Maura Palacios Mejia is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral Scholar in the Wayne Lab at UCLA. Her research focuses on applying environmental DNA (eDNA) to address issues in conservation management and urban planning. Her projects use eDNA to assess species assemblages in the Mojave Desert Springs, a threatened ecosystem and to explore microbial community changes in relation to hazardous materials at Brownfield sites throughout Southern California, for potential bioremediation practices. Maura also uses eDNA as a tool for education and outreach; teaching EEB 87, California’s DNA: A Field Course and running the CALeDNA Summer Research Internship and Institute programs.
Palacios Mejia, Maura, Emily Curd, Kiumars Edalati, Mark A. Renshaw, Roy Dunn, Daniel Potter, Naomi Fraga et al. “The utility of environmental DNA from sediment and water samples for recovery of observed plant and animal species from four Mojave Desert springs.” Environmental DNA. https://doi.org/10.1002/edn3.161
Parker, Sophie S., Andy Zdon, William T. Christian, Brian S. Cohen, Maura Palacios Mejia, Naomi S. Fraga, Emily E. Curd, Kiumars Edalati, and Mark A. Renshaw. “Conservation of Mojave Desert springs and associated biota: status, threats, and policy opportunities.” Biodiversity and Conservation (2020): 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-020-02090-7