Taxonomy Laboratory


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Consulting Services

EcoAnalysts has the unique advantage of having the expertise to perform multiple components of compliance monitoring programs entirely in-house. As a private environmental consulting entity, this includes quick turnaround times in sample processing and analysis. With two laboratories dedicated to ecotoxicology and taxonomy, as well as a select team of ecologists that are skilled in both areas of expertise, EcoAnalysts is able to provide the technical personnel and facilities needed to efficiently and expertly produce reliable and defensible results for large and small assessment programs of marine, estuarine, and freshwater habitats. Our consulting scientists can assist with all stages of assessment from study design, technical negotiations, and project management of interdisciplinary teams.

Ecology Field Survey Support

We routinely provide sampling equipment and experienced personnel to support a range of ecological investigations including freshwater, nearshore and deep-water benthic surveys. This includes field sampling using agency standard methodologies with van Veen, Ponar, vibracores, kick nets, box-cores or specially designed grab sampling devices to obtain samples of sediment and biota for assessments.

Ecosystem Analysis

The analysis and interpretation of benthic community data is performed entirely in-house by qualified scientists with prolific experience in aquatic toxicology, sediment field sampling, invertebrate taxonomy, and/or marine benthic ecology. Analyses using multivariate approaches are conducted to further examine structural similarities/differences between benthic communities at stations and investigate potential correlations between abiotic and biotic variables. These supplemental analyses are conducted with multivariate software (PRIMER-E) by ecologists formally trained in its use and data interpretation.

Laboratory Services for Biological Community Assessment

Since 1995, EcoAnalysts has grown to become a recognized leader in the bioassessment industry. We have built one of the most rigorous and accurate sample sorting, taxonomy, and quality assurance and control processes in North America.

EcoAnalysts provides taxonomic identification of marine and freshwater species, including:

  • Benthic Infauna

  • Terrestrial invertebrates

  • Periphyton (diatoms and soft algae) and Phytoplankton

  • Zooplankton

  • Fish (eggs, larvae, juvenile, and adult) and fish stomach contents

Project Highlights: Benthic Community Assessments

SPAWAR: Santa Margarita Estuary, CA

The Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center Pacific contracted EcoAnalysts to provide support in the development of a water and sediment sampling design for the Santa Margarita Estuary to assess if water quality goals are being met. Our ecologists assisted in field collection, processed all benthic infaunal samples (including sorting and taxonomy), coordinated the chemistry analysis of water and sediment samples, performed benthic community analyses as required by the permit stakeholders, and summarized all results into one comprehensive report.

In addition, EcoAnalysts ecologists conducted extensive multivariate statistical analyses to determine if any strong correlations between the community data and abiotic variables (such as sediment chemistry results, conductivity measurements, and the presence of macroalgae) were present. Due to the high variability between the required permit Sediment Quality Objective (SQO) indices for the survey, this additional interpretive step was vital to determining if disturbance level was truly reflective of community condition within a changing habitat. While the communities at most stations were displaying structural similarities to those typical of a dynamic estuarine environment, without this supplemental analysis most survey stations would have been classified with a moderate to high level of impairment under permit standards. A full synthesis report is currently in review and will influence the monitoring program within the estuary in the coming years.

Transocean, Ltd.: Hull Invasive Species Rapid Screening

During the cross-ocean transfer of an Arctic drilling rig from the Chukchi Sea, AK to Puget Sound, WA, and Norwegian waters, EcoAnalysts taxonomists and ecologists were vital in the rapid screening of hull scrapings containing fouling organisms to ensure that no species of concern would be entering domestic or foreign waters. Organisms were identified and screened against Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Aquatic Invasive Species List as well as Norway’s “Black List” quickly and efficiently to support certification inspections and permit compliance.

What Can We Do For You?

  • Program Management

  • Design and Implement Monitoring Programs

  • Subcontractor Management

  • Safety Management

  • Laboratory Services

Service Applications

  • Federal and State Environmental Permitting and Compliance

  • Habitat Assessment, Restoration and Compliance

  • Baseline and Post-Baseline Assessment

  • Site Investigation and Monitoring

  • Natural Resource Damage Assessment

  • Ecological Risk Assessments

  • Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Studies

  • Biodiversity Management Plans

  • Climate Change Assessment

  • Oil Spill Response and Planning