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Pernille Meyer recently finished her MSc degree validating DNA metabarcoding as a tool for diet analysis of reindeer

Pernille was accepted as a MSc student at University of Oslo, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) with Dr. Galina Gusarova as her main supervisor two years ago. She conducted part of her work including animal experiments in our research group at Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway in close cooperation with co-supervisors Prof Lars Folkow and Prof Monica A Sundset. Additionally, she also had the opportunity to collaborate with Associate Prof. Tove Utsi (UiT, Alta), who collected samples from four reindeer gastrointestinal (GI) tracts. 
Free-ranging reindeer eat a diverse diet of graminoids, herbs, shrubs, woody plants, mushroom, lichens and mosses. DNA metabarcoding is a next-generation sequencing method that in theory can be used as a non-invasive method to determine diet composition down to species level. Pernille has conducted two experiments to reveal potential shortcomings and advantages of this method: Does DNA metaba…

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