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Mathew Seymour

Biodiversity is a fundamental component of life that science has struggled to understand, chiefly due to limitations of traditional methodology. My research activity generally focuses on using modern statistical and molecular ecology methods to ask questions related to how spatial, temporal, abiotic and biotic factors influence biodiversity and population dynamics. These projects have included landscape genetics of threespine stickleback in northern Iceland, protist mesocosm experiments, Swiss geospatial datasets, environmental DNA campaigns/experiments and (currently) global biogeography arthropod datasets via LIFEPLAN.


Originating from the USA, I did my BAs in wildlife management and environment natural resources at the University of Wyoming. My Msc was on evolutionary biology of threespine stickleback at Holar, Iceland (2011). My PhD at ETH in Zurich, Switzerland (2014), focused on riverine metacommunity dynamics of protist and macroinvertebrates. I did a short post-doc in Mississippi looking at population dynamics of agricultural pest species before doing an extensive post-doc at Bangor, UK, using environmental DNA to understand community and metacommunity dynamics in river systems. Currently I working with Tomas Roslin, as a post-doc in the LIFEPLAN project, to understand the spatial, temporal, biotic and abiotic components of global arthropod biodiversity.


Bangor University - BSX3139 basic principles, methodology and applications of molecular tools to ecology and evolution

Bangor University - BSM-4125; - Masters by research module: Project Preparation

Bangor University - C7AA, Environmental DNA practical

Physalia Workshop - Intro to Environmental DNA

USDA Workshop - Introduction to analyses in R

Eawag - Methods in experimental freshwater ecology


01/2017 - present  (Molly Czachur; PhD) Using environmental DNA metabarcoding to reveal genetic fish diversity in multiple marine systems of South Africa

01/2018 - present (Antony Smith; PhD) Modelling Arctic charr population dynamics to assess the outcome of management interventions

05/2018 - present  (Delene Bezuidenhout; Msc) Monitoring biodiversity recovery after trawling using environmental DNA approaches

01/2019 – 09/2019 (Hosam Alqurashi; Msc) Field based assessment of Arctic charr using Environmental DNA (eDNA) and qPCR

01/2018 – 11/2019 (Rashnat Moushomi; Msc) Exploring the Origin of Macrobial Environmental DNA (eDNA) Via Size Sorted qPCR

07/2016 – 06/2017 (Gregary Wilgar; Msc) Understanding the Fate of Macrobial Environmental DNA in Freshwater Biofilms

Selected publications

Seymour M, Edwards F, Cosby J, de Bruyn M, Carvalho G, Creer S. Executing multi-taxa eDNA ecological assessment via traditional metrics and interactive networks (2020) Science of the Total Environment DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138801

Rashnat M, Wilgar G, Carvalho GR, Creer S, Seymour M. (2019) Environmental DNA is subcellular and nuclear; findings from a temporal, size-sorting mesocosm experiment. Scientific Reports DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-48984-7

Seymour M (2019) Rapid progression and future of environmental DNA research. Communications Biology DOI: 10.1038/s42003-019-0330-9

Pennekamp F, Pontarp M, Tabi A, Altermatt F, Alther R, Choffat Y, Fronhofer E, Ganesanandamoorthy P, Garnier A, Griffiths J, Greene S, Horgan K, Massie T, Mächler E, Palamara GM, Seymour M, Petchey O. (2018) Biodiversity increases and decreases ecosystem stability Nature DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0627-8

Seymour M, Durance I, Cosby BJ, Ransom-Jones E, Deiner K, Wilgar G, Ormerod SJ, Colbourne JK, Edwards F, Bik H, Emmett BA, deBruyn M, Carvalho G, Creer S. (2018) Acidity promotes degradation of multi-species eDNA in lotic mesocosms. Communications Biology DOI: doi:10.1038/s42003-017-0005-3 - Editors’ Choice 2019

Deiner K, Bik H, Mächler E, Seymour M, Lacoursière-Roussel A, Altermatt F, Creer S, Bista I, Lodge D, de Vere N, Pfrender M, Bernatchez L. (2017) Environmental DNA metabarcoding: Transforming how we survey animal and plant communities. Molecular Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/mec.14350

Bista I, Carvalho G, Walsh K, Seymour M, Hajibabaei M, Lallias D, Christmas M, Creer S. (2017) Annual time-series analysis of aqueous eDNA reveals ecologically relevant dynamics of lake ecosystem biodiversity. Nature Communications. 8: 14087 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14087

Seymour M., O. P. Perera, H. W. Fescemyer, R. E. Jackson, S. J. Fleischer, and C. A. Abel. (2016) Peripheral genetic structure of Bollworm (Helicoverpa zea) indicates asynchronous panmixia. Ecology and Evolution. 6(10), 3198-3207. DOI: 10.1111/fwb.12816

Seymour M., K. Deiner, & F. Altermatt. (2016) Scale and scope matter when explaining varying patterns of community composition in river networks. Basic and Applied Ecology. 17(2): 134-144. DOI: 10.1016/j.baae.2015.10.007

Seymour M., E. Fronhofer, & F. Altermatt. (2015) Dendritic network structure and dispersal affect temporal dynamics of diversity and species persistence. Oikos. 124: 908-916. DOI: 10.1111/oik.02354

Seymour M & Altermatt F (2014) Active colonization dynamics and diversity patterns are influenced by dendritic network connectivity and species interactions. Ecology and Evolution. 4, 1243-1254. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1020

Seymour M, Räsänen K, Holderegger R, Kristjánsson BK (2013) Connectivity in a pond system influences migration and genetic structure in threespine stickleback. Ecology and Evolution. 3, 492-502. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.476