What we’re reading- March 27, 2014

Cryptic gene-flow in hellbenders
Our colleague Sheena Feist published this paper (sub) on gene-flow in hellbenders (large aquatic salamanders). Hellbenders have moderate levels of genetic diversity within rivers with little differentiation and no isolation by distance. This contradicts what scientists previously thought and suggest dispersal occurs at greater distances.

How aDNA changed our understanding of human migration
In this wonderful review (open) the authors describe how the use of ancient DNA samples from humans changed our understanding of human migration from a serial stepping stone model to one of complex bottlenecks and long-distance dispersal. The authors highlight how different demographic scenarios may produce similar patterns in data and suggest methods forward for future incorporation of aDNA into population genomic studies.

Genomics for wildlife management
This paper (open) outlines a framework for how genomics may be used for conservation management problems and considers both adaptive variation and phenotypic plasticity. The paper also discusses making management decisions in the face of uncertainty about future needs (e.g.- ability to respond to climate change) for managed species.

Biodiversity at home
We often don’t think of our homes as harboring biodiversity, but research shows over 100 species of arthropods found in regular North Carolina houses.

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