Rainforest XPRIZE

Large-scale and Economical Species Barcoding

Overview: Over 80% of Earth's species are still underdiscovered. Many of these underdiscovered species are hidden in rainforests around the world. My research is on how we can document and identify unknown rainforest species most efficiently through DNA barcoding, a method to extract useful parts of the species genome. I am also developing a more efficient method of multiplexing genetic samples for high-throughput nanopore sequencing. This will allow for real-time documentation of unknown species in the field.

GCS relation: Species identification is a complex problem requiring relatively long and tedious labwork. As an engineer, I am developing new methods and protocols to make this process more efficient for scientists in the field. By increasing throughput through smart tagging and multiplexing of genetic samples, I believe species identification can be a fast and less tedious process.

Supervisor: Dr. Martin Brooke

Duration: May 2020 - Present

Total Hours of Completion to date: 100 hrs

Collaborators: Duke XPRIZE Team and Maggie Gatongi (BME Senior Laboratory Administrator)