Message from the Founding President
The Environmental DNA Society was established in the spring of 2018. I would like to thank the many people who have been involved in the preparations for its establishment and all those who have supported the remarkable development of environmental DNA technology over the past few years.
We are now facing a variety of important issues concerning the relationship between humans and ecosystems. As a species living on the earth, Homo sapiens (humans) depend heavily on the services provided by ecosystems as same as the other organisms and are, in a sense, “kept alive by ecosystems”. On the other hand, as a result of increased human activities such as overfishing and habitat destruction, ecosystems have been significantly altered and ecosystem services have deteriorated to the point where they threaten our survival. How can we promote the sustainable use of ecosystems? How can we conserve biodiversity? How should we manage our biological resources? These are issues common to all humankind that need to be addressed as soon as possible, because the longer we delay, the more difficult it will be to solve them.
Environmental DNA technology, which obtains ecological information from DNA derived from organisms in the environment such as water and soil, is a powerful method for “seeing” ecosystems. As a result of remarkable research and development over the past few years, it has become clear that by using environmental DNA technology, we can obtain important information on the current state of the ecosystem, how it is changing, and how it responds to our actions. There is also a growing social interest in this technology. The current situation in which environmental DNA technology is featured in various media such as newspapers, TV and magazines reflects the high expectations for environmental DNA technology. By further developing the research and implementing it in society, we may be able to solve various issues surrounding the “relationship between humans and ecosystems.
Whether or not we will be able to make use of this useful tool called environmental DNA technology in the future depends on how members from various standpoints, such as scientists, government, businesses, and citizens, can pool their wisdom, share visions for the future, complement each other in collaboration, and work together. To make this happen, I will do my best as the first president of the Society for Environmental DNA Research. I look forward to your cooperation so that this new society can make a significant contribution to the development of environmental DNA technology for the well-being of all humankind and to the establishment of a mechanism for its utilization.
April 18, 2018
President, The eDNA Society