What We’re Reading- Jan 27, 2017

When Following the Leader is Bad for Your Health (Like You Die) Many species make collective group decisions, including how to move across the landscape in search of food, water, shelter, or during long-distance migrations.  However, not all habitat is equal with some areas being higher risk than others, especially in areas where there is a…

What We’re Reading- Jan 13, 2017

Ash Trees Under Attack European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) face dieback across their range due to a fungal pathogen (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus).  Currently, there is no effective treatment for trees with the fungus, including managed removal of trees to prevent spread of the disease.  However, natural variation in resistance to the pathogen is known and could be…

What We’re Reading- Jan 6, 2017

Pangolin Trade Network All species of pangolins are endangered throughout their range, due in large part to poaching for their meat and scales.  Using media reports, a team of researchers identified approximately 65,800 individuals were harvested and seized between 2008-2016 although the level of harvest not detected remains unknown.  Notably, only 117 individuals were reported poached in the…

A Year of Science Selfies – Stephanie

When hearing about the #365scienceselfies challenge, I was immediately on board. I love selfies and was very willing to use this excuse to take more. I loved the idea – showing other people what scientists do on a daily basis and “humanizing” us (scientists – they’re just like us!). I was also up for the challenge of coming…

A Year of Science Selfies- Anna

At this time last year I was quite uncomfortable about the idea of participating in #365scienceselfies, but still, I agreed to give it a go. I thought it was worth exploring as a different kind of science communication, to show what scientists look like and what we do. I never once thought I’d actually reach the nominal…

A Year of Science Selfies- Emily

When the WildlifeSNPits team first started discussing whether to participate in the #365scienceselfies challenge, I really didn’t want to do it.  I was uncomfortable that my face would be all over the Internet (more than it already is).  But it also sounded like an opportunity to learn something new about myself, so I agreed to the…

What We Read: Favorite Papers of 2016

Part two of our Year in Review: we describe our favorite papers of 2016. These papers did not necessarily have to have been part of our Friday link dump series, What We’re Reading, which focuses on the WildlifeSNPits theme of the intersection between evolution and conservation. Anna So this year, after much deliberation, I’ve selected…

Year in Review: What We Wrote 2016

Anna I feel as though 2016 has been a slow year for papers for me, with a number of works in progress taking longer than I thought they would. However, I am ending the year with a handful of papers either in review or almost ready to submit, so I hope that 2017 will be much better….

There’s no such thing as “boring” data in citizen science

As a child I was hooked on wildlife documentaries (I still am…) and from these I gleaned that the career highlight of any self-respecting botanist or zoologist was to discover a new species. For a while that was my goal too, but then I became sidetracked by questions about genetics and evolution and conservation. Fast…

What We’re Reading- Dec 2, 2016

Birds of Differentially Colored Feathers Still Flock Together Yellow-winged warblers (left in picture) are threatened with extinction in Canada under SARA, and a candidate species for the ESA in the United States. Hybridization with the more widely distributed blue-winged warbler (right in picture) is considered a threat to the species. This paper (open) compared genomic…

Behind the paper: eDNA has great potential as a wildlife survey tool, but should be used properly

As many people know, two of my favourite topics are bandicoots and environmental DNA (eDNA). So I’m very excited about the online debut of my latest paper “A framework for developing and validating taxon-specific primers for specimen identification from environmental DNA” at Molecular Ecology Resources, which includes both bandicoots and eDNA. eDNA analysis is the analysis of DNA…