Webinar: Restoring and Protecting Biodiversity in Aotearoa-New Zealand’s Lakes

April 18, 2022

The iBOL Consortium presenteda BIOSCAN: Illuminating Biodiversity webinar about DNA techniques for lake restoration and biodiversity analysis in Aotearoa-New Zealand. iBOL Science Committee member Dr. Susie Wood (Cawthron Institute) discussed her research in her talk, Lakes380: Learning from the past to protect and guide lake restoration.

The webinar took place on April 28th, 8 p.m. UTC / April 29th, 8 a.m. NZST.  

Read more about Lakes 380

The health of our planet’s lakes is central to environmental, economic, and cultural wellbeing. However, lakes are under increasing threat from multiple stressors including land-use change, nutrient and sediment run-off, non-native species, and climate change. Aotearoa-New Zealand has an estimated 3,800 lakes greater than 1 hectare in area, yet researchers cannot robustly assess their health because over 95 per cent of these lakes are not monitored.

Even for the few lakes that are monitored for biodiversity, datasets are short and assessment incomplete because monitoring started after those lakes had deteriorated. Lake sediments are natural archives that continuously record environmental history, providing current and historical aquatic communities and water quality measures – equivalent to many centuries of environmental monitoring. The ‘Our lakes’ health; past, present, future project is sampling water, surface sediment, and sediment cores from over 300 lakes nationwide. In her webinar, Susie will demonstrate how her team uses DNA barcoding and metabarcoding to determine lakes’ current and historic health and biodiversity in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

Susie Wood
Dr. Susie Wood, Senior Scientist
Microalgae and Algal Biotechnology,
Cawthron Institute

About Susie Wood

Susie Wood is a Senior Scientist at the Cawthron Institute in Nelson, New Zealand. She obtained her Ph.D. from Victoria University (Wellington, NZ) in 2006, specializing in cyanobacterial blooms and toxins. Susie leads and contributes to multiple research programs, supervises students, and regularly undertakes consulting projects for government departments and regional authorities on topics related to cyanobacteria, water quality, molecular ecology, and biomonitoring. She has been active in advocating for incorporating molecular tools in biomonitoring and biodiversity projects, including the development of novel molecular-based indices. She co-leads the Lakes380 project using paleoenvironmental reconstructions and molecular techniques for analysis.

For more information or if you would like to present a webinar, please contact iBOL’s Communications Team at: COMMUNICATIONS@iBOL.org

This webinar series is hosted by the International Barcode of Life Consortium and is part of a new program with the aim of generating discussion, sharing knowledge, and building community. Subjects reflect one or more of BIOSCAN’s research themes: Species Discovery, Species Interactions, Species Dynamics. Talks could feature fascinating field research sites, novel use of DNA technologies, use or generation of biodiversity data, the intersection of research with emerging social or political issues, or the mobilization of scientific knowledge for greater societal benefit.

Media Contacts:


International Barcode of Life 

Hannah James
Manager – Media and Strategic Communications

The International Barcode of Life (iBOL) Consortium is a research alliance with a mission to develop and apply a globally accessible, DNA-based system for the discovery and identification of all multicellular life. Our vision is to illuminate biodiversity for the benefit of our living planet.

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