Joint Research Activities


The JRA will assist in meeting researcher demands for usable DNA from museum specimens by enhancing and improving extraction technology and protocols. It will develop non-invasive tools for estimating the presence of ancient DNA and optimal extraction protocols in both ancient and recent specimens, through the following activities:

  • JRA 1: PrediCtoR: A novel decision-making software tool will be developed to help collections managers and users to quantify the risks associated with destructive analysis of specimens.
  • JRA 2: Screening: Development of a new screening protocol for non- or minimally-destructive analyses to complement PrediCtoR, enabling users to estimate the ancient DNA preservation status of rare or unique bone specimens.
  • JRA 3: MORDOR: (Methods for Optimal Recovery of DNA from Osteological Remains) Development of a system for ancient DNA extraction of very small samples from museum bone specimens.
  • JRA 4: Optimised DNA extraction techniques from botanical specimens: Development of protocols to overcome the masking effects of alcohol preservation, secondary compounds and the presence of cell walls in DNA extraction from plant and fungal collections, with a view to scale up eventually by automation.
  • JRA 5: Development of methods for DNA isolation from invertebrates with muco-polysaccharide-rich tissue: Includes replacing time-consuming single sample extractions with a high throughput DNA isolation procedure and improving yield from old samples.

If you would like more information about the JRAs, please click on the links or email: