EU COST Action DNAqua-Net

Together with our colleagues, we have successfully applied for an EU COST Action that we will be coordinating from University of Duisburg-Essen. The aim is to for an internationally leading team of aquatic biodiversity researchers / geneticists to develop new tools for bioassessment.


"DNAqua-Net - Developing new genetic tools for bioassessment of aquatic ecosystems in Europe"

The protection, preservation and restoration of aquatic ecosystems and their functions is of global importance. For European states it became legally binding mainly through the EU-Water Framework Directive (WFD). In order to assess the ecological status of a given water body, aquatic biodiversity data are obtained and compared to a reference water body. The quantified mismatch thus obtained determines the extent of potential management actions. The current approach to biodiversity assessment is based on morpho-taxonomy. This approach has many drawback such as being time consuming, limited in temporal and spatial resolution, and error-prone due to variation of individual taxonomic expertise of the analysts. Novel genomic tools can overcome many of the aforesaid problems and could complement or even replace traditional bioassessment. Yet, a plethora of approaches are independently developed in different institutions, thereby hampering any concerted routine application. The goal of this Action is to nucleate a group of researchers across disciplines with the task to identify gold-standard genomic tools and novel eco-genomic indices for routine application for biodiversity assessments of European water bodies. Furthermore, DNAqua-Net will provide a platform for training of the next generation of European researchers preparing them for the new technologies. Jointly with water managers, politicians and other stakeholders, the group will develop a conceptual framework for the standard application of eco-genomic tools as part of legally binding assessments.


Scientific lead: Prof. Dr. Florian Leese

Grant manager: Dr. Alexander Weigand

Management committee: click for further information


Please let us know if you are interested in joining in. COST Actions are open for participation.