Interpreting the Biodiversity of Your Wardrobe

I love fashion, especially garments with animals on them. I wear so many of them, that my boss asked me about the biodiversity of my closet. I was genuinely curious so I counted all the plants, animals, and any other life forms that I could spot and calculated the Shannon Weiner Index, a real index…

What We’re Reading- Nov 3, 2017

Fight During Over-head Flight: Bear Physiological Responses to Drones The drone landscape is rapidly changing as more businesses incorporate drones and attention from hobbyists increases.  Drones have also been proposed as a conservation monitoring tool, both for counting elusive species and for surveying/deterring poachers.  A group of researchers wanted to know how animals respond when…

Domestication of Your Jack-O-Lantern

Happy Halloween everyone! As I was walking around the pumpkin patch picking out my Jack-O-Lantern-to-be, I started wondering: where in the world are pumpkins from?!  To be fair, as a phylogeographer it’s my job to wonder where different species came from and what geographic routes they took to arrive at their current distribution.  Usually a…

What We’re Reading- Oct 20, 2017

Genetic Conservation of Trees Both climate change, disease, habitat loss, and invasive species have increasingly threatened tree species with extirpation.  The US Department of Agriculture recently held a workshop on conserving genetic diversity of native trees.  The workshop produced an open document with over 90 abstracts and conference proceedings describing the highlights of the meeting. …

Happy 4th Blogiversary WildlifeSNPits!

On our 4th blogiversary, a huge “THANK YOU” to all of our readers! This year we wrote 25 original posts and 21 What We’re Reading posts.  Our top post (by a landslide) was How to Write a Student Travel Award Application.  Who knew there was such demand for travel award tips?!  Our top five posts…

What We’re Reading- Oct 6, 2017

Blood Meal Biodiversity Sampling biodiversity can be difficult for elusive species or at locations that are difficult to reach or navigate within like thick jungle habitat.  But researchers have a clever new way of biodiversity estimates in these places, capture invertebrates that feast on blood, then sequence the blood meal to identify the host species. …

What We’re Reading- Sept 29, 2017

Genetic Diversity on the Sea Floor We have so much to learn about the biodiversity in the deep ocean.  But for the species we do know, we have barely scratched the surface of understand the genetic diversity of these species.  This meta-analysis reviews all population genetic papers (a scant 77) about genetic diversity and population…

Breaking Through the Masses at Scientific Conferences

I’m off to the 2017 Wildlife Society Conference tomorrow. I’ve been to 22 conferences over the years, yet, I still find it can be an awkward experience to meet new colleagues. People think I am a social butterfly, but when you walk into a ballroom full of groups of people standing around tiny tables it…

What We’re Reading- Sept 15, 2017

If You Sing It, They Will Come (and Occupy New Habitat Patches) One of the biggest threats to species are small isolated habitat patches, where species can be extirpated (i.e. go locally extinct) from any patch.  The endangered Kirkland’s warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) lives in these types of patchy pine forests near the Great Lakes in…

What We’re Reading- Sept 8, 2017

Pro-Active Management of Genetic Diversity This paper quantified changes in genetic diversity in an experimental translocation of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) into four isolated populations from a single source population.  The authors found that translocating 10 fish into the experimental populations significantly increased allelic richness and heterozygosity in the first generation following translocation.  They also…

The Intersection of Conservation and Urban Evolution

I recently wrote about the new field of urban evolution which seeks to understand how diverse species have responded to the vast environmental changes related to urbanization.  I now want to focus on biodiversity conservation in urban environments. You don’t have to be a conservation scientist to intuitively understand that species composition and biodiversity are…

What We’re Reading- July 14, 2017

Words Matter A thought provoking opine which asks scientists if we’re being too careful with our words?  The authors discuss how the use of euphemisms to describe environmental challenges, scientific results, and interpretation/recommendations undermines conservation objectives, specifically of changing human behaviors.  They also challenge scientists to understand how we internalize euphemisms to justify our work…