33 Works

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...

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...

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...

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: Cost of transport is a repeatable trait but is not determined by mitochondrial efficiency in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Miki Jahn & Frank Seebacher
The energy used to move a given distance (cost of transport; CoT) varies significantly between individuals of the same species. A lower CoT allows animals to allocate more of their energy budget to growth and reproduction. A higher CoT may cause animals to adjust their movement across different environmental gradients to reduce energy allocated to movement. The aim of this project was to determine whether CoT is a repeatable trait within individuals, and to determine...

Macronutrients modulate survival to infection and immunity in Drosophila

Fleur Ponton, Juliano Morimoto, Katie Robinson, Sheemal S. Kumar, Sheena C. Cotter, Kenneth Wilson & Stephen J. Simpson
Immunity and nutrition are two essential modulators of individual fitness. However, while the implications of immune function and nutrition on an individual’s lifespan and reproduction are well established, the interplay between feeding behaviour, infection, and immune function, remains poorly understood. Asking how ecological and physiological factors affect immune responses and resistance to infections is a central theme of eco-immunology. In this study, we used the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to investigate how infection through septic...

Sustainability and Rural Landscapes: CultureNature-based solutions

Steve H. Brown, Nora Mitchell, Ege A. Yildirim, Kristal Buckley & George Ortsin
Rural landscapes with interconnected CultureNature heritage value have much to contribute to the resiliency and sustainability of food production, use of renewable natural resources and overall well-being of communities. Their contributions have had limited recognition within the global framework for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and some reference in the UN-Habitat New Urban Agenda. Rural landscapes are addressed in SDG 11 as a type of ‘human settlement’ and Target 11.4 calls for 'strengthening efforts...

Urbanization and translocation disrupt the relationship between host density and parasite abundance

Jayna L. DeVore, Richard Shine & Simon Ducatez
1.) The species interactions that structure natural communities are increasingly disrupted by radical habitat change resulting from the widespread processes of urbanization and species translocations. Although many species are disadvantaged by these changes, others thrive in these new environments, achieving densities exceeding those found in natural habitats. Often the same species that benefit from urbanization are successful invaders in introduced habitats, suggesting that similar processes promote these species in both environments. 2.) Both processes may...

Dataset for \"Space use by animals on the urban fringe: interactive effects of sex and personality\"

Katie Wat, Anushika Herath, Adrian Rus, Peter Banks & Clare McArthur
Personality traits shape individual perceptions of risks and rewards, and so, should affect how animals value and use their environment. Evidence is emerging that personality affects foraging, space use and exploitation of novel environments such as urban habitat. But the influence of personality is also hypothesized to be sex-dependent when primary motivation for space use differs between sexes, as often occurs in polygynous species. We tested the influence of personality traits, interacting with sex, on...

Flies exploit predictable perspectives and backgrounds to enhance iridescent signal salience and mating success

Thomas White, Nina Vogel-Ghibely & Nathan Butterworth
Communication requires both the encoding of information and its effective transmission, but little is known about display traits that primarily serve to enhance efficacy. Here we examined the visual courtships of Lispe cana, a cursorial fly that lives and mates in heterogeneous foreshores, and tested the prediction that males should seek to enhance signal salience and consequent fitness through the flexible choice of display locations. We show that courting males access the field of view...

Predator responses to fire: a global systematic review and meta-analysis

William Geary, Tim Doherty, Dale Nimmo, Ayesha Tulloch & Euan Ritchie
1. Knowledge of how disturbances such as fire shape habitat structure and composition, and affect animal interactions, is fundamental to ecology and ecosystem management. Predators also exert strong effects on ecological communities, through top-down regulation of prey and competitors, which can result in trophic cascades. Despite their ubiquity, ecological importance and potential to interact with fire, our general understanding of how predators respond to fire remains poor, hampering ecosystem management. 2. To address this important...

Data from: The cost of chemical defence: the impact of toxin depletion on growth and behaviour of cane toads (Rhinella marina).

Ryann A. Blennerhassett, Kim Bell-Anderson, Richard Shine & Gregory P. Brown
Many animals capable of deploying chemical defences are reluctant to use them, suggesting that synthesis of toxins imposes a substantial cost. Typically, such costs have been quantified by measuring the elevation in metabolic rate induced by toxin depletion (i.e., during replenishment of toxin stores). More generally, we might expect that toxin depletion will induce shifts in a broad suite of fitness-relevant traits. In cane toads (Rhinella marina), toxic compounds that protect against predators and pathogens...

Data from: Speed-mediated properties of schooling

Maud I.A. Kent, Ryan Lukeman, Joseph Lizier & Ashley J.W. Ward
Collectively moving animals often display a high degree of synchronisation and cohesive group-level formations, such as elongated schools of fish. These global patterns emerge as the result of localised rules of interactions. However, the exact relationship between speed, polarisation, neighbour positioning and group structure has produced conflicting results and is largely limited to modelling approaches. This hinders our ability to understand how information spreads between individuals, which may determine the collective functioning of groups. We...

Data from: Sexual selection, body mass, and molecular evolution interact to predict diversification in birds

Maider Iglesias-Carrasco, Michael Jennions, Simon Ho & David Duchene
Sexual selection is a powerful agent of evolution, driving microevolutionary changes in the genome and macroevolutionary rates of lineage diversification. The mechanisms by which sexual selection might influence macroevolution remain poorly understood. For example, sexual selection might drive positive selection for key adaptations that facilitate diversification. Furthermore, sexual selection might be a general driver of molecular evolutionary rate. We lay out some of the potential mechanisms that create a link between sexual selection and diversification,...

Data from: A simulation-based evaluation of tip-dating under the fossilized birth-death process

Arong Luo, David A. Duchêne, Chi Zhang, Chao-Dong ZHU & Simon Ho
Bayesian molecular dating is widely used to study evolutionary timescales. This procedure usually involves phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequence data, with fossil-based calibrations applied as age constraints on internal nodes of the tree. An alternative approach is tip-dating, which explicitly includes fossil data in the analysis. This can be done, for example, through the joint analysis of molecular data from present-day taxa and morphological data from both extant and fossil taxa. In the context of...

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...

Data from: The relationship of body condition, superoxide dismutase, and superoxide with sperm performance

Christopher R. Friesen, Simon P. De Graaf & Mats Olsson
Sperm competition theory predicts a negative correlation between somatic investment in traits that aid in pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection. Sperm performance is critical for postcopulatory success but are susceptible to damage by free radicals such as superoxide radicals generated during mitochondrial respiration (mtSOx). Males can ameliorate damage to spermatozoa by investing in the production of antioxidants, like superoxide dismutase (SOD), which may act as a mechanistic link for pre and postcopulatory trade-offs. Some male...

Data from: Thermodynamic constraints and the evolution of parental provisioning in vertebrates

Madeleine Beekman, Michael Thompson & Marko Jusup
Why is post-natal parental provisioning so rare in ectothermic vertebrates while prolonged parental care is almost ubiquitous in endotherms? We argue that the scarcity of post-natal parental care is a result of ectothermy itself. While almost all endothermic young require prolonged post-natal care due to thermal constraints, ectothermic physiology does not pose the same constraint. Most ectothermic young are thus independent from birth. Ectothermic mothers are better off investing in future reproductive events than to...

Data from: Facultative oviparity in a viviparous skink (Saiphos equalis)

Melanie K. Laird, Michael B. Thompson & Camilla M. Whittington
Facultative changes in parity mode (oviparity to viviparity, and vice versa) are rare in vertebrates, yet offer fascinating opportunities to investigate the role of reproductive lability in parity mode evolution. Here we report apparent facultative oviparity by a viviparous female of the bimodally reproductive skink Saiphos equalis- the first report of different parity modes within a vertebrate clutch. Eggs oviposited facultatively possess shell characteristics of both viviparous and oviparous S. equalis, demonstrating that egg coverings...

Data from: How accurately do behavioural observations predict reproductive success in free-ranging lizards?

Mats Olsson, Tonia S. Schwartz, Erik Wapstra & Richard Shine
Behavioural ecologists often use data on patterns of male-female association to infer reproductive success of free-ranging animals. For example, a male seen with several females during the mating season is predicted to father more offspring than a male not seen with any females. We explored the putative correlation between this behaviour and actual paternity (as revealed by microsatellite data) from a long-term study on sand lizards (Lacerta agilis), including behavioural observations of 574 adult males...

Reading Rural Landscapes as Heritage

Lionella Scazzosi, Raffaella Laviscio, Steve Brown, Pierre Marie Tricaud, Cari Goetcheus & Andrea L'Erario
The workshop will provide an overview of methods and tools necessary for the identification, documentation and interpretation of rural landscapes, as articulated in the ICOMOS-IFLA Principles Concerning Rural Landscapes as Heritage. Three short presentations will be followed by 30 minutes of discussion.

Data from: Effects of condition and sperm competition risk on sperm allocation and storage in neriid flies

Zac Wylde, Angela Crean & Russell Bonduriansky
Ejaculate traits can be sexually selected and often exhibit heightened condition-dependence. However, the influence of sperm competition risk in tandem with condition-dependent ejaculate allocation strategies is relatively unstudied. Because ejaculates are costly to produce, high-condition males may be expected to invest more in ejaculates when sperm competition risk is greater. We examined the condition-dependence of ejaculate size by manipulating nutrient concentration in the juvenile (larval) diet of the neriid fly Telostylinus angusticollis. Using a fully...

Evolutionary rates are correlated between cockroach symbiont and mitochondrial genomes

Daej Arab, Thomas Bourguignon, Zongqing Wang, Simon Ho & Nathan Lo
Bacterial endosymbionts evolve under strong host-driven selection. Factors influencing host evolution might affect symbionts in similar ways, potentially leading to correlations between the molecular evolutionary rates of hosts and symbionts. Although there is evidence of rate correlations between mitochondrial and nuclear genes, similar investigations of hosts and symbionts are lacking. Here we demonstrate a correlation in molecular rates between the genomes of an endosymbiont (Blattabacterium cuenoti) and the mitochondrial genomes of their hosts (cockroaches). We...

Registration Year

  • 2019

Resource Types

  • Dataset
  • Text


  • University of Sydney
  • University of Wollongong
  • Macquarie University
  • University of Gothenburg
  • University of Georgia
  • UNSW Sydney
  • University of Bristol
  • St Vincent's Hospital
  • Plymouth University
  • Rollins College