33 Works

Common palm civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) are positively associated with humans and forest degradation with implications for seed dispersal and zoonotic diseases

Bastien Dehaudt, Zachary Amir, Henri Decoeur, Luke Gibson, Calebe Pereira Mendes, Jonathan Moore, Ilyas Nursamsi, Adia Sovie & Matthew Luskin
Habitat loss and degradation can undermine wildlife communities and ecosystem functioning. However, certain generalist wildlife species like mesopredators and omnivores can exploit these disturbed habitats, sometimes leading to population increases (e.g., “mesopredator release” in degraded areas). Although mesopredator release may cause negative effects on food webs and zoonotic disease management, some disturbance-tolerant species may help perpetuate important ecological interactions, such as seed dispersal. We evaluated the habitat associations of common palm civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), which...

Variable seed bed microsite conditions and light influence germination in Australian winter annuals

Isaac Towers, David Merritt, Todd Erickson, Margaret Mayfield & John Dwyer
Environmentally cued germination may play an important role in promoting coexistence in Mediterranean annual plant systems if it causes niche differentiation across heterogeneous microsite conditions. In this study, we tested how microsite conditions experienced by seeds in the field and light conditions in the laboratory influenced germination in 12 common annual plant species occurring in the understorey of the York gum-jam woodlands in southwest Western Australia. Specifically, we hypothesized that if germination promotes spatial niche...

Feasibility and preliminary efficacy for morning bright light therapy to improve sleep and plasma biomarkers in US Veterans with TBI. A prospective, open-label, single-arm trial

Jonathan Elliott, Alisha McBride, Nadir Balba, Stanley Thomas, Cassandra Pattinson, Benjamin Morasco, Andrea Wilkerson, Jessica Gill & Miranda Lim
Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with persistent sleep-wake dysfunction, including insomnia and circadian rhythm disruption, which can exacerbate functional outcomes including mood, pain, and quality of life. Present therapies to treat sleep-wake disturbances in those with TBI (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia) are limited by marginal efficacy, poor patient acceptability, and/or high patient/provider burden. Thus, this study aimed to assess the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of morning bright light therapy, to improve...

Data from: How well do embryo development rate models derived from laboratory data predict embryo development in sea turtle nests?

David Booth
Development rate of ectothermic animals varies with temperature. Here we use data derived from laboratory constant temperature incubation experiments to formulate development rate models that can be used to model embryonic development rate in sea turtle nests. We then use a novel method for detecting the time of hatching to measure the in situ incubation period of sea turtle clutches to test the accuracy of our models in predicting the incubation period from nest temperature...

Transcript- and annotation-guided genome assembly of the European starling

Katarina Stuart, Richard Edwards, Yuanyuan Cheng, Wes Warren, Dave Burt, William Sherwin, Natalie Hofmeister, Scott Werner, Gregory Ball, Melissa Bateson, Matthew Brandley, Katherine Buchanan, Phillip Cassey, David Clayton, Tim De Meyer, Simone Meddle & Lee Rollins
The European starling, Sturnus vulgaris, is an ecologically significant, globally invasive avian species that is also suffering from a major decline in its native range. Here, we present the genome assembly and long-read transcriptome of an Australian-sourced European starling (S. vulgaris vAU), and a second North American genome (S. vulgaris vNA), as complementary reference genomes for population genetic and evolutionary characterisation. S. vulgaris vAU combined 10x Genomics linked-reads, low-coverage Nanopore sequencing, and PacBio Iso-Seq full-length...

Data from: Neuroanatomy of the mekosuchine crocodylian Trilophosuchus rackhami Willis, 1993

Jorgo Ristevski
Although our knowledge on crocodylomorph palaeoneurology has experienced considerable growth in recent years, the neuroanatomy of many crocodylomorph taxa has yet to be studied. This is true for Australian taxa, where thus far only two crocodylian crocodylomorphs have had aspects of their neuroanatomy explored. Here, the neuroanatomy of the Australian mekosuchine crocodylian Trilophosuchus rackhami is described for the first time, which significantly increases our understanding on the palaeoneurology of Australian crocodylians. The palaeoneurological description is...

Susceptibility to a sexually transmitted disease in a wild koala population shows heritable genetic variance but no inbreeding depression

Kasha Strickland, Romane Cristescu, Anthony Schultz, Loeske Kruuk, Deirdre De Villiers & Celine Frere
The koala, one of the most iconic Australian wildlife species, is facing several concomitant threats that are driving population declines. Some threats are well known and have clear methods of prevention (e.g., habitat loss can be reduced with stronger land-clearing control), whereas others are less easily addressed. One of the major current threats to koalas is chlamydial disease, which can have major impacts on individual survival and reproduction rates and can translate into population declines....

The consequences of coastal offsets for fisheries

Deqiang Ma, Jonathan Rhodes & Martine Maron
Biodiversity offsetting is increasingly used to mitigate biodiversity impacts from development, but the practice of offsetting rarely considers how to also mitigate losses of ecosystem services. Offset rules, such as how near an offset must be to an impact site, may help ensure biodiversity offsets also counterbalance losses of ecosystem services but this has not yet well understood. We explored how different rules for siting coastal offsets could change net impacts to a provisioning ecosystem...

Data from: A data-driven geospatial workflow to map species distributions for conservation assessments

Ruben Dario Palacio, Pablo Jose Negret, Jorge Veláquez-Tibatá & Andrew P Jacobson
We developed a geospatial workflow that refines the distribution of a species from its extent of occurrence (EOO) to area of habitat (AOH) within the species range map. The range maps are produced with an inverse distance weighted (IDW) interpolation procedure using presence and absence points derived from primary biodiversity data (GBIF and eBird hotspots respectively). Here we provide sample data to run the geospatial workflow for nine forest species across Mexico and Central America.

Taxonomic revision reveals potential impacts of Black Summer megafires on a cryptic species

Chris Jolly, Harry Moore, Mitchell Cowan, Teigan Cremona, Judy Dunlop, Sarah Legge, Grant Linley, Vivianna Miritis, John Woinarski & Dale Nimmo
Context: Sound taxonomy is the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation. Without a fundamental understanding of species delimitations, as well as their distributions and ecological requirements, our ability to conserve them is drastically impeded. Cryptic species – two or more distinct species currently classified as a single species – present a significant challenge to biodiversity conservation. How do we assess the conservation status and address potential drivers of extinction if we are unaware of a species’ existence?...

Humpback whale adult females and calves balance acoustic contact with vocal crypsis during periods of increased separation

Katherine Indeck, Michael Noad & Rebecca Dunlop
Acoustic communication is important for animals with dependent young, particularly when they are spatially separated. Maternal humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) use acoustic calling to help minimise the risk of separation from their young calves during migration. These pairs also use acoustic crypsis to minimise detection by males. How they balance a restricted active space with the need to maintain acoustic contact during periods of separation is not yet understood. Here, we analysed movement metrics of...

Marine biodiversity patterns in coastal Australian waters revealed by a three-year environmental DNA survey

Tina Berry, Megan Coghlan, Benjamin Saunders, Anthony Richardson, Mathew Power, Euan Harvey, Simon Jarman, Oliver Berry, Claire Davies & Michael Bunce
Aim To test the capacity of eDNA to characterise the spatial and seasonal patterns found within a range of zooplankton communities, and investigate links with concurrent abiotic data collected as part of Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) programme. Location Samples were sourced seasonally for three years from nine Pan-Australian marine sites (n=90). Methods Here we apply a multi-assay metabarcoding approach to environmental DNA extracted from a rare long-term collection of bulk plankton samples. Six...

Different genes are recruited during convergent evolution of pregnancy and the placenta

Charles Foster, James Van Dyke, Michael Thompson, Nicholas Smith, Colin Simpfendorfer, Christopher Murphy & Camilla Whittington
The repeated evolution of the same traits in distantly related groups (convergent evolution) raises a key question in evolutionary biology: do the same genes underpin convergent phenotypes? Here, we explore one such trait, viviparity (live birth), which, qualitative studies suggest, may indeed have evolved via genetic convergence. There are 150 independent origins of live birth in vertebrates, providing a uniquely powerful system to test the mechanisms underpinning convergence in morphology, physiology, and/or gene recruitment during...

Data from: Testing hypotheses of marsupial brain size variation using phylogenetic multiple imputations and a Bayesian comparative framework

Orlin S. Todorov
Considerable controversy exists about which hypotheses and variables best explain mammalian brain size variation. We use a new, high-coverage dataset of marsupial brain and body sizes, and the first phylogenetically imputed full datasets of 16 predictor variables, to model the prevalent hypotheses explaining brain size evolution using phylogenetically corrected Bayesian generalised linear mixed-effects modelling. Despite this comprehensive analysis, litter size emerges as the only significant predictor. Marsupials differ from the more frequently studied placentals in...

Data from: Global plant ecology of tropical ultramafic ecosystems

Catherine Hulshof, Claudia Garnica-Díaz, Rosalina Berazaín Iturralde, Betsaida Cabrera, Erick Calderón-Morales, Fermín L. Felipe, Ricardo García, José Luis Gómez Hechavarría, Aretha Franklin Guimarães, Ernesto Medina, Adrian L.D. Paul, Nishanta Rajakaruna, Carla Restrepo, Stefan Siebert, Eduardo Van Den Berg, Antony Van Der Ent & Grisel Velasquez
This is a compiled geospatial dataset in ESRI polygon shapefile format of ultramafic soils of the neotropics showing the location of ultramafic soils in Guatemala, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Suriname, French Guiana, and Bolivia. The data are derived from seven geospatial datasets. Original datasets were subset to include only ultramafic areas, datasets were assigned a common projection (WGS84), attribute tables were reconciled to a common set...

Natural variation at a single gene generates sexual antagonism across fitness components in Drosophila

Bosco Rusuwa, Henry Chung, Scott Allen, Francesca Frentui & Steve Chenoweth
Mutations with conflicting fitness effects in males and females accumulate in sexual populations, reducing their adaptive capacity. Although quantitative genetic studies indicate that sexually antagonistic polymorphisms are common, their molecular basis and population genetic properties remain poorly understood. Here, we show in fruit flies how natural variation at a single gene generates sexual antagonism through phenotypic effects on cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) traits that function as both mate signals and protectors against abiotic stress across a...

The use of environmental DNA to monitor impacted coastal estuaries

Joseph DiBattista, Ashley Fowler, Indiana Riley, Sally Reader, Amanda Hay, Kerryn Parkinson & Jean-Paul Hobbs
Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding is increasingly being used to assess community composition in coastal ecosystems. In this study, we chose to examine temporal and spatial changes in the aquatic community of Manly Lagoon – one of the most heavily developed and polluted estuaries in eastern Australia. Based on metabarcoding of the 16S mitochondrial gene (for fish) and the 18S nuclear gene (for macroinvertebrates), we identified seasonal differences in fish and macroinvertebrate community composition as well...

Selection in the city: Rapid and fine scale evolution of urban eastern water dragons

Nicola Jackson, Bethan Littleford-Colquhoun, Kasha Strickland, Barbara Class & Celine Frere
Oceanic archipelagos have long been treated as a petri dish for studies of evolutionary and ecological processes. Like archipelagos, cities exhibit similar patterns and processes, such as the rapid phenotypic divergence of a species between urban and non-urban environments. However, on a local scale, cities can be highly heterogenous, where geographically close populations can experience dramatically different environmental conditions. Nevertheless, we are yet to understand the evolutionary and ecological implications for populations spread across a...

Adjacent crop type impacts potential pollinator communities and their pollination services in remnants of natural vegetation.

Victoria Reynolds
Aim: Pollination plays a crucial role in the conservation of many plant species persisting in fragmented, human-dominated landscapes. Pollinators are known to be instrumental in maintaining genetic diversity and metapopulation dynamics for many plant species and are important for providing ecological services that are essential in agricultural landscapes where populations of native plants are highly isolated. Numerous studies have explored the value of remnant native vegetation for supporting pollination services to crop species; yet the...

Counting the bodies: estimating the numbers and spatial variation of Australian reptiles, birds and mammals killed by two invasive mesopredators

Alyson Stobo-Wilson, Brett Murphy, Sarah Legge, Hernan Caceres-Escobar, David Chapple, Heather Crawford, Stuart Dawson, Chris Dickman, Tim Doherty, Patricia Fleming, Stephen Garnett, Matthew Gentle, Thomas Newsome, Russell Palmer, Matthew Rees, Euan Ritchie, James Speed, John-Michael Stuart, Andres Suarez-Castro, Eilysh Thompson, Ayesha Tulloch, Jeff Turpin & John Woinarski
Aim: Introduced predators negatively impact biodiversity globally, with insular fauna often most severely affected. Here, we assess spatial variation in the number of terrestrial vertebrates (excluding amphibians) killed by two mammalian mesopredators introduced to Australia, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cat (Felis catus). We aim to identify prey groups that suffer especially high rates of predation, and regions where losses to foxes and/or cats are most substantial. Location: Australia Methods: We draw information...

Underlying data for 'Rapid molecular assays for the detection of the four dengue viruses in infected mosquitoes'

Joanne Macdonald, Madeeha Ahmed, Nina Pollak, Andrew Van Den Hurk, Leon Hugo & Jody Hobson-Peters
The pantropic emergence of severe dengue disease can partly be attributed to the co-circulation of different dengue viruses (DENVs) in the same geographical location. Effective monitoring for circulation of each of the four DENVs is critical to inform disease mitigation strategies. In low resource settings, this can be effectively achieved by utilizing inexpensive, rapid, sensitive and specific assays to detect viruses in mosquito populations. In this study, we developed four rapid DENV tests with direct...

Data from: Cranial remains of Ramsayia magna from the Late Pleistocene of Australia and the evolution of gigantism in wombats (Vombatidae; Marsupialia)

Julien Louys, Mathieu Duval, Robin M.D. Beck, Eleanor Pease, Ian Sobbe, Noel Sands & Gilbert J. Price
Giant wombats (defined here as body mass ≥ 70 kg) are found in the genera Phascolonus, Ramsayia, and perhaps also Sedophascolomys. Of these, Ramsayia is the currently the most poorly known, having been described from fragmentary mandibular and cranial fragments. Here, we report the most complete cranial remains attributable to the genus, identified as the species R. magna. The remains provide new important insights into the anatomy of the species and the evolutionary adaptations to...

The minimum land area requiring conservation attention to safeguard biodiversity

James Allan, Hugh Possingham, Scott Atkinson, Anthony Waldron, Moreno Di Marco, Stuart Butchart, Vanessa Adams, Daniel Kissling, Thomas Worsdell, Chris Sandbrook, Gwili Gibbon, Kundan Kumar, Piyush Mehta, Martine Maron, Brooke Williams, Kendall Jones, Brendan Wintle, April Reside & James Watson
Ambitious conservation efforts are needed to stop the global biodiversity crisis. Here, we estimate the minimum land area to secure important biodiversity areas, ecologically intact areas, and optimal locations for representation of species ranges and ecoregions. We discover that at least 64 million km2 (44% of terrestrial area) would require conservation attention (ranging from protected areas to land-use policies) to meet this goal. Over 1.8 billion people live on these lands, so responses that promote...

Interactions among multiple stressors vary with exposure duration and biological response

Olivia King, Jason Van De Merwe, Max Campbell, Rachael Smith, Michael Warne & Chris Brown
Coastal ecosystems are exposed to multiple anthropogenic stressors. Effective management actions would be better informed from generalised predictions of the individual, combined and interactive effects of multiple stressors; however, few generalities are shared across different meta-analyses. Using an experimental study, we present an approach for analysing regression-based designs with generalised additive models (GAMs) that allowed us to capture non-linear effects of exposure duration and stressor intensity, and access interactions among stressors. We tested the approach...

Data from: Synergism, bifunctionality, and the evolution of a gradual sensory trade-off in hummingbird taste receptors

Glenn Cockburn, Meng-Ching Ko, Keren Sadanandan, Eliot Miller, Tomoya Nakagita, Amanda Monte, Sungbo Cho, Eugeni Roura, Yasuka Toda & Maude Baldwin
Sensory receptor evolution can imply trade-offs between ligands, but the extent to which such trade-offs occur and the underlying processes shaping their evolution is not well understood. For example, hummingbirds have re-purposed their ancestral savory receptor (T1R1-T1R3) to detect sugars, but the impact of this sensory shift on amino acid perception is unclear. Here, we use functional and behavioral approaches to show that the hummingbird T1R1-T1R3 acts as a bifunctional receptor responsive to both sugars...

Registration Year

  • 2022

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • University of Queensland
  • University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Griffith University
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Western Australia
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Deakin University
  • Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
  • California Polytechnic State University