Dr Elise Furlan
Dr Elise Furlan is molecular genetics based at the University of Canberra, Australia. Her research focuses on molecular genetic techniques to address a variety of ecological questions, and consequently she became one of the first researchers in Australia to develop techniques to analyse environmental DNA (eDNA). She was instrumental in constructing the purpose-built eDNA facilities at the University of Canberra to ensure high quality control in the handling of trace DNA samples. One of her key achievements has been the development of a framework for quantifying eDNA detection sensitivity as a crucial step in quality assurance for eDNA studies. She has also used eDNA metabarcoding for the detection of multiple species within a sample and has applied this to determine the diet composition of various species from scat or stomach contents and to characterize biological communities from water samples. More recently, she has been expanding eDNA approaches to exploring the relationship between i) eDNA abundance and species biomass and ii) PCR efficiencies and relative species abundance. Her main objective is to ensure her high quality research results in applied outcomes for conservation, therefore partnerships with government agencies and industry feature heavily in her projects.