We offer a DNA analysis service which is utilised by many ecological consultancies, private individuals and wildlife enthusiasts. At present the majority of the requests we handle are for British bats, but we also provide DNA analysis for other species of interest and concern such as otters, mink, pine martens, badgers and rodents, such as water vole and red squirrel. We have even been involved in the hunt for big cats in the UK, which is quite exciting, and have identified the odd beached whale. We also run a service to examine potential samples that may have cat or canid (including foxes) DNA too.
Our group uses the technologies of ancient DNA research to provide this service to the public. Our aim is both outreach and scientific. The samples that are sent in allow us to build up a picture of the genetic diversity and evolutionary history of the species involved. At present, the large collection of guano samples is being used to study dietary niche partitioning in UK bat species, more details of which can be found on the bat research page.
The material sent to us for DNA extraction and sequencing is usually guano or scat, though we do also have success with tissue (such as a small piece ~1cm2 of wing membrane, where appropriate) and hair.
For more information on cost and how to collect, package and send your samples, please click here. If sending samples for the first time it's helpful if you send us an email so we can be sure of where to send the results. bats[at]warwick.ac.uk.
More details on each of the services may be found below.