New manuscript on Rototoa (Auckland)

A new manuscript titled Resolving 500 years of anthropogenic impacts in a mesotrophic lake: Nutrients outweigh other drivers of lake change, led by Dr Rose Gregersen (Victoria University of Wellington) has been published in the prestigious journal Environmental Science & Technology. The research explores the history of Rototoa, a lake in the Auckland region of […]

The role of human access and environmental parameters in structuring lake communities

A new manuscript Human access and deterministic processes play a major role in structuring planktonic and sedimentary bacterial and eukaryotic communities in lakes led by John Pearman has been published in the journal PeerJ. The research explores microorganisms that live in the sediment and water of lakes and what are the key processes, e.g. nutrients, […]

New paper on picocyanobacteria

Picocyanobacteria are among the smallest light-harvesting (photosynthetic) organisms found in lakes where they provide energy to larger organisms. As part of the Lakes380 project, University of Otago PhD student Lena Schallenberg (now graduated) studied their distribution in lakes across Aotearoa and established a culture collection of 25 isolates Her recently published manuscript Isolation and characterisation […]

A new optimised methods to extract fish eDNA

Monitoring fish is necessary for understanding population dynamics, tracking distribution patterns and evaluating conservation efforts. Molecular techniques targeting environmental DNA (eDNA) are now considered effective methods for detecting specific species or characterising fish communities. The analysis of DNA from lake-surface sediments (sedDNA) can provide a time-integrated sampling approach which reduces the variability sometimes observed in […]

New article published! A DNA-based tool to monitor and detect kākahi

A team of Lakes380 team researchers led by Konstanze Steiner have developed a new DNA-based tool to assist with detecting and monitoring kākahi (freshwater mussel) in lakes and rivers. There are three species of kākahi (freshwater mussel) found in lakes and rivers in Aotearoa-New Zealand. As filter-feeders, they play a crucial role in freshwater ecosystems […]

New insights into the scientific history of Lake Oporoa

The recently published manuscript ‘’Using paleolimnology to guide rehabilitation of a culturally significant lake in New Zealand ” tracks the environmental history of Lake Oporoa in Rangitīkei. The manuscript includes 16 authors from seven research institutes and Rangitīkei iwi members. It is a key output from the four-year partnership of Lakes380 researchers and Ngā Puna Rau […]

Tracing the neglect of lakes in New Zealand freshwater politics

Freshwater has become a key political issue in Aotearoa New Zealand over the last 15 years. Yet the social and ecological values and degraded state of many lakes have received limited public attention to date. In their recently published article ‘Tracing the neglect of lakes in New Zealand’s freshwater politics‘, Kiely McFarlane and Charlotte Šunde […]

Metagenomic insights – sediment microbial communities in freshwater lakes

A new scientific paper lead by Laura Biessy and John Pearman explores the function of bacteria in three of the lakes in the  Tūwharekai (Ashburton Basin, Canterbury). The research uses metagenomics and demonstrates how this data can be used to explore causes of lake degradation. Metagenomics is a technique that is used to explore the […]

Distribution of bacteria in lakes of Aotearoa-New Zealand

A new paper led by John Pearman (shown in picture below, on right) was recently published in Frontiers in Microbiology. It looks at the distribution patterns of bacteria in the water column of lakes in Aotearoa-New Zealand. ⁠ You can read it here.⁠Samples were taken from the surface water of 167 lakes spread across Aotearoa-New […]

How long can sediment be stored for DNA analysis?

As part of Lakes380 and other large projects worldwide hundreds of sediment cores are being collected. Sometimes these are from places where it is not easy to store them chilled or because of the sheer numbers of cores collected they might get stored for weeks before sampling. In this recently published study Katie Brasell and […]

Detecting cyanobacteria in sediment cores

Cyanobacteria are present in all lakes, but when conditions are favorable they can multiply (bloom) and take over the lake ecosystem, especially in the summer. We can see this change in cyanobacteria over time by studying their remnants in lake sediment cores,. Pigments produced by the cyanobacteria have been studied for decades, while more recent […]

A new tool to assess lake water quality

Our first manuscript that uses our national surface dataset has been published. You can see the manuscript here or email [email protected] for a copy. The Lakes380 team has successfully developed a DNA-based method that uses bacteria to assess the current water quality of a lake. Lakes around the world are being transformed by human actions. […]

A new DNA-based tool to detect tuna (eel)

The Lakes380 team has developed a new DNA-based tool to detect tuna (short and long-finned eel) in lakes and rivers. This method will assist with understanding the distribution of this taonga (treasured) species in our waterways. The New Zealand long-finned and short-finned eel are taonga species and are found in lakes and rivers across the […]

How do lake microbial communities respond to large earthquakes?

Led by PhD student Katie Brasell the study Lake microbial communities are not resistant or resilient to repeated large-scale natural pulse disturbances just published in the journal Molecular Ecology explores how lake bacteria recover following a series of four magnitude 8 earthquakes over a 1000-year period. The study focuses on Lake Paringa on the West […]

Can a single sample capture all the bacterial diversity in a sediment core layer?

This was the question Lakes380 research John Pearman and team set out to explore in their recently published research Investigating variability in microbial community composition in replicate environmental DNA samples down lake sediment core. The paper was published in the international journal PLoS one. The research found that while multiple samples were required to capture […]