Category Archives: conservation

Deep in the meadow, under the … seagrass, a bed of temporally stable diversity?

Genetically diverse populations are often more stable and productive. For habitat-forming organisms, such as seagrasses, this results in increased habitat complexity and more abundant associated communities (e.g., Hughes and Stachowicz 2004, Reusch et al. 2005).  Spatial patterns of genetic diversity … Continue reading

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What’s left of the black rhino’s genetic diversity?

With the current poaching epidemic we might lose rhinos before we even have time to get to know them. Luckily, the day has come and thanks to Yoshan Moodley, Mike Bruford and their team we know have a pretty good … Continue reading

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Posted in conservation, evolution, Paleogenomics, phylogeography, population genetics | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Resurrecting our ghosts: Helen Pilcher’s Bring Back the King

On September 7, 1936, at the Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart, Tasmania, a wolf-like creature named Benjamin paced up and down in his cage. As night fell, temperatures grew cooler. The keepers, underpaid and struggling themselves, had forgotten to open the … Continue reading

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Diving into the inbreeding depression

This post is going to be a little melodramatic, but I hope that despite all the reading on inbreeding depression, you won’t get depressed. As the media finally started feeding us all the catastrophic news about the impact of global … Continue reading

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Artificial connectivity … have we overlooked the native range?

Invasive species are problematic throughout the world’s ecosystems, down even to their very name which incites heated debates. Every month, studies are published that describe the genetic structure and gene flow of non-native species in their introduced ranges. Often, these … Continue reading

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The almighty CRISPR-Cas9 technology: The future of conservation?

In the first post on CRISPR-Cas9, I’ve explained how bacteria and archaea create a “database” of infections and use it as a form of prokaryotic immunization. This time, I’m going to concentrate on how biotechnology turns this natural phenomenon into … Continue reading

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Posted in conservation, evolution, methods, theory | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

A tale of mammoths and a disappearing lake

A wonderful study revealed a sad story of the St. Paul Island population of woolly mammoths. Using a creative and diverse set of analytical approaches, scientists identified freshwater shortage as the likely cause of their extinction. A cross-disciplinary collaboration of … Continue reading

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Personal narrative of a journey from zoos to academia

Back in February, the South Carolina Aquarium and The Center for Humans and Nature hosted the finale in the Holland Lifelong Learning series of “Why do zoos and aquariums matter?” in Charleston. I’ll admit, at first, the main reason I … Continue reading

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The not so singular process of hybridization

What, if anything, are hybrids? Zach Gompert and Alex Buerkle ask this question in a special issue in Evolutionary Applications. Hybrids occur when unrelated individuals mate, but how distant do the taxa need to be to constitute a cross? The varied … Continue reading

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Posted in bioinformatics, conservation, domestication, evolution, genomics, natural history, next generation sequencing, plants | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Steelhead in a random forest: identifying the genetic basis of migration

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been quite successful in identifying variants associated with various phenotypes (I suppose there is some debate surrounding this statement. For an interesting, if dated, discussion look here). While most of this work was originally conducted … Continue reading

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Posted in association genetics, bioinformatics, conservation, genomics, next generation sequencing | Leave a comment