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….

What We’re Reading- Nov 11, 2016

Pangolin Phylogeography There are 8 species of pangolins (Manis spp) distributed throughout Africa and Asia. All of the species are listed as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered with extinction on the IUCN Red List, primarily due to poaching for the chitin rich scales and wild meat. A new paper (sub) investigated genetic diversity in the…

What We’re Reading- Oct 21, 2016

Ethics in Lethal Sampling for Research The editors of Biological Conservation recently rejected papers citing ethical considerations related to lethal sampling of the study organisms. They note that all of these studies had IACUC approval, but that approval does not necessarily make lethal sampling ethical, particularly for endangered species or species in protected habitats. The…

What We’re Reading- March 25, 2016

Where in the World did Yams come from? I always find myself downloading and reading phylogeography or population genetics papers about my favorite foods!  I think it’s interesting how much diversity there is even though we only eat a few varieties.  This paper (sub) observed deep divergence (50 MYA) in nine clades of yams (genus Dioscorea,…

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: 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 24, 2014

Evolutionary Conservation Since the premise of this blog is write about evolution, conservation, and their intersection, the thesis of this article (open), that evolution can inform conservation, is nothing new to us! The authors layout the links between these two disciplines nicely and give researchers ideas for a path forward in evolutionary conservation. Ecotype Evolution…

What we’re reading- April 4, 2014

Carnivore Research Effort vs Threatened Status This paper (open) compares the research effort (measured in number of journal publications) across the order Carnivora to both number of species per family and IUCN Red List status. The researchers did not find a relationship between threatened status and research effort, suggesting that species that may benefit from…

What we’re reading- Feb 21, 2014

Identifying individual poachers and their kill Scientists are matching DNA from elephant carcasses to blood-stained clothing on poachers to identify illegally traded ivory. Ecological niche models and phylogeography This article (sub) explores the multitude of ways which ecological niche/species distribution models can inform phylogeographic inference. A great resource for understanding the application of and caveats…