One company with one global mission.

We bring the power of genetics to frontline environmental management.

2014
2015-2016
2017-2018
2019
2020

NatureMetrics was founded in 2014 by Dr Kat Bruce, Prof. Doug Yu and Prof. Alfried Vogler – molecular ecologists who were among the pioneers of DNA-based biodiversity assessment. Their research provided some of the earliest demonstrations of the power of molecular methods for species and ecosystem monitoring, showing how these tools could revolutionise the world of environmental management. However, they became increasingly certain that this potential would only be realized if the tools were accessible to environmental managers in a standardised way through a commercial service.

Thus, NatureMetrics was born to bridge the gap between molecular ecologists and environmental managers. Our diverse team of specialists now straddle the worlds of applied ecology, academic research, environmental policy, industry standards and biodiversity conservation. We see ourselves as playing a major role in developing a new industry – laying robust foundations for growth by working collaboratively with all stakeholders to demonstrate and validate our methods, building trust, confidence and understanding so that we can accelerate collective understanding and protection of the natural world.

Following initial support from the NERC Follow-On Fund in 2015, we raised £250k from Iceni Seedcorn Fund and a consortium of business angels to set up our first labs in early 2016. We opened our labs in April 2016 (just in time for newt season!) and have been delivering our commercial services ever since.

Our focus in 2016-2017 was on optimizing and validating our core services of eDNA metabarcoding for fish and other vertebrates, including the design of our sampling kits and refinement of laboratory and bioinformatics workflows. Early collaborations with Dr Micaela Hellstrom at Aquabiota (Sweden) and Dr Bernd Hänfling (University of Hull) were key to this stage of our journey, along with early pilot projects with ERM, Natural England and Jacobs.

2017-2018 saw steady and consistent growth of our team and our commercial offerings. With our core services validated, we began working on projects that were larger, more complex, and further afield, including a major baseline study of the Northern Peruvian Amazon with WWF Peru. Our Innovate UK-funded project, NemaCode, enabled the development of our soil and sediment analysis services.

2019 saw the start of a major expansion following a £2.5M investment led by Green Angels Syndicate with TriplePoint. During this year we also worked on our first major EIA projects with the energy, mining and infrastructure sectors. This included freshwater, marine and terrestrial projects in the UK, Latin America and Africa.

In early 2020, Katie Critchlow joined us as CEO to steer us through this next phase of growth and consolidate our position as global leaders in this industry. Despite the challenges of 2020, we have continued to grow both in terms of the scale of our projects, the development of our products and services, and the size and expertise of our team, which has doubled in size over the course of the year. In particular, we have significantly expanded our business development and operations teams to reflect the now-global nature of our client base.

A GCRF-funded project in Mozambique helped us to further develop our logistical and technical capabilities while establishing a fantastic network of collaborators in Southern Africa. Meanwhile, we were selected for the HS2 accelerator, which has supported development of our digital strategy and facilitated a valuable large-scale demonstration project on woodland soil biodiversity. We have partnered with various international conservation NGOs to develop ambitious projects for global biodiversity conservation and to validate our solutions for business and biodiversity.

NatureMetrics: Our Facilities

Our purpose-build laboratories are setting the standard for delivering DNA-based monitoring services, including physical separation of pre and post-PCR workflows and integrated UV lighting for the routine decontamination of workspaces.

Our laboratories also contain positive pressure environments for the handling of samples which are sensitive to contamination. In addition, we have an Illumina MiSeq sequencer on-site.

Our set-up grants us complete control over our service delivery due to not having to outsource any element of the metabarcoding pipeline, ensuring you receive a service that is not just outstanding quality, but exceptionally efficient as well.

NatureMetrics: Our DNA

Laying the foundations for widespread application of new technology requires building trust through sharing knowledge and understanding. In this sense, education is central to what we do, so it is no accident that our five core values spell out the word TEACH.

We share our knowledge every day with private sector clients, conservation partners, policy-makers, educational institutions and the general public through a wide range of different projects and activities.

Our five fundamental values define how we operate and are the foundation of our success. These values are;

 

Transparency

NatureMetrics are committed to transparency across methodologies, operations and services. We will educate you about the tools you can use, ensuring the trust and confidence built in those tools are just as validated as the results they yield.

Excellence

We exert our very best into all that we do. You can rest assured we will go that extra mile for you, as we do for each other.

Advancement

NatureMetrics pushes the boundaries of genetic sciences, innovation and services. We are unafraid of challenges, bold in trying new things and daring in our quest to make biodiversity universally measurable.

Collaboration

NatureMetrics seek to interact openly with the global research community. Our approach ensures efficient knowledge exchange and empowers us to provide you with industry-leading solutions that enhance the environmental management of biodiversity.

Honesty

We believe strong relationships are vital to success. We know our success is attributed, in part, by the fact we place honesty at the heart of the relationships and engagements we build.

NatureMetrics: Our Facilities

Our purpose-build laboratories are setting the standard for delivering DNA-based monitoring services, including physical separation of pre and post-PCR workflows and integrated UV lighting for the routine decontamination of workspaces.
Our laboratories also contain positive pressure environments for the handling of samples which are sensitive to contamination. In addition, we have an Illumina MiSeq sequencer on-site.
Our set-up grants us complete control over our service delivery due to not having to outsource any element of the metabarcoding pipeline, ensuring you receive a service that is not just outstanding quality, but exceptionally efficient as well.