The NatureMetrics Team

We combine world-leading expertise in biodiversity science and molecular methods.

Our mission is to bridge the gap between these two fields so that DNA-based technology can fulfil its promise in revolutionising our capacity to monitor the natural world.

NatureMetrics was founded after working closely with environmental managers to demonstrate the power of molecular methods for biodiversity assessment. As researchers, we had often read excellent articles describing revolutionary new tools for environmental management, but these were published in molecular journals and were never communicated effectively to applied ecologists. As we began to speak about and demonstrate these methods, their applicability became clear, as did the need for a dedicated laboratory that could provide tailored services to environmental managers in the public and private sector. NatureMetrics is that lab.

Our philosophy is one of openness in terms of methods and applications, and we seek to educate end-users in order to build trust and confidence in these methods. We also look to interact openly with the global academic research community to facilitate knowledge exchange and bring the very best solutions to the environmental management community. 

Prof. Douglas Yu

Co-founder & Scientific Advisor

Doug is a Professor of Ecology at the University of East Anglia. He has a background in field ecology, giving him a profound understanding of (1) sampling and experimental design, (2) the physical and logistical challenges of conducting fieldwork and handling samples in remote locations, and (3) ecological statistics. Doug has been one of the pioneers of metabarcoding and has led the field in applying this technology to real environmental management challenges.

Prof. Alfried Vogler

Co-founder & Scientific Advisor

Alfried is a Professor of Molecular Systematics at Imperial College London, and has led methods development in this field for the last 20 years. Alfried’s expertise covers laboratory protocol development, metagenomics and bioinformatics. His lab recently pioneered a method to mass-produce mitogenome assemblies from shotgun-sequenced bulk samples, which can be used for quantitative biodiversity assessments.

Dr Kat Bruce

Co-founder & Managing Director

Kat's PhD (supervised by Doug) explored the use of metabarcoding as a tool for informing environmental management. This involved working alongside environmental managers to demonstrate and test the approach. Since then, and in preparation for launching NatureMetrics, Kat has worked for a technology startup accelerator and acted as COO for a high growth digital technology startup. NatureMetrics has been her full-time focus since January 2015.

Dr Cuong Q. Tang (CT)

Senior Scientist

CT is a molecular taxonomist with extensive experience of high throughput DNA barcoding, metabarcoding and mitochondrial metagenomics. His DEFRA-funded postdoctoral research fellowship focused on the development of a protocol for DNA-based assessment of UK pollinator diversity, and he joined the team as a Senior Scientist in August 2016.

Scott Townend

Molecular Lab Technician

Scott is a molecular lab technician, who joined the team in April 2016. Having previously worked in a high toxicity laboratory handling radioactive and highly toxic materials, Scott is used to working to a high standard of accuracy while maintaining the highest level of safety.