Grad Students- Nix the Snacks

As a graduate student I never brought snacks to my committee meetings.  It was definitely a thing in our department though- the bakers would prepare homemade cakes and pies, the I-can-burn-cereal-set would pull out the fruit and cheese, and the coffee lovers made sure there was a very full pot for the whole committee.  And…

Happy 5th Blogiversary WildlifeSNPits

I’m writing this year’s blogiversary post as me, Emily, instead of as the blog.  When I started SNPits one of my goals was for it to be an active blog at 5 years.  So YAY, today’s the day!  But while it’s still here (and growing annually in hits), I know (and take responsibility for) the…

The Future of Wildlife Management?

I recently attended the Western Black Bear Workshop and like many of these meetings the theme was on how to reduce human-bear conflict.  The workshop is mostly a forum for managers from different states and provinces to gather and exchange ideas on management problems and solutions, population trends, and hunting regulations.  I tried to capture…

What We’re Reading- June 8, 2018

Stakeholders Diverse Interests in Endangered Vulture Conservation The Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) is an endangered bird native across northern Africa, the Middle East, and as far east as the Indian subcontinent.  Researchers asked diverse stakeholders including hunters, ranchers, and tourists in northern Spain (the upper range of the vulture’s distribution) about their knowledge of the species…

What We’re Reading- March 2, 2018

Rock Art Natural History Many ecologists are interested in the distribution of species and how community composition changes over time.  In the present, we can go into the field and survey for species presence and absence.  However, to infer species distributions in the past we either have to have fossils or zooarcheological evidence, or less…

What We’re Reading- Feb 23, 2018

Wallaby Phylogeny Based on both morphological and limited genetic markers, the phylogeny of wallabies was uncertain.  This paper (open) sequenced the genomes of 11 species of wallabies and kangaroos and built a multi-locus phylogeny.  Three of these species are IUCN listed as “near threatened” (yellow-footed rock wallaby, black wallaroo, and parma wallaby).  The authors observed…

What We’re Reading- Feb 9, 2018

A Lion Roars Back Lions have not been observed in Gabon for 20 years, until a camera trap project set up to investigate chimps captured a photo in 2015!  The Gabonese government expressed interest in translocating lions into the country to establish a breeding population.  One consideration for translocation projects is to move genetically similar…

Rhino Conservation: Dehorning Demand

There are five living species of rhinoceros: black (Diceros bicornis), white (Ceratotherium simum), Javan (Rhinoceros sondaicus), Indian (Rhinoceros unicornis), and Sumatran (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) rhinos.  And not too long ago there was a woolly rhino (Coelodonta antiquitatis) that roamed northern Eurasia until it went extinct ~14,000 years ago.  The IUCN lists black, Javan, and Sumatran rhinos as…

What We’re Reading – Jan 26, 2018

Temporal Genotyping for Conservation Monitoring This paper advocates using museum specimens to quantify recent losses of genetic diversity in species of conservation concern.  The authors note that older demographic processes leave a signature on genetic diversity that can be difficult to distinguish from recent changes.  Thus they show how using temporal sampling allows researchers to…

Does Biodiversity Matter?

Through fashion, I showed you how scientists calculate biodiversity and what it means. While some areas of the world are naturally more diverse than others – one thing is true: we are losing biodiversity at an alarming rate due to manmade causes. We are currently in the sixth mass extinction event to ever happen on…

What We’re Reading- Jan 12, 2018

One shark, one global population? We recently highlighted the lack of population genetic studies within marine environments, and noted that the existing ones show exciting results about both barriers and corridors for dispersal.  A new paper (open) investigated the global population structure of the blue shark (Prionace glauca).  This species has a serious global oceanic…