Lesson plan for eDNA outreach

Would you like to teach school students about eDNA metabarcoding in a way that goes beyond the usual explanation of just “what is eDNA”? Check out my lesson plan and activity below for a 2-hour session that works great with high school learners. I was interested in teaching 16-year-old students about eDNA sampling, eDNA extractions,…

Science outreach is prize-worthy!

I recently won another prize for my contributions towards science outreach. This time it wasn’t a science communication competition- it was at a scientific conference full of scientists! I feel like this is a huge step forward for science communication, because in the scientific community we are often made to feel like communicating science is…

Environmental DNA for fish biodiversity monitoring

Finding Fish By Molly Czachur Marine biodiversity is a rich and colourful display of what the natural world has to offer. Whilst large whale sharks are gliding through the oceans, the nearby coastal mangrove forests are acting as a vital nursery ground that is teeming with the microscopic larvae of future fish generations. The closer…

Young Science Communicator Winner

I am pleased to announce that I have won the ‘open’ category for Young Science Communicator of 2018 with NRF-SAASTA! My entry below, named “Finding fish“, illustrates our environmental DNA research through cartoon! This exciting work is being carried out in the von der Heyden lab at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, in collaboration with the Molecular Ecology…

Molly Czachur: Leading Women in Marine Science

Originally posted on Leading Women in Marine Science:
Molly Czachur is working towards her PhD in Zoology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She is describing coastal fish biodiversity using an environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding approach. Molly’s journey into Marine Biology started at the University of Manchester where she began her BSc in Zoology, before transferring…

Be the plastic pollution solution

Coastal vegetation is trapping huge amounts of waste, so it’s time for us to take the next step and clean up our beaches! Be a part of the plastic pollution solution today by enjoying your beaches responsibly. Today, the von der Heyden lab visited Kogel Bay in the Western Cape, South Africa. This is a…

Our South African eDNA research begins

Fish and other aquatic animals shed DNA into the surrounding water. This means that seawater is filled with the DNA of the animals living there, and this is known as environmental DNA (eDNA). Scientists have used environmental DNA to study a range of animals, from earlier eDNA studies in 2008 (e.g. on the invasive American Bullfrog),…

Feeling creative on #internationalmuseumday

I have been constantly inspired by working at museums… and today on International Museum Day 2017 I’d like to share a video I created whilst working at Manchester Museum a couple of years ago. I was working on a collection of crustaceans, but had the opportunity to explore so many other uses of the museum. One rainy…

How does mangrove carbon offset work?

I’ve worked with some exciting initiatives, and the community-based project Mikoko Pamoja takes the hat for one of the most forward-thinking of them all. It’s a mangrove carbon offset project that’s giving back to the people. In this article, I’ll show you how mangrove carbon offsetting works, starting with the basics of why mangroves are…

Casuarina Planting at Gazi Primary School

Originally posted on Gazi Mangrove Project:
Yesterday, 193 students at Gazi Primary School participated in planting nearly 300 Casuarina seedlings on school grounds.  These seedlings will supplement the 3,000 trees recently planted as part of the Gazi Mangrove Project. The students learned that Casuarina trees are hard wood trees that can be used as a…