What We’re Reading- Jan 12, 2018

One shark, one global population? We recently highlighted the lack of population genetic studies within marine environments, and noted that the existing ones show exciting results about both barriers and corridors for dispersal.  A new paper (open) investigated the global population structure of the blue shark (Prionace glauca).  This species has a serious global oceanic…

What We’re Reading- Sept 29, 2017

Genetic Diversity on the Sea Floor We have so much to learn about the biodiversity in the deep ocean.  But for the species we do know, we have barely scratched the surface of understand the genetic diversity of these species.  This meta-analysis reviews all population genetic papers (a scant 77) about genetic diversity and population…

Behind the paper: using DNA to define conservation units for endangered dragons

This week, we have a new paper published online in the journal Conservation Genetics, with former Honours student Emma Carlson as lead author. The paper is titled “How many conservation units are there for the endangered grassland earless dragons?” Yes, that’s right, dragons! But not the fire-breathing sort. The grassland earless dragon (Tympanocyrptis pinguicolla) is a…

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…

Sampling roadkill for DNA

I know a lot of biologists who have lists related to their work: lists of birds they have seen, lists of journals they want to publish in, lists of top wildlife spectacles they want to see, lists of species they have studied, lists of their favourite fieldwork sites. I too have a few lists, and…

Behind the Paper: Are Microsatellite Studies Publishable?

This is not a true “Behind the Paper” post. Why? Because I cannot write a behind the paper post when I cannot publish a paper*. How did I get to the point of writing an unpublishable paper; well, I genotyped with microsatellites. After submitting my paper I received a number of kind reviews that said…

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- March 27, 2014

Cryptic gene-flow in hellbenders Our colleague Sheena Feist published this paper (sub) on gene-flow in hellbenders (large aquatic salamanders). Hellbenders have moderate levels of genetic diversity within rivers with little differentiation and no isolation by distance. This contradicts what scientists previously thought and suggest dispersal occurs at greater distances. How aDNA changed our understanding of…

What we’re reading- Dec 13, 2013

A bitter taste in animal mouths New research article on the evolution of a gene family of taste receptors that signal bitter (ie- potentially toxic) across 54 species. Gene loss and duplication vary across the phylogenetic tree and are also correlated with plant diets. Use of time series in population genetic studies The authors advocate…

What we’re reading- Oct 18, 2013

Nature Deficit Disorder Only 1 in 5 children in the UK feels connected to nature. This disconnect from nature has real consequences for conservation efforts in coming generations, and really emphasizes the need for wildlife outreach. Microchipping Rhinos Kenya plans to place microchips in the horns of rhinos to deter poachers and/or track horns in…