I am currently working on the project RECIF for my PhD thesis.
The goal of this project is to monitor the biodiversity of fishes in 8 Marine Protected Areas (Cantonnements et Concessions de Pêche) to study the "Reserve Effect" by combining many survey methods.
In this project we are using two conventional techniques to survey MPAs : fish visual census and small scale fishery catches. In addition, we are also working on a novel method which is called Environmental DNA. Like a forensic unit, we are looking for DNA fragments released by marine organisms to identify them and to attest to their presence in a given area. This technique involves several steps : collection of eDNA samples from seawater / extraction / PCR amplification / Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) / taxonomic assignment.