The EnvMetaGen project will build research capacity in Environmental Metagenomics at InBIO. It will also strengthen collaborative links between InBIO and other EU and International scientific research organisations. Environmental Metagenomics is the study of genetic material taken from communities or single organisms in their natural environment. Research in this area allows ecological questions to be answered that cannot be addressed by other means. The species present in different environments can be determined from DNA purified from water, soil, faeces and other naturally occurring substrates.

This research area has expanded rapidly in the past few years because of improvements in high throughput DNA sequencing technology and in methods for isolating environmental DNA for analysis. Environmental Metagenomics is consequently becoming a standard tool for biodiversity measurement and identifying ecological interactions. The EnvMetaGen project will create capacity for researching key ecological questions developed in collaboration with InBIO and International partner researchers. EnvMetaGen will provide training opportunities at undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral levels and establish InBIO as a centre of expertise in this field.