Pathway to Increase Standards and Competency of eDNA Surveys (PISCeS)

A National Workshop on Environmental DNA


The University of Guelph’s Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO), Department of Integrative Biology & College of Biological Sciences are pleased to host a National eDNA workshop in the Arboretum on October 11-12, 2018. Academia, regulators, and industry will join in a discussion on Pathways to Increase Standards and competency of Environmental DNA Surveys. The intent is to explore and inform public policy, industry strategies and future research. Day 2 will consist of an eDNA tools training session especially designed for PISCeS participants. The session is free for all registered participants.





The 2-day workshop will be held on Thursday, October, 11th and Friday, October 12th at the University of Guelph Arboretum and Summerlee Science Complex Atrium. 

Day 1 - October 11th, 2018 Day 2 - October 12th, 2018

Registration Opens: 7:00 am (Arboretum)

Workshop: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm (Arboretum)

Reception and Poster Session: 6:00 - 9:00 pm (Summerlee Science Complex Atrium)

eDNA Tools Training Session: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm (Arboretum)



For a detailed agenda, please click here.

Preliminary session overview and direction of interest:

  1. Where is the science at? Presented by speakers from academia.
  2. How is the science starting to be applied? Presented by speakers from industry.
  3. How will eDNA impact the regulatory framework? Presented by speakers from regulatory agencies. 
  4. The need for a National Network. Open discussion concerning a development of a National eDNA Network.


The deadline for early bird registration is September, 15th 2018. If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact Conference Services at the University of Guelph at 519-824-4120 ext. 53350 or via email at



The Scientific Committee of the PISCeS workshop invites abstracts to be submitted for either poster or oral presentation related to the subjects of active or passive eDNA detection and its applications, especially as relates to best practices, standards, and applications involving Species-at-Risk in Canada. We are pleased to note that proceedings from the workshop will be published in a special volume of the forthcoming new journal “Environmental DNA” (Editor-in-Chief, Louis Bernatchez). 

Abstract Submission Guidelines:
  • An abstract can be submitted as an Oral or Poster presentation, but due to time constraints, opportunities for oral presentations are limited.
  • Abstracts already published elsewhere or based on full papers that have already been published will not be considered for inclusion.
  • All abstracts must be submitted as an MS Word doc attachment via email to with “Abstract Submission” indicated in the email header. The abstract submission doc must include: Preference (Poster or Oral), Title, Authors and their affiliations, up to 250-word abstract, and up to 5 keywords. Abstracts must be submitted in English.
  • Abstracts selected for inclusion will be notified by 15 September
Click HERE to view all abstracts
Scientific Program Committee:
Cathryn Abbott
Research Scientist 
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Louis Bernatchez, Professor
Institut de Biologie Integrative et des Systems (IBIS)
Universite Laval
Robert Hanner, Associate Professor 
Biodiversity Institute of Ontario / Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
University of Guelph
Daniel Heath, Professor
Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research
University of Windsor


PISCeS Keynote Speakers

Dr. Caren Goldberg
   School of the Environment
Washington State University

Dr. Taylor Wilcox
   National Genomics Center for Fish and Wildlife Conservation

PISCeS Local Organizing Committee

Steve Crookes
Biodiversity Institute of Ontario
Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Department of Integrative Biology 
University of Guelph
Robert Hanner
Biodiversity Institute of Ontario
Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Department of Integrative Biology 
University of Guelph
Tzitziki Loeza-Quintana
Biodiversity Institute of Ontario
Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Department of Integrative Biology 
University of Guelph
Rob Young
Biodiversity Institute of Ontario
Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Department of Integrative Biology 
University of Guelph

PISCeS Sponsors

The PISCeS Organizing and Scientific Committees acknowledge financial support from:

Additional opportunities for sponsorship are sought and interested partied can seek more information by emailing denoting “sponsorship” in the subject header of the message.

PISCeS Accommodation

Delta Hotels by Marriot Guelph Conference Centre - Rates based on availability

Delta Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre is located at the corner of Stone Road & Gordon Street and is located on University property. Guelph’s only 4-star hotel features 148 contemporary guest rooms & suites with on-site fitness. Guests also enjoy complimentary access to Movati Athletic. Please note, there is an additional parking fee. To make a reservation, please call directly at 519-780-3700 and reference the University of Guelph rate or book online.

Days Inn Guelph - $98.99 per night

Located just one block south of the University, Days Inn offers you our newly renovated guest rooms with all the conveniences of home; coffee maker, hairdryer, iron and board, all at an affordable rate. Start your day off right with our Complimentary Daybreak Café Breakfast! The Days Inn offers free parking, wireless high-speed internet, and local phone calls. For reservations, please call 519-822-9112.

Holiday Inn Guelph Hotel & Conference Centre - $125.00 per night

The Holiday Inn Guelph Hotel & Conference Centre is located 1.6 kilometers west of the University of Guelph (5-minute drive) and across the street from Guelph's Stone Road Mall and conveniently located within walking distance to many restaurants. It offers complimentary parking, Elements on Stone Restaurant and Lounge, an indoor pool, sauna, and fitness center. For reservations, please call 519-836-0231 and say you are with the eDNA Workshop or book online and provide the corporate code UVG.


How to get to the Arboretum at the University of Guelph

How to get to the reception and poster session at the Summerlee Science Complex Atrium

PISCeS Social Media

For updates and information, please follow us on Twitter

PISCeS Inquiries

Please direct general inquiries to: Robert Hanner, PhD
                                                      Associate Professor 
                                                      Biodiversity Institute of Ontario 
                                                      Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
                                                      Department of Integrative Biology
                                                      University of Guelph
                                                      519-824-4120 ext 53479                                                                           


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