First Cores Cut and Sampled for DNA


An important milestone was reached by the Lost Frontiers team last week, when the first batch of cores were sampled for SedaDNA at Warwick. After being removed from cold storage in Bradford, where they were deposited following retrieval in the North Sea by Gardline’s MV Ivero (, the cores made their way to the Allaby Lab at the University of Warwick. Conditions were tightly controlled to ensure no contamination of the material, and sedimentary units of interest were carefully sampled in a dedicated clean laboratory.

The 9 cores split in half so far have yielded exceptionally well preserved material which featured numerous peat deposits, laminated organic clays and a rare full sequence documenting the marine inundation of Doggerland. Although it will be some time before all the results from the SedaDNA sampling become available, there will still be plenty of activities around the cores. The remaining half of each core will now be moved to the University of Wales for further sampling by Dr Martin Bates and analysis at the University of Birmingham by Dr David Smith – including palynology and palaeoentomology and a separate programme of radiocarbon (C14) dating. With another batch of cores to be sampled early in December, it’s certain we’ll have more interesting news to share soon.

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