291 Works

Data from: Lack of genetic diversity across diverse immune genes in an endangered mammal, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)

Katrina M. Morris, Belinda Wright, Catherine E. Grueber, Carolyn Hogg & Katherine Belov
The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is threatened with extinction due to the spread of devil facial tumour disease. Polymorphisms in immune genes can provide adaptive potential to resist diseases. Previous studies in diversity at immune loci in wild species have almost exclusively focused on genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC); however, these genes only account for a fraction of immune gene diversity. Devils lack diversity at functionally important immunity loci, including MHC and Toll-like...

Data from: Basking behavior predicts the evolution of heat tolerance in Australian rainforest lizards

Martha M. Muñoz, Gary M. Langham, Matthew C. Brandley, Dan Rosauer, Stephen E. Williams, Craig Moritz & Dan F. Rosauer
There is pressing urgency to understand how tropical ectotherms can behaviorally and physiologically respond to climate warming. We examine how basking behavior and thermal environment interact to influence evolutionary variation in thermal physiology of multiple species of lygosomine rainforest skinks from the Wet Tropics of northeastern Queensland, Australia (AWT). These tropical lizards are behaviorally specialized to exploit canopy or sun, and are distributed across steep thermal clines in the AWT. Using phylogenetic analyses, we demonstrate...

Data from: Is the enhanced dispersal rate seen at invasion fronts a behaviourally plastic response to encountering novel ecological conditions?

Lachlan J. Pettit, Matthew J. Greenlees & Richard Shine
As a population expands into novel areas (as occurs in biological invasions), the range edge becomes dominated by rapidly dispersing individuals—thereby accelerating the rate of population spread. That acceleration has been attributed to evolutionary processes (natural selection and spatial sorting), to which we add a third complementary process: behavioural plasticity. Encountering environmental novelty may directly elicit an increased rate of dispersal. When we reciprocally translocated cane toads (Rhinella marina) among study sites in southern Australia,...

Increased physical activity does not improve obesity-induced decreases in muscle quality in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Frank Seebacher & Rob S. James
Obesity has a negative effect on muscle contractile function, and the effects of obesity are not reversed by weight loss. It is therefore important to determine how muscle function can be restored, and exercise is the most promising approach. We tested the hypothesis (in zebrafish, Danio rerio) that moderate aerobic exercise (forced swimming for 30 min per day, raising metabolic rates to at least twice resting levels) will alleviate the negative effects of obesity of...

Differences in oxidative status explain variation in thermal acclimation capacity between individual mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki)

Frank Seebacher & Isabella Loughland
1. Evolutionary theory predicts that the capacity to acclimate should be favoured in variable environments. However, perfect compensation for thermal variation is rare and the capacity for thermal acclimation can vary considerably between individuals within natural populations. This variation may be explained by costs associated with acclimation, but it is not clear what these costs are. 2. We tested the hypothesis that oxidative stress is a cost of acclimation that could explain the variation between...

Data from: Deciphering genetic mate choice: not so simple in group-housed conservation breeding programs

Katherine Farquharson, Carolyn Hogg, Katherine Belov & Catherine Grueber
Incorporating mate choice into conservation breeding programs can improve reproduction and the retention of natural behaviours. However, different types of genetic-based mate choice can have varied consequences for genetic diversity management. As a result, it is important to examine mechanisms of mate choice in captivity to assess its costs and benefits. Most research in this area has focused on experimental pairing trials, however this resource-intensive approach is not always feasible in captive settings and can...

Data from: Assemblage Accumulation Curves: A framework for resolving species accumulation in biological communities using chloroplast genome sequences

Marlien Van Der Merwe, Samantha Yap, Jason G. Bragg, Caroline Cristofolini, Charles S. P. Foster, Simon Y. W. Ho & Maurizio Rossetto
The timing and tempo of the processes involved in community assembly are of substantial concern to community ecologists and conservation managers. The fossil record is a valuable source of data for studying past changes in community composition, but it is not always detailed enough to allow the process of community assembly to be resolved at regional or site scales while tracing the trajectories of known species with associated known traits. We present a three‐step framework...

Data from: Efferocytosis perpetuates substance accumulation inside macrophage populations

Hugh Ford, Lynda Zeboudj, Gareth Purvis, Annemieke Ten Bokum, Alexander Zarebski, Joshua Bull, Helen Byrne, Mary Myerscough & David Greaves
In both cells and animals, cannibalism can transfer harmful substances from the consumed to the consumer. Macrophages are immune cells that consume their own dead via a process called cannibalistic efferocytosis. Macrophages that contain harmful substances are found at sites of chronic inflammation, yet the role of cannibalism in this context remains unexplored. Here we take mathematical and experimental approaches to study the relationship between cannibalistic efferocytosis and substance accumulation in macrophages. Through mathematical modelling,...

Data from: Long term effects of superoxide and DNA repair on lizard telomeres

Mats Olsson, Christopher R. Friesen, Nicky Rollings, Joanna Sudyka, Willow Lindsay, Camilla M. Whittington & Mark Wilson
Telomeres are the non-coding protein-nucleotide ‘caps’ at chromosome ends that contribute to chromosomal stability by protecting the coding parts of the linear DNA from shortening at cell division, and from erosion by reactive molecules. Recently, there has been some controversy between molecular and cell biologists, on the one hand, and evolutionary ecologists on the other, regarding whether reactive molecules erode telomeres during oxidative stress. Many studies of biochemistry and medicine have verified these relationships in...

Data from: Too much of a good thing? Finding the most informative genetic dataset to answer conservation questions

Elspeth A. McLennan, Belinda R. Wright, Katherine Belov, Carolyn J. Hogg & Catherine E. Grueber
Molecular markers are a useful tool allowing conservation and population managers to shed light on genetic processes affecting threatened populations. However, as technological advancements in molecular techniques continue to evolve, conservationists are frequently faced with new genetic markers, each with nuanced variation in their characteristics as well as advantages and disadvantages for informing various questions. We used a well-studied population of Tasmanian devils from Maria Island to illustrate the issues associated with combining multiple genetic...

Data from: Conformity in the collective: differences in hunger affect individual and group behaviour in fish

Alexander Wilson, Alicia Burns, Emanuele Crosato, Joseph Lizier, Mikhail Prokopenko, Tim Schaerf & Ashley J. W. Ward
Animal groups are often composed of individuals that vary according to behavioural, morphological and internal state parameters. Understanding the importance of such individual-level heterogeneity to the establishment and maintenance of coherent group responses is of fundamental interest in collective behaviour. We examined the influence of hunger on the individual and collective behaviour of groups of shoaling fish, x-ray tetras (Pristella maxillaris). Fish were assigned to one of two nutritional states, satiated or hungry, and then...

Queen pheromone modulates the expression of epigenetic modifier genes in the brain of honeybee workers

, Isobel Ronai, Klaus Hartfelder & Benjamin Oldroyd
Pheromones are used by many insects to mediate social interactions. In the highly eusocial honeybee (Apis mellifera) queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) is involved in the regulation of the reproductive and other behaviour of workers. The molecular mechanisms by which QMP acts are largely unknown. Here we investigate how genes responsible for epigenetic modifications to DNA, RNA and histones respond to the presence of QMP in the environment. We show that several of these genes are...

Below-ground carbon allocation towards mycorrhiza and rhizodeposition affected by drought and nitrogen addition

Ruzhen Wang, Timothy Cavagnaro, Yong Jiang, Claudia Keitel & Feike Dijkstra
Photosynthetic carbon (C) allocated below-ground can be shared with mycorrhiza for nutrient exchange, but also deposited into soil as rhizodeposition that could potentially increase plant nutrient supply by supporting microbial nutrient mineralization from organic matter. How plant C allocation towards arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) symbiosis and rhizodeposition is affected by water and nitrogen (N) availabilities, remains largely unknown. We used a 13CO2 pulse labelling experiment to assess effects of drought and N addition on below-ground...

Data from: Tradeoffs affect the adaptive value of plasticity: Stronger cannibal-induced defenses incur greater costs in toad larvae

Jayna DeVore, Michael Crossland & Richard Shine
Adaptive developmental plasticity allows individuals to match their phenotype with their environment, which can increase fitness where threats are inconsistently present. Because adaptive traits are not ubiquitously nor infinitely plastic, tradeoffs between benefits and costs or limits are theoretically necessary to constrain plastic responses. Systems in which extreme risk can be reliably detected are ideal for investigating mechanisms that constrain plasticity, as even costly responses may be adaptive where risk is severe. Cane toads (Rhinella...

Flick SMART multi-catch rodent station and bait station data sets: Council of the city of Sydney, October 2019 to July 2020

Miguel A Bedoya Perez, Michael P Ward, Max Loomes & Mathew S Crowther
Shortly after the enactment of preventative measures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19, local governments and public health authorities around the world reported an increased sighting of rats. We combined multi-catch rodent station data, rodent bait stations data, and rodent-related residents’ complaints data to explore the effects that social distancing and lockdown measures might have had on the rodent population within the City of Sydney, Australia. We found that rodent captures, activity, and rodent...

The geometry of resource constraint: an empirical study of the golden snub-nosed monkey

Rong Hou, Colin Chapman, Jessica Rothman, He Zhang, Kang Huang, Songtao Guo, Baoguo Li & David Raubenheimer
1. Apposite conceptualization and measurement of resource variation is critical for understanding many issues in ecology, including ecological niches, persistence and distribution of populations, the structure of communities, and population resilience to perturbations. 2. We apply the nutritional geometry framework to conceptualise and quantify the responses of a temperate-living primate, the golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) to variation in resource quality and quantity and in nutrient requirements associated with seasonal environments. 3. We present a...

View through rose-colored glasses: the need for diverse lenses to support rural landscape heritage

Steve H. Brown & Cari Goetcheus
The ICOMOS-IFLA Principles Concerning Rural Landscape as Heritage (the Principles; 2017) provide a comprehensive outline of the fields and work required to better recognise and safeguard rural landscape heritage. The Principles acknowledge that the field of heritage conservation cannot sustain rural places and traditional rural heritage landscapes on their own, but must engage with a diverse breadth of disciplines to support and safeguard these spaces. The Principles seek to address loss and adverse changes to...

Nightly selection of resting sites and group behavior reveal anti-predator strategies in giraffe

Anna Lena Burger, Julian Fennessy, Stephanie Fennessy & Paul W. Dierkes
This study presents the first findings on nocturnal behavior patterns of wild Angolan giraffe. We characterized their nocturnal behavior and analyzed the influence of ecological factors such as group size, season and habitat use. Giraffe were observed using night vision systems and thermal imaging cameras on Okapuka Ranch, Namibia. A total of 77 giraffe were observed during 24 nights over two distinct periods – July-August 2016 (dry season) and February-March 2017 (wet season). Photoperiod had...

Spatially exlicit capture histories for small mammals and predators in a Tasmanian forest system

Billie Lazenby, Nicholas Mooney & Christopher Dickman
The following data represents three years of capture-recapure records from individually marked co-occurring small mammals and predators from four spatially independent sites situated in cool temperate forests in southern Tasmania, Australia. Data for small mammals was collected for the swamp rat, Rattus lutreolus, and long-tailed mouse, Pseudomys higginsi, using Elliott small mammal live capture and release traps. Data for predators was collected for the Tasmanian devil, Sarcophilus harrisii, and feral cat, Felis catus, using remote...

Knowledge, skills and barriers to evidence-based practice and the impact of a flipped classroom training program for physical therapists: an observational study

Leora Harrison, David Wong, Alison R Harmer & Matthew Jennings
Objective: To evaluate the knowledge, skills and barriers to evidence-based practice and the impact of evidence-based practice training for physical therapy clinicians. Methods: Physical therapists from a health district in Sydney, Australia were invited to participate. The primary outcome was the Assessing Competency in Evidence-based Medicine scale (range 0-15; 15 is high knowledge and skill) to quantify knowledge and skills. The secondary outcomes were the four subscales of the BARRIERS scale (range 1-4; 4 is...

Skin morphology in cane toads

Richard Shine, Gregory Brown & Georgia Kosmala
The structure of the skin may evolve rapidly during a biological invasion, for two reasons. First, novel abiotic challenges such as hydric conditions may modify selection on traits (such as skin thickness) that determine rates of evaporative water loss. Second, invaders might benefit from enhanced rates of dispersal, with locomotion possibly facilitated by thinner (and hence more flexible) skin. We quantified thickness of layers of the skin in cane toads (Rhinella marina) from the native...

Ocean acidification induces distinct transcriptomic responses across life history stages of the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma

Hannah Devens, Phillip Davidson, Dione Deaker, Kathryn Smith, Maria Byrne & Gregory Wray
Ocean acidification (OA) from seawater uptake of rising carbon dioxide emissions impairs development in marine invertebrates, particularly in calcifying species. Plasticity in gene expression is thought to mediate many of these physiological effects, but how these responses change across life history stages remains unclear. The abbreviated lecithotrophic development of the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma provides a valuable opportunity to analyze gene expression responses across a wide range of life history stages, including the benthic, post-metamorphic...

Management of urban wetlands for conservation can reduce aquatic biodiversity and increase mosquito risk

Jayne Hanford, Cameron Webb & Dieter Hochuli
1. Global wetland loss means constructed urban wetlands are an increasingly valuable resource for conservation. However, priorities for managing urban wetlands for conservation are often seen to conflict with management to reduce potential mosquito risks. Understanding the ecological and public health consequences of wetland management practices is vital to maximise the conservation value of urban wetlands without negatively impacting public health, however are often untested. 2. We conducted a landscape-scale experiment to test the ecological...

Quantifying the structure and dynamics of fish shoals under predation threat in three-dimensions

Maksym Romenskyy, James Herbert-Read, Christol Ioannou, Alex Szorkovszky, Ashley Ward & David Sumpter
Detailed quantifications of how predators and their grouping prey interact in three dimensions (3D) remain rare. Here we record the structure and dynamics of fish shoals (Pseudomugil signifer) in 3D both with and without live predators (Philypnodon grandiceps) under controlled laboratory conditions. Shoals adopted two distinct types of shoal structure; ‘sphere-like’ geometries at depth, and flat ‘carpet-like’ structures at the water’s surface, with shoals becoming more compact in both horizontal and vertical planes in the...

Efficient learning of quantum noise

Robin Harper, Steven Flammia & Joel Wallman
Noise is the central obstacle to building large-scale quantum computers. Quantum systems with sufficiently uncorrelated and weak noise could be used to solve computational problems that are intractable with current digital computers. There has been substantial progress towards engineering such systems. However, continued progress depends on the ability to characterize quantum noise reliably and efficiently with high precision. Here we introduce a protocol that comprehensively and efficiently characterizes the error rates of quantum noise and...

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