Samuel Rapp and fellow students develop BlueWaltzBio to make eDNA more accessible for research applications

My name is Sam Rapp, I was a CAMINO intern in the Raimondi Carr Lab two summers ago! I am in my final year as an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology undergraduate. Over the past 9 months, I co-founded and have been leading a group called BlueWaltzBio. BlueWaltzBio is a group of all undergraduate students at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) whose mission is to enable scientists to tackle molecular ecology questions regardless of software programming experience level. We are currently building tools that assist researchers in exploring genomics databases to make the bioinformatics of Environmental DNA (eDNA) research more accessible and user friendly. We were founded in a spring 2020 Hacking For Oceans class, which teaches the lean startup methodology to solve sustainability problems facing the world’s oceans. To date, BlueWaltzBio has completed over 70 informational interviews with lab technicians, principal investigators, and government officials to build a deep understanding of the problems facing environmental DNA researchers. We created the video being shared with y’all to highlight the potential impact eDNA can have if scientists and regulators around the world have access to these emerging techniques. Our team is going to be presenting at SURU this quarter and is planning to publish our first programming tool very soon.

Samuel Rapp and the Blue Waltz Bio team took home 2nd place for Talk Presentations at the Symposium for Undergraduate Research at UC Santa Cruz:

If you want to keep up with what we are doing or get involved you can follow us on Twitter at @BlueWaltzBio or contact me at