May 24, 2021 | News
NatureMetrics, a fast growing nature data business, relocates to Surrey Research Park to expand its growing business delivering biodiversity data to business, NGOs and governments using DNA as it receives a £6.5m investment.
NatureMetrics is run by three women, Dr Kat Bruce, founder and CTO, Katie Critchlow, CEO and Dr Juliet Jones, who also gained her PhD at University of Surrey. The company currently employs 45 people but expects that to grow to over 70 by the end of the year. NatureMetrics is currently recruiting in business development, communications and laboratory and data science for their growing team.
The company surveys biodiversity using tiny traces of DNA left behind in the environment by all species from bacteria to blue whales.
Dr Kat Bruce, the company founder and CTO said: “Forensic scientists have used DNA to identify individuals at crime scenes for years – now we can use our technology to identify the whole range of species, from bacteria to birds, present in the environment using small samples of soil or water. Our technology can identify tiny fragments of DNA left behind by species and pinpoint exactly which species it is from.”
Grant Bourhill, Chief Executive Officer at Surrey Research Park, comments: “There is increasing recognition of the fragility of our natural ecosystems, with an urgent need for enhanced monitoring and mitigation against decline. I am delighted therefore to welcome NatureMetrics to our growing environmental cluster. I hope we can further support NatureMetrics business growth via the wider community at the Research Park, in addition to the connectivity and collaboration with the University, including with our planned Institute for Sustainability.”
The company will now embark on a three-month process to equip its new 6000-square-foot laboratory with cutting-edge technology. This will ensure that the tiny quantities of DNA present in the samples can be extracted and reported to their clients, a method they have perfected over the company’s five-year history.
CEO Katie Critchlow added:
“After a year where our non-lab staff worked remotely, we recognised a strong need to go above and beyond to provide a great working environment for staff to encourage people back to the office for that face to face sparking and sharing of ideas we have all missed this year. The Surrey Research Park provides that environment and kudos in a convenient location for a wide range of talent in London and the south east needed as we scale up.”