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…

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…

What We’re Reading: Jan 29, 2016

Improving morphological diet studies with molecular ecology I’m sure you all know by now that many wildlife species are threatened by invasive predators. Diet studies are often used to understand the specific impacts of predators, to guide management actions. Traditionally, this has meant sorting through scats and gut contents to identify as many prey remains as possible. Of…

What We Read: Favorite Papers of 2015

Part two of our Year in Review: we describe our favorite papers of 2015. 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 I’m terrible at picking favourites, but after a…

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…

What We’re Reading- Dec 4, 2015

Congrats to SNPits blogger Emily on her new paper on the precision and accuracy of spatial assignment methods. She found that while genomic datasets with SNPs have higher accuracy than genetic datasets with microsatellites, that most samples were still poorly assigned within political boundaries, important for enforcement in wildlife trade applications. The full blog post is…

Bison, bioinformatics and (meta)barcoding

This is my first post here since April. I’ve spent much of the last three months travelling, holidaying, workshopping and attending two conferences. I had a wonderful time in Adelaide at the Genetics Society of AustralAsia’s 2015 conference and learned about some fascinating new science at the Boden Reseach Conference on Comparative Animal Genomics. But…

So you want to do some genetics…? Bridging the gap between lab and field

“Bob said I should call you because it would be good to do some genetics on this mammal population, how long will that take…?”   “Alice and I collected a few tissue samples when we were in the field earlier this year and now we’d like to talk to you about collaborating on some DNA analysis…”   I’m paraphrasing of course, but…

What we’re reading- Jan 17, 2014

Electric Spider Webs! Spider webs attract charged particles and could be used as an environmental monitoring technique to collect airborne pollutants. Dog Domestication An easy to read write up describing the results of the latest genomic study (here, OA) about the wolf-dog split and dog domestication. The new study estimates dogs were domesticated 11-16kya.

Environmental DNA: An exciting method for species detection

A few years ago at a conference I saw a presentation on environmental DNA, or eDNA, that got me very excited. Animals and plants shed DNA into their surrounding environment in the form of feces, urine and skin cells. This DNA can then be collected from environmental sources such as stream or pond water, sediment,…