Pedigrees for the preservation of threatened populations | Centre for Veterinary Education

Pedigrees for the preservation of threatened populations

Catherine Grueber

Lunchtime Seminar Series

Duration: 55:10

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Topic/s: reproduction

Monitoring genetic processes in threatened populations requires data at many levels.  Advanced molecular techniques are providing bigger and better datasets to address crucial problems, but I argue that these data can also be used to bolster “traditional” pedigree analysis, providing even greater advantages.  Collection and reconstruction of pedigree data enable testing of certain hypotheses that would be impossible to address any other way.  In this talk, I provide a wide variety of examples of pedigree analyses in conservation, with results that are often surprising.  Combining pedigree and molecular techniques offers opportunity to take a holistic approach to species management, within the constraints of resource-limited conservation programs.


BSc, MSc, PhD (Otago) San Diego Zoo Global postdoctoral fellow

I completed my PhD in 2010 at the University of Otago, with Prof Ian Jamieson, where I studied the effects of inbreeding in a highly endangered bird, the takahe. Later, I conducted my first post-doc examining the roles of selection and drift (particularly on TLR immune genes) in 10 threatened species, especially a bottlenecked population of New Zealand robin. In 2014, I joined Prof Kathy Belov’s research group here at the University of Sydney. We are using next-generation sequencing techniques to monitor and manage the processes that impact genetic diversity in captive and wild Tasmanian devil populations. Recently, my work was recognised by the GSA through the Alan Wilton award for outstanding contributions to genetics by a researcher early in their career (2015). I am pleased to work alongside conservation practitioners in Australia and abroad, to help build creative questions and outcomes that influence both the conservation industry and the broader scientific community.