Researchers look to eDNA to curb mass extinction | City & Business | Finance


All species leave traces in the form of genetic codes through their DNA, and the nature detective-like company captures these tiny fingerprint-like fragments. Then, by monitoring them and applying its patented technology, it creates rich repositories of eDNA (environmental DNA) information that provides hard evidence of what is happening in our soils and seas.

From bacteria to blue whales, NatureMetrics’ health indicators fill critical gaps in knowledge, data recognized as vital to tackling climate change and ensuring food security.

As nature becomes the next carbon in terms of data disclosure needs, the company, with labs in the University of Surrey Research Park and in Ontario, Canada, has become the foremost specialist in its gender.

For governments, investors, businesses and communities, data allows them to clearly and easily understand the risks and impacts of their own actions or those of others.

Founded in 2014 by molecular ecologists Dr Kat Bruce and Professor Doug Yu, the company now has 450 customers in 80 countries covering key sectors such as energy, infrastructure, mining, water, marine and conservation .

“For too long, society has failed nature because we didn’t have the tools to monitor targets,” says CEO and biologist Katie Critchlow.

“We are transforming what was a long process, by simplifying biodiversity.

“Our mission is to transform the scale and accessibility of data and identify the best way to protect biodiversity.

“Companies don’t know exactly how to do this – that’s where we come in. Our information can be discussed at board level to make better decisions.” NatureMetrics forecasts revenue of over £40m in 2025 as it creates large landscape-level maps.

By assessing risk, value and impact, they can guide restoration and quantify the benefits for landowners wishing to benefit from enhancing their natural capital.

With an investment of £22m to date, the latest round of £12.7m will be spent developing a new platform for site-based clients who want to show how biodiversity is doing under their supervision. British miner Anglo American is running an international pilot project and a new marine monitoring dashboard will detect invasive species such as signal crayfish.

Potential new customers include buyers of agricultural commodities, producers of consumer goods and investors seeking data on natural hazards.

“Biodiversity is about the whole tree of life, not just what we see with our eyes,” says Critchlow.

“It’s no longer an exercise in ticking boxes, it’s shooting the agendas.”


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