Skip to main content
Start of main content

Detecting Stygofauna in Groundwater Using eDNA

The potential for more efficient, more accurate, and less invasive detection and monitoring

  • Perth, Western Australia

    Perth, Western Australia

Can the use of eDNA shed light on vulnerable groundwater ecosystems? We put this question to the test in Western Australia

Stygofauna—aquatic invertebrates found all over the world in suitable aquifers—are typically regionally unique. In Western Australia (WA), they can be an important consideration in the regulatory process for environmental approvals of mining and energy projects.

We collaborated with an energy client, operating in a sensitive environment in northern WA, to enhance sampling methods for stygofauna as part of the client’s overall environmental management program, particularly their efforts to protect these diverse and important subterranean ecosystems.

Currently, stygofauna are sampled by hauling nets up a bore through the groundwater column. However, this sampling method can be unreliable. In collaboration with our client, together with support from Stantec’s Creativity and Innovation program, we’re working to develop environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis—water sampling for specific DNA traces—as an efficient, more accurate, and less invasive approach for detecting stygofauna. 

At a Glance

  • Curtin University
Meet Our Team

Dr. Erin Thomas, Associate, Senior PAM Project Technical Lead

I’m proud to be part of a team that’s supporting the health of aquatic and subterranean systems for a more sustainable future
Dr. Erin Thomas Associate, Senior PAM Project Technical Lead Read More

Dr. Erin Thomas

Associate, Senior PAM Project Technical Lead

We’re better together

  • Become a client

    Partner with us today to change how tomorrow looks. You’re exactly what’s needed to help us make it happen in your community.

  • Design your career

    Work with passionate people who are experts in their field. Our teams love what they do and are driven by how their work makes an impact on the communities they serve.

End of main content
To top