Kay Weltz and co-authors have new paper on the Maugean skate (Zearaja maugeana). They report no detectable genetic variation in the gene regions assayed in the mitochondrial genome. Variation in the nuclear genome was also low, with only eight out of 96 microsatellite loci showing any alternate alleles. The species is likely to be uniquely adapted for survival in the confined waters of the Macquarie Harbour (Tasmania), where it is exclusively found. Low genetic diversity suggests it may struggle with the rapid environmental changes potentially leading to extinction. Read more here. Weltz K, Lyle JM, Semmens JM, Ovenden JR (2018) Population genetics of the endangered Maugean skate (Zearaja Maugeana). Conservation Genetics Early on line Nov 2018 doi:10.1007/s10592-018-1117-0
A newly published study led by Samuel Williams used genetic analyses to show that the numbers of marlin caught by various fisheries worldwide may be incorrect. Without features such as fins and bills (that are commonly removed to prepare product for market), even the experts have great difficulty in correctly identifying marlin species. This is a problem because counts of individuals are used to monitor fishing impact on populations. Mistakes at this level can lead to incorrect assessments of the capacity of the populations to sustain fishing. Read more here. Congratulations to Sam for completing the requirements for the award of PhD at the University of Queensland. Caption: Julian Pepperell (left) and Sam working with harvested marlin.
During Robin's visit next week, you are all welcome come to his seminar. He is speaking at 12 noon on 11th April (Tues) in Building 68, Room 214, UQ St Lucia Campus. The title is “Estimates of Effective Population Size in the Genomics Era”. Robin has considerable reputation in the field of theoretical population genetics as applied to marine and freshwater species. He has been cited over 19,000 times including 8,500 times since 2012. His H-index is 65 and 44 since 2012 (Google Scholar). His most cited publication is an invited review “What is a population” (2006 Mol Ecol 15, 1419-1439) cited 1083 times. Robin is based in Seattle (US) at NOAA Fisheries. His visit to UQ is supported by the School of Biomedical Sciencies.
Mol Fish Lab has contributed to an important study by Grant Johnson (Northern Territory, Australia) on blacktip sharks. Six key measurements, as well as fin markings, can be used to identify two cryptic, closely related shark species (C. tilstoni and C. limbatus) that co-occur and hybridise in waters in northern Australia. In another recent paper, Jenny and colleagues discuss the challenges of using genetic estimates of effective population size in fisheries stock assessments.
Thanks to the Fisheries Society of the British Isles for sponsoring the symposium and to Gary Carvalho and his team for fabulous conference organisation. Here is a group photo of delegates taken by Dr Martin Taylor of UEA.
The FSBI conference is concluding today. At the conference dinner, Louis Bernatchez (right with Gary Carvalho) was awarded the 2016 medal for Molecular Ecology. Robin Waples (left) spoke on behalf of invited speakers to thank conference convenors Gary Carvalho and all participants for an exceptional meeting.
Jenny Ovenden from Molecular Fisheries Laboratory, as well as leading scientists from 24 nations will be among delegates attending a major international symposium, supported by the Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI), at Bangor University, Wales this week (18-22 July). Delegates at Fish, Genes and Genomes: Contributions to Ecology, Evolution and Management will discuss the value of these new fisheries tools based on DNA sequencing; so-called genomics, and sharing the latest advances in genomic approaches in fisheries and aquaculture. Read the press release here.
Project leader Andy Moore from ABARES in Canberra is presenting the results of the gemfish project to research advisory groups this week. The draft final report to funding body FRDC is in production. Project scientists look forward to feedback from stakeholders on the outcomes of this research. Comment on MFL facebook site, or use contact us page on MFL website.