Successful molecular detection studies require clear communication among diverse research partners


Link to Full Text

Download Full Text

Publication Date

February 2020


Molecular detection techniques are powerful tools used in ecological applications ranging from diet analyses to pathogen surveillance. Research partnerships that use these tools often involve collaboration among professionals with expertise in field biology, laboratory techniques, quantitative modeling, wildlife disease, and natural resource management. However, in many cases, each of these collaborators lacks specific knowledge about the approaches, decisions, methods, and terminology used by their research partners, which can impede effective communication and act as a barrier to the efficient use of molecular data for ecological inferences and subsequent conservation decision making. We outline a collaborative framework to assist colleagues with diverse types of expertise to effectively translate their scientific and management needs to research partners from other specialties. The molecular techniques used to detect organisms will continue to advance both in sophistication and in the breadth of ecological applications. Our objective is to enable ecologists to harness the full utility of these methods by developing effective collaborative partnerships.


Pathogen Surveillance, Subsequent Conservation, Ecological

Document Type



Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Vol. 18, no. 1 (2020-02-02).