rewilding projects. I lead the University of Hull REWILD Research cluster, which investigates the ecological, environmental and societal impacts of rewilding. I work closely with a number of stakeholder groups within the UK DNA Working Group, to facilitate understanding and uptake of DNA based methods. Current and recent projects include:

Uncovering the biodiversity impacts of rewilding on entire ecological communities at a landscape scape using environmental DNA (Clare Cowgill PhD, UoH REWILD Research Cluster)

Evaluating biodiversity impacts of beaver reintroductions on invertebrate and vertebrate communities using environmental DNA (Tom Spencer PhD, funded by Natural England)

Understanding the spatial and temporal dynamics of environmental DNA for monitoring and management of Dreissenid mussels (Dr. Sara Peixoto, funded by NERC Panorama DTP, CASE Studentship with Yorkshire Water, PhD 2024)

Untangling molecular food webs of non-native invertebrates and their communities (Dr. Marco Benucci, PhD 2020)

Environmental DNA: from detection of priority invasive species to monitoring entire macroinvertebrate communities in freshwater ecosystems (Dr. Rosie Blackman, PhD 2017)

Development of an eDNA-based tool for lake fish monitoring in the UK (main collaborators Dr. Bernd Haenfling (UoH), Dr. Dan Read and Prof. Ian Winfield, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Prof. Nigel Willby, University of Stirling, in partnership with the Environment Agency, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency)
Teaching and Learning I teach on the following modules
• Invasion Biology (Level 7, Module Leader)
• UK Residential Ecology Field Course (Level 6, Field course leader)
• Independent research projects (Level 6)
• Conservation Biology (Level 5)
• Ecology (Level 4, Module Leader)
Scopus Author ID 12800937600
PhD Supervision Availability Yes
PhD Topics I am interested in supervising PhD and MSc by Research projects in the following areas:
Molecular ecology, invasive species, invasion ecology, environmental DNA, metabarcoding, environmental genomics, molecular food webs, ecological networks, biodiversit