30 Works

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: 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: 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: 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,...

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: 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...

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: 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...

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: 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: Human macular Müller cells rely more on serine biosynthesis to combat oxidative stress than those from the periphery

Ting Zhang, Ling Zhu, Michele Catherine Madigan, Wei Liu, Weiyong Shen, Svetlana Cherepanoff, Fanfan Zhou, Shaoxue Zeng, Jianhai Du & Mark Cedric Gillies
The human macula is more susceptible than the peripheral retina to developing blinding conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy. A key difference between them may be the nature of their Müller cells. We found primary cultured Müller cells from macula and peripheral retina display significant morphological and transcriptomic differences. Macular Müller cells expressed more Phosphoglycerate Dehydrogenase (PHGDH, a rate-limiting enzyme in serine synthesis) than peripheral Müller cells. The serine synthesis, glycolytic and mitochondrial...

Genomes From Bacteria Associated with the Canine Oral Cavity: a Test Case for Automated Genome-Based Taxonomic Assignment

David Coil, Guillaume Jospin, Jonathan Eisen, Aaron Darling, Collin Wallis, Ian Davis, Stephen Harris, Lucy Holcombe & Ciaran O'Flynn
Taxonomy for bacterial isolates is commonly assigned via sequence analysis. However, the most common sequence-based approaches (e.g. 16S rRNA gene-based phylogeny or whole genome comparisons) are still labor intensive and subjective to varying degrees. Here we present a set of 33 bacterial genomes, isolated from the canine oral cavity. Taxonomy of these isolates was first assigned by PCR amplification of the 16S rRNA gene, Sanger sequencing, and taxonomy assignment using BLAST. After genome sequencing, taxonomy...

Data from: Sex- and tissue-specific differences in telomere length in a reptile

Nicky Rollings, Christopher R. Friesen, Camilla M. Whittington, Rasmus Johansson, Richard Shine & Mats Olsson
The usage of telomere length (TL) in blood as a proxy for the TL of other tissues relies on the assumption that telomere dynamics across all tissues are similar. However, telomere attrition can be caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) which may vary with metabolic rate, which itself varies across organs depending upon the life history strategy of an organism. Thus we chose to measure the telomeres of various cell types in juvenile painted dragon...

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...

Data from: Fine-scale behavioural adjustments of prey on a continuum of risk

Maud I.A. Kent, James E. Herbert-Read, Gordon McDonald, A. Jamie Wood & Ashley J.W. Ward
In the wild, prey species often live in the vicinity of predators, rendering the ability to assess risk on a moment-to-moment basis crucial to survival. Visual cues are important as they allow prey to assess predator species, size, proximity and behaviour. However, few studies have explicitly examined prey’s ability to assess risk based on predator behaviour and orientation. Using mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, and their predator, jade perch, Scortum barcoo, under controlled conditions, we provide some...

Data from: MHC-associated mate choice under competitive conditions in captive versus wild Tasmanian devils

Jenna Day, Rebecca M. Gooley, Carolyn J. Hogg, Katherine Belov, Camilla M. Whittington & Catherine E. Grueber
Mate choice contributes to driving evolutionary processes when animals choose breeding partners that confer genetic advantages to offspring, such as increased immunocompetence. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is an important group of immunological molecules, as MHC antigens bind and present foreign peptides to T-cells. Recent studies suggest that mates may be selected based on their MHC profile, leading to an association between an individual’s MHC diversity and their breeding success. In conservation, it may be...

A practical introduction to sequentially Markovian coalescent methods for estimating demographic history from genomic data

Niklas Mather, Simon Ho & Samuel Traves
A common goal of population genomics and molecular ecology is to reconstruct the demographic history of a species of interest. A pair of powerful tools based on the sequentially Markovian coalescent have been developed to infer past population sizes using genome sequences. These methods are most useful when sequences are available for only a limited number of genomes and when the aim is to study ancient demographic events. The results of these analyses can be...

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...

Propagule composition regulates the success of an invasive seaweed across a heterogeneous seascape

Fabio Bulleri, Ezequiel M. Marzinelli, Sofie Voerman & Paul Gribben
1. Propagule pressure is acknowledged as a key determinant of invasion success. Nonetheless, the role of morphological or physiological attributes of propagules (i.e., their quality) in regulating invader establishment has been little explored. In particular, no study has investigated how the presence of propagules differing in quality within an inoculum influences establishment across heterogeneous landscapes. 2. We experimentally tested the hypothesis that the quality (+Fronds+Rhizoids; +Fronds–Rhizoids; –Fronds+Rhizoids) and the diversity (1, 2, 3 fragment types)...

Inter-seasonal nitrogen loss with drought depends on fertilizer management in a semi-natural Australian grassland

Mohammad Rahmat Ullah, Paola E. Corneo & Feike A. Dijkstra
Drought can increase nitrogen (N) loss due to enhanced asynchronicity between N release through mineralization and plant N uptake. Organic amendments of N could potentially mitigate this loss where the N is more slowly released and made available at times when plants need it. Drought (ambient vs. reduced precipitation implemented with rainout shelters) and fertilizer addition (compost vs. mineral fertilizer) were used to examine the changes in mineralization, plant uptake and loss of N during...

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...

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...

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...

Registration Year

  • 2019

Resource Types

  • Dataset


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