Molecular Methods Workgroup


What are we doing?

The Molecular Methods Workgroup will support the coordination and collaboration of research and monitoring efforts across the state focused on generating biological data using molecular methods for bioassessment and environmental monitoring applications. The Workgroup will identify best practices for generating DNA-based data and provide resources to the management community, policy-makers, and the public for interpreting and distributing molecular results.


Molecular methods are becoming increasing popular in environmental monitoring and bioassessment applications.  From quantitative PCR to metagenomics, these methods provide rapid, efficient, and affordable solutions to challenges facing monitoring programs. However, the rapid evolution of the DNA field has resulted in a lack of clear guidance on best practices for generating consistent and robust molecular data. Additionally, there is a need for improved communication among researchers to build consensus on analytical methods as well as to identify opportunities for collaboration. As these molecular methods become more widespread, the need for consistency and accuracy in molecular data becomes increasingly important.

For more information please view and comment on the Workgroup’s Charter


The Workgroup will focus on:

  1. Consensus-building: Identify and provide recommendations on best practices for molecular methods including sample collection, sample processing, and analytical pipelines. Identify key technical challenges in generating DNA-based data to prioritize further research, as well as discuss emerging molecular methods and their potential utility in monitoring applications.

  2. Communication: Provide online resources for communicating molecular results to management communities and water quality managers to enhance the interpretation and efficacy of molecular data.

  3. Coordination: Improve coordination among research groups, sampling programs, and monitoring agencies to enhance collaborations and minimize redundancies in sample collection.

To access the products developed by the group please navigate to their Google drive website here.


Who are we?

Water Resources Control Board logo

Water Quality logo
California Fish and Wildlife logo
Natural History Museum logo

Smithsonian logo
Genidiaqs logo
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration logo

Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program logo
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute logo
University of California Davis logo

City of San Diego logo
Source Molecular logo
Nature Metrics logo

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power logo
University of California Riverside logo
Orange County Sheriff's Department logo

South Orange County Wastewater Authority logo
University of California Los Angeles logo
Yurok Tribe logo

California Environmental DNA logo
United States Department of the Interior logo


Become a MMW Member!

Membership is open to anyone with an interest in contributing to the development and use of genomic methods for measuring water and ecosystem health!

Membership Benefits:

Chance to connect with potential collaborators
Opportunity to participate in method and tool development
Access to multiple datasets
Contribute to science and resources supporting the use of molecular methods for water quality and ecosystem health.

To join the MMW contact the workgroup Chair Susanna Theroux at