Research facilitation and management for Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore industry

2016 Environmental Genomics Workshop

ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company and Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador hosted the first International Workshop on Environmental Genomics: Understanding the State of Science and Research Opportunities, in St. John’s, NL on June 2-3, 2016. The workshop was also supported by Genome Atlantic, the Research and Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Government of Canada (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and Industry, Science and Economic Development).

The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the state of the science of environmental genomics and identify research opportunities that could help advance mainstream applications of the technology in environmental characterization and monitoring efforts.

This workshop included leading experts in environmental genomics from international oil and gas companies, academic institutions, as well as governmental institutions from Canada, the United States, Europe, South America, Asia and Australia. A full workshop report is being prepared and will be made publicly available.

The following was the workshop Agenda:

Session 1 - Environmental Genomics Overview

  • Definitions and concepts – Interactive Discussions - Lucie N’Guessan
  • Beyond the limits of traditional biomonitoring: novel ecogenomic indices for biodiversity assessment - Jan Pawlowski
  • Biomonitoring 2.0 and beyond: how genomics is revolutionizing environmental assessment and monitoring - Mehrdad Hajibabaei
  • Ecological effect of environmental pollutants: development of a high throughput monitoring and assessment system for freshwater ecosystem health in China - Xiaowei Zhang

Session 2 - Environmental Genomics Research

  • Assessing the natural attenuation potential for oil and gas condensate in the marine environment using genomics techniques - Charles Greer
  • Environmental DNA: using molecular analysis to detect Boreal Toad (Anaxyrus boreas) in an industrial setting in Alberta - Brandon Booker
  • Environmental DNA can reveal the distribution of aquatic animals - Satoshi Yamamoto
  • Transcriptomic analysis of scallops Nodipecten nodosus exposed in situ to produced water - Afonso Bainy

Session 3 - Data Analysis and Interpretation

  • Comparing environmental survey data using the conventional approach and the genomics approach - Lucie N’Guessan
  • Newfoundland-Labrador high performance computing capacity at MUN - Jason Jackson

Session 4 - Biodiversity Surveys and Genomics

  • Overview of SNIS Workshop on eDNA benthic monitoring - Jan Pawlowski
  • The impact of seagrass regressions on diversity assessed through eDNA: strength and gap analysis - Anne Basseres & Sophie Arnaud-Haond
  • Metagenetic identification of benthic eukaryotes in sediments from Campos Basin, Brazil - Mauro Rebelo
  • Benthic diversity assessment using eDNA - Delina Lyon

Session 5 - From R&D to Applications

  • Overcoming key challenges to the use of DNA as a unit of ecosystem observation - Donald Baird
  • U.S. EPA DNA metabarcoding research applied to aquatic biomonitoring - Erik Pilgrim
  • Using environmental genomics to monitor and assess Australia’s marine environments - Anthony Chariton
  • Applying ecogenomic methods to routine biomonitoring programs: needs and challenges - Eric Stein

Please click on the following link to download the workshop report: 2016 International Workshop On Environmental Genomics Report

Workshop attendees can view workshop material on the Petroleum Research Document Portal.

Please complete a survey HERE regarding your interest in attending the 2nd Annual International Workshop on Environmental Genomics scheduled for June 1-2, 2017.

For more information, please contact Dave Finn at (709) 738-7917 or



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St. John's, NL, Canada A1C 3Z7

Tel: 709.738.7916

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