We are absolutely thrilled (or rather otterly delighted) to be the winners of the Floundering Zone! Competition was both fierce and really fun, and we’ve really enjoyed being part of this. Many thanks are due to the 25 Genomes team from I’m a Scientist – get me out of here and the Sanger Institute for giving us this opportunity.
The online chats were at times fast and furious; questions from students and public alike were insightful and thought-provoking. Despite being otter researchers, we actually learned something from the chats, too. For instance, we didn’t know that otter faeces had been used as an aphrodisiac, and hadn’t considered whether otters with glowing bums might be easier to survey (shoutout to one of our lovely competitors, the Glowworm!).
We want to take the opportunity to thank our supporters, who logged in from all over the world. We look forward to working with other members of the IUCN Otter Specialist Group to interpret the otter genome sequencing results, and to apply this knowledge to otter conservation. Soon, we might be looking for prospective PhD students or postdoctoral researchers to work with us on the otter genome data.
As champions for the Eurasian Otter genome sequencing proposal, we also really owe thanks to our fantastic team from the Cardiff University Otter Project, including Emma Ashby, Laura Nassralla, Nia Thomas, Amy Williams Schwartz, Anne-Fleur Brand, Juliet Hynes, Lorna Drake, Magdalena Hartmann. Additional thanks are due to our wider network of colleagues within the Organisms and Environment Division at Cardiff University and numerous external collaborators.
Thanks to all who #VotedOtter!
Dr Frank Hailer
Dr Elizabeth Chadwick
lecturers at Cardiff University
Thanks to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute for funding 25 Genomes.