Professor of Ecology
Norwich, UNITED KINGDOM
His work focuses on Environmental Impact Assessment – measuring the state of nature – using environmental DNA.
South China Morning Post online
Using the latest biotechnology, a team led by Professor Douglas Yu of Britain’s University of East Anglia extracted DNA from digested blood in leeches’ stomachs, determined what animals they had fed on, and then produced a model of the distribution of wild animals in the Ailao Shan Nature Reserve in Yunnan province.view more
Prof Douglas Yu, from UEA's school of Biological Sciences, initially developed the RevMet method. He said: "In standard metagenomics, short stretches of DNA from mixed samples are compared to whole genomes, which can be expensive to generate. We discovered that we could conduct the analysis using 'reference skims' instead.view more
Researchers are setting up similar projects with ecotourism companies in the Amazon. Tourists would collect eDNA samples while visiting national parks, thus contributing to long-term biodiversity monitoring. “What you’re doing is you’re taking away the bottleneck of needing expert observers, and then you can study much larger areas,” says Douglas Yu, a molecular ecologist at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK.view more
Company founders include leading scientists Prof Douglas Yu, from UEA's School of Biological Sciences, and Prof Alfried Vogler, from Imperial College London.view more
Professor Douglas W. Yu from the School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, who co-led the research, said: "DNA-based methods are a powerful way to relieve the taxonomic bottleneck in biodiversity assessment, but they are only partially able to relieve the sampling bottleneck. In the end, the only way to cover whole landscapes is to combine satellites, sequencers, and statistics."view more
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) represents the largest infrastructure and development project in human history, and presents risks and opportunities for ecosystems, economies, and communities.
Despite widespread recognition of its great promise to aid decision-making in environmental management, the applied use of metabarcoding requires improvements to reduce the multiple errors that arise during PCR amplification, sequencing, and library generation.
The accurate quantification of eukaryotic species abundances from bulk samples remains a key challenge for community ecology and environmental biomonitoring. We resolve this challenge by combining shotgun sequencing, mapping to reference DNA barcodes or to mitogenomes, and three correction factors: (a) a percent‐coverage threshold to filter out false positives, (b) an internal‐standard DNA spike‐in to correct for stochasticity during sequencing, and (c) technical replicates to correct for stochasticity across sequencing runs.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) has great potential to complement visual surveys, camera trapping, and bioacoustics in measuring biodiversity. We report here a large-scale attempt to use DNA from leech-ingested bloodmeals to estimate vertebrate occupancy at the scale of an entire protected area: the 677 km2 Ailaoshan national-level nature reserve in Yunnan province, southwest China.
Although environmental DNA shed from an organism is now widely used for species detection in a wide variety of contexts, mobilizing environmental DNA for management requires estimation of population size and trends in addition to assessing presence or absence.