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…

What We’re Reading- Jan 5, 2018

Happy New Year from the WildlifeSNPits team! All the Pretty Birds This open paper investigated the phylogenetic and biogeographic relationships between Kingfishers, an order of birds with 114 species.  Kingfishers are known for their beautiful bright colors, but how the different species are related to each other was partially unknown.  The authors inferred that kingfishers…

What We Read- Favorite Papers of 2017

Anna My favourite paper of 2017 was “Devil Tools & Tech: A Synergy of Conservation Research and Management Practice” (open access). This provides a great example of how to effectively bridge the “research-implementation gap” in conservation management. Instead of what could be called the “traditional model”, where scientists conduct and publish research, and only then engage…

Year in Review: What We Wrote 2017

Anna I started a new job in January 2017, moving from a research-focused postdoc to a role with a mix of research and project management, coordinating the Oz Mammals Genomics Initiative. Getting stuck into this has given me less time to spend writing papers (and blogs…) than in previous years, so I’m pretty happy to…

What We’re Reading- Dec 15, 2017

Oyster Adaptation to Ocean Acidification Oceans are a large carbon sink, and one of the effects of climate change is that the oceans are becoming more acidic (see here for a description of how this happens).  This changing environment presents a problem for marine species that must acclimate or adapt to living in a more…

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…