Chasing the microbial diversity of Cambridge's freshwater

The Project

Punting on the river Cam

The Microbiome of the Cam

Punting & Sequencing (PuntSeq) started off as a small project of Cambridge PhD students
 using a portable real-time DNA analyzer

to discover bacteria in the local river Cam. 


Monitoring water quality

Our aim is to develop a generally applicable approach to profile microorganisms in any aquatic environment. Easy, at low-cost.


In light of continuously decreasing freshwater qualities worldwide, monitoring workflows are becoming crucial.


Upcoming events

July 11, 2020

Join our online PuntSeq for Kids workshop!

 Living Mud: Grow your own microbial zoo

We are happy to present our very first online PuntSeq for Kids workshop instructed by our collaborator Susannah Salter and hosted by West Suffolk College. After the workshop you can upload your living mud photos here as well!


April 9, 2019

PuntSeq live on air at

Cambridge 105 radio

Hear Lara and Max talking about our research on Cambridge 105 radio as part of the Cambridge Breakfast show.


February 07, 2020

Our preprint is available on bioRxiv 

Hi Cambridge, DNA friends and river water enthusiasts around the world! After two years, our team is happy to present you the first nanopore sequencing analyses of the River Cam microbiome.


March 31, 2019

PuntSeq featured

in the BBC news

Read in this weeks BBC news article "DNA study of Cambridge river aims toidentify water bugs" how we use trans-portable DNA sequencing to identify potentially pathogenic bacteria in the river Cam


July 26, 2019

Interview on the DNA Sequencing Workshop 

We joined forces with the Biomake-space team to teach people how they can detect bacteria in the Cam. Learn more about the workshop in the interview by That's TV Cambridge.

Online Survey Summary-04-03 (wecompress.

January, 2019

Health and the River

Public Survey Analysis

We have conducted a public online survey assessing Cambridge citizens' general contact with the river Cam as well as peoples actual experiences. See what people have reported:

Social Media

Follow us on Twitter:


  • @PuntSeq Twitter Social Link Icon

Our Partners

PuntSeq Partner | University of Cambridge Logo
PuntSeq Partner | OpenPlant Fund Logo
PuntSeq Partner | Oxford Nanopore Logo
PuntSeq Partner | Qiagen Logo