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…

What We’re Reading- Oct 6, 2017

Blood Meal Biodiversity Sampling biodiversity can be difficult for elusive species or at locations that are difficult to reach or navigate within like thick jungle habitat.  But researchers have a clever new way of biodiversity estimates in these places, capture invertebrates that feast on blood, then sequence the blood meal to identify the host species. …

What We’re Reading- Feb 3, 2017

Finding management solutions for species that are threatened in their home ranges but introduced pests elsewhere Wildlife conservation and invasive species management are rarely straightforward. In some cases, a species that is an introduced pest in one place may be threatened in its native range. This creates a dilemma for managers: control them or conserve them? In this paper,…

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- 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…

What we’re reading: Aug 29, 2014

Conservation Genomics Science has largely transitioned to genomics research, but for conservation, genomics research has been lagging behind. Should scientists use genomics instead of genetics? And When? This review (open) explores these questions and offers advice on informing managers for conservation action. Do we need a new way to name species? This paper (sub) compares…

Genetics vs Genomics in a Conservation Context

I’ve been asked a few times the difference between genetics and genomics, so I thought I’d take the time to explain how I see each differently, specifically in a conservation context. Genetics, in a classic sense, deals with genes. Genetics may tackle topics such as what gene underlies a trait of interest; how does overexpression,…