Melissa E Carew
My main interests are understanding species diversity using DNA barcodes and developing DNA-based tools for environmental monitoring, especially in freshwater ecosystems. In the past, my research has largely focused on using DNA approaches to understand life histories, population structure and for species identification of various invertebrate (and some vertebrate) groups. During my PhD, I developed DNA approaches for species identification of Chironomidae (Diptera), well known as a bioindicator group in freshwater environments. I also investigated the bioidicator potential in particular chironomid species by examining their field-based responses to pollution. More recently, my work has broadened to include identifying many species of freshwater macroinvertebrates using DNA barcoding. I am currently developing next generation sequencing (NGS) approaches or 'metabarcoding' to facilitate fast, cost-effective identification of freshwater macroinvertebrates collected from streams/rivers in urban and surrounding areas. I am also using metabarcoding of macroinvertebrate field samples to determine species-level environmental responses in order to provide more sensitive and diagnostic monitoring of freshwater ecosystems for water managers.