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The Stumptown scud, Ramellogammarus similimanus, is a freshwater crustacean, whose distribution is limited to the Portland Metro area. Because this species lives exclusively in an urban area, we suspect it might need some protection. A problem was that it was previously necessary to collect, kill and examine specimens microscopically to detect this species. We developed a kinder, gentler method to monitor Stumptown scuds by detecting their residual DNA (environmental DNA) in water samples.
Did you know? Ramellogammarus similimanus was first discovered at a single location in Portland in 1958, but then was forgotten for 50 years. Happily, in 2008, we found this species in springs on Reed College campus. Since then, we have found a number of additional populations, but only within the Portland Metro area.
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