The pilot studies of GEANS are at the heart of the project. These will be executed in close cooperation with stakeholders in order to ensure wide applicability. In these studies, DNA-based techniques will be applied in addition to traditional techniques in existing monitoring programs, providing proof of concept on the added value of genetic approaches in environmental health assessment. These pilots cover two broad areas, i.e. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Monitoring in relation to EU directives, such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).
For each pilot, target species will be defined for which DNA sequences are needed, appropriate protocols will be documented to use in lab and field, and generated data will be fed into biotic indicators to translate the outputs into simple information needed by national authorities to make sound management decisions.
In the end, results of all pilots will feed into an easy to use and understandable decision support framework helping interested stakeholders to make fit for purpose choices regarding genetic monitoring.
Current topics for pilot studies include: