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…

Year in Review: What We Wrote 2015

Anna Two of my 2015 papers tackle aspects of the same question: how reliable are genetic tests to detect wildlife from trace DNA samples? It’s great to be able to use DNA to work out which species of mammal has been pooping in the woods, or to confirm the identification of a museum sample or roadkill of uncertain origin. But…

Behind the Paper: Spatial Assignment Not as Accurate as Promised

Imagine that you are an airport security screener in charge of searching for and identifying wildlife products and you came across 100 bear paws. Trade of all eight bear species is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and trade of severed paws is illegal. There are a number of questions…

Behind the Paper: Bears in Alaska Just Want to Have Fun (Genetics that is)

My paper on the phylogeography of the American black bear (sub) was recently published. Phylogeography is the study of the historic processes that shape the contemporary distribution of a species’ genetic diversity. This means we can reconstruct how species moved across their range to come to their current distribution by looking at their genetics. Populations…

What We’re Reading: June 19, 2015

Congrats to SNPits bloggers Anna and Emily on their recent publications! Mitogenome of a Legless Lizard What on earth are pygopogidae? Well, they’re a curious group of legless lizards known as worm-lizards, which pretty much describes what they look like. They’re only found in the Australo-Papuan region and we know that they are closely related to…

What we’re reading: Oct 31, 2014

SNPits Publications Congrats to SNPits writers Emily and Stephanie on new publications released this work. Emily’s work (open) estimates the population size of black bears (Ursus americanus) in Missouri. But more importantly, the paper shows how design of trap array experiments can influence mark-recapture population size estimates. Stephanie’s work (open) details how variation in raccoon…