NatureMetrics is an innovative science start-up based in Egham, Surrey. We use cutting-edge genetic techniques to monitor biodiversity and natural capital.
Each species carries a unique genetic signature in all cells. When an organism's cells are shed into the environment (e.g. through excretion, mucous, saliva, gametes, or tissue breakdown) its genetic signature is released into the environment. The team in the NatureMetrics lab isolate these signatures from water or sediment samples - or from complex mixed-species samples of invertebrates - and use them to identify which species are present.
These DNA-based monitoring approaches make it possible to directly monitor large numbers of species at large spatial and temporal scales. Read more about the advantages of using DNA for monitoring.
We work with a wide variety of industries and organisations to use this new, powerful data to build a detailed understanding of how to protect and grow biodiversity and natural capital through adaptive management techniques in forests, farms, fisheries and beyond.
Because that which is measured improves.
Our laboratories are purpose-built for delivering DNA-based monitoring services, including physical separation of pre- and post-PCR workflows, separate sites for working with environmental samples, integrated UV lighting for routine decontamination of workspaces, and positive pressure environments for handling samples that are sensitive to contamination.
We have an Illumina MiSeq sequencer on site, meaning that we do not have to outsource any element of the metabarcoding pipeline, giving us complete control over service delivery.
Our CEO, Dr Kat Bruce, is part of the leadership team of DNAqua-net, an EU COST Action project to standardise DNA-based approaches for integration into Water Framework Directive monitoring. Kat is leader of the working group on field and laboratory methods, which pools the knowledge and expertise of research groups from across Europe.
Kat is also on the standardisation team for fish eDNA metabarcoding and is working closely with the new CEN (European standards body) working group on DNA-based monitoring.
We combine world-leading expertise in biodiversity science and molecular methods. All our senior staff have PhDs in topics directly relevant to DNA-based monitoring of biodiversity, from sampling and methods development to population genetics, ecological statistics and bioinformatics.