20 Works

A new mechanism for a familiar mutation – bovine DGAT1 K232A modulates gene expression through multi-junction exon splice enhancement

Thomas Lopdell, Tania Fink, Kathryn Tiplady, Renee Handley, Thomas Johnson, Richard Spelman, Stephen Davis, Russell Snell & Mathew Littlejohn
The DGAT1 gene encodes an enzyme responsible for catalysing the terminal reaction in mammary triglyceride synthesis, and underpins a well-known pleiotropic quantitative trait locus (QTL) with a large influence on milk composition phenotypes. Since first described over 15 years ago, a protein-coding variant K232A has been assumed as the causative variant underlying these effects, following in-vitro studies that demonstrated differing levels of triglyceride synthesis between the two protein isoforms. In the current study, we used...

Deep-diving beaked whales dive together but forage apart

Jesús Alcázar Treviño, Mark Johnson, Patricia Arranz, Victoria Warren, Carlos Pérez-González, Tiago Marques, Peter Madsen & Natacha Aguilar De Soto
Echolocating animals that forage in social groups can potentially benefit from eavesdropping on other group members, cooperative foraging or social defence, but may also face problems of acoustic interference and intra-group competition for prey. Here, we investigated these potential trade-offs of sociality for extreme deep-diving Blainville´s and Cuvier’s beaked whales. These species perform highly synchronous group dives as a presumed predator-avoidance behaviour but the benefits and costs of this on foraging have not been investigated....

Data for: Male coercion and female injury in a sexually cannibalistic mantis

Nathan Burke & Gregory Holwell
Sexual conflict can generate male traits that enhance mating success but lead to injury in females. Pre-copulatory sexual cannibalism—where females eat males without mating—has the potential to select for harmful coercive traits as well, but few examples are known. Here, we show that males of the highly cannibalistic Springbok mantis, Miomantis caffra, wrestle females during pre-mating interactions. We find that most initial contacts between males and females involve a violent struggle whereby each sex tries...

Recent warming reduces the reproductive advantage of large size and contributes to evolutionary downsizing in nature

David C Fryxell, Alexander N. Hoover, Daniel A. Alvarez, Finn J. Arnesen, Javiera N. Benavente, Emma R. Moffett, Michael T. Kinnison, Kevin S. Simon & Eric P. Palkovacs
Body size is a key functional trait that is predicted to decline under warming. Warming is known to cause size declines via phenotypic plasticity, but evolutionary responses of body size to warming are poorly understood. To test for warming-induced evolutionary responses of body size and growth rates, we used populations of mosquitofish ( Gambusia affinis ) recently established (less than 100 years) from a common source across a strong thermal gradient (19–33°C) created by geothermal...


Hannah Marley

Data from: The roles of non-production vegetation in agroecosystems: a research framework for filling process knowledge gaps in a social-ecological context

Bradley Case, Jennifer Pannell, Margaret Stanley, David Norton, Anoek Brugman, Matt Funaki, Chloé Mathieu, Cao Songling, Febyana Suryaningrum & Hannah Buckley
1. An ever-expanding human population, climatic changes, and the spread of intensive farming practices is putting increasing pressure on agroecosystems and their inherent biodiversity. Non-production vegetation elements, such as woody patches, riparian margins, and restoration plantings, are vital for conserving agroecosystem biodiversity. Further, such elements are key building blocks that are manipulated via land management, thereby influencing the biotic and abiotic processes that underpin functioning agroecosystems. 2. Despite this critical role, there has been a...

Towards establishing extracellular vesicle-associated RNAs as biomarkers for HER2+ breast cancer

Colin L. Hisey, Petr Tomek, Yohanes N. S. Nursalim, Lawrence W. Chamley & Eupehmia Leung
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are emerging as key players in breast cancer progression and hold immense promise as cancer biomarkers. However, difficulties in obtaining sufficient quantities of EVs for the identification of potential biomarkers hampers progress in this area. To circumvent this obstacle, we cultured BT-474 breast cancer cells in a two-chambered bioreactor with CDM-HD serum replacement to significantly improve the yield of cancer cell-associated EVs and eliminate bovine EV contamination. Cancer-relevant mRNAs BIRC5 (Survivin) and...

Genetic diversity and connectivity of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) found in the Brazil and Chile–Peru wintering grounds and the South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur) feeding ground

Emma L Carroll, Paulo Ott, Louise McMillan, Bárbara Galletti Vernazzani, Petra Neveceralova, Els Vermeulen, Oscar Gaggiotti, Artur Andriolo, C. Scott Baker, Connor Bamford, Peter Best, Elsa Cabrera, Susannah Calderan, Andrea Chirife, Rachel M. Fewster, Paulo A. C. Flores, Timothy Frasier, Thales R. O. Freitas, Karina Groch, Pavel Hulva, Amy Kennedy, Russell Leaper, Mathew S. Leslie, Michael Moore, Larissa Oliviera … & Jennifer A Jackson
As species recover from exploitation, continued assessments of connectivity and population structure are warranted to provide information for conservation and management. This is particularly true in species with high dispersal capacity, such as migratory whales, where patterns of connectivity could change rapidly. Here we build on a previous long-term, large-scale collaboration on southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) to combine new (nnew) and published (npub) mitochondrial (mtDNA) and microsatellite genetic data from all major wintering grounds...

Cumulative stressors reduce the self-regulating capacity of coastal ecosystems

Simon Thrush
Marine ecosystems are prone to tipping points, particularly in coastal zones where dramatic changes are associated with interactions between cumulative stressors (e.g. shellfish harvesting, eutrophication and sediment inputs) and ecosystem functions. A common feature of many degraded estuaries is elevated turbidity that reduces incident light to the seafloor, resulting from multiple factors including changes in sediment loading, sea-level rise and increased water column algal biomass. To determine whether cumulative effects of elevated turbidity may result...

Pioneering polyploids: the impact of whole-genome duplication on biome shifting in New Zealand Coprosma (Rubiaceae) and Veronica (Plantaginaceae)

Luke Liddell, William Lee, Esther Dale, Heidi Meudt & Nick Matzke
The role of whole-genome duplication in facilitating shifts into novel biomes remains unknown. Focusing on two diverse woody plant groups in New Zealand, Coprosma (Rubiaceae) and Veronica (Plantaginaceae), we investigate how biome occupancy varies with ploidy level, and test the hypothesis that whole-genome duplication increases the rate of biome shifting. Ploidy levels and biome occupancy (forest, open, and alpine) were determined for indigenous species in both clades. The distribution of low ploidy (Coprosma: 2x, Veronica:...

Determining the underlying structure of insular isolation measures

Zachary Carter, George Perry & James Russell
Aim Island isolation is measured in many ways. We seek to determine what the underlying latent factors characterising these measures are, in order to understand how they mechanistically drive island biogeographic patterns and in order to recommend the most parsimonious measures. We then test the discriminatory power of the identified components against hypotheses generated from the biogeographic patterns of invasive rats. Taxon mammals Location The 890 offshore islands (≥ 1 hectare area) of the New...

Ceilometer daytime maximum BLD estimates 2013-2015

Hannah Marley
This dataset contains valid daily maximum convective boundary layer depth (BLD) estimates retrieved via ceilometer instrument. BLD estimates are in units of metres above ground level (magl). The criteria used to determine the validity of the BLD estimates is that outlined in Wagner & Schäfer (2017) referenced below.

Ceilometer hourly average BLD estimates 2013-2015

Hannah Marley
This dataset contains valid hourly average boundary layer depth (BLD) estimates retrieved via ceilometer instrument. Times are in NZDT (New Zealand Daylight Time) and BLD estimates are in units of metres above ground level (magl). The criteria used to determine the validity of the BLD estimates is that outlined in Wagner & Schäfer (2017).


Hannah Marley

Data from: Cybernetic combatants support the importance of duels in the evolution of extreme weapons

Murray Fea, Romain Boisseau, Douglas Emlen & Gregory Holwell
A current evolutionary hypothesis predicts that the most extreme forms of animal weaponry arise in systems where combatants fight each other one-to-one, in duels. It has also been suggested that arms races in human interstate conflicts are more likely to escalate in cases where there are only two opponents. However, directly testing whether duels matter for weapon investment is difficult in animals and impossible in interstate conflicts. Here, we test whether superior combatants experience a...

Perturbation drives changing metapopulation dynamics in a top marine predator

Emma L Carroll, Ailsa Hall, Morten Tange Olsen, Aubrie Booth, Aubrie B. Onoufriou, Oscar E. Gaggiotti & Debbie JF Russell
Metapopulation theory assumes a balance between local decays/extinctions and local growth/new colonisations. Here we investigate whether recent population declines across part of the UK harbour seal range represent normal metapopulation dynamics or are indicative of perturbations potentially threatening the metapopulation viability, using 20 years of population trends, location tracking data ( n = 380), and UK-wide, multi-generational population genetic data ( n = 269). First, we use microsatellite data to show that two genetic groups...

Sex-specific effects of cooperative breeding and colonial nesting on prosociality in corvids

Lisa Horn, Thomas Bugnyar, Michael Griesser, Marietta Hengl, Ei-Ichi Izawa, Tim Oortwijn, Christiane Rössler, Clara Scheer, Martina Schiestl, Masaki Suyama, Alex H. Taylor, Lisa-Claire Vanhooland, Auguste M. P. Von Bayern, Yvonne Zürcher & Jorg J. M. Massen
The investigation of prosocial behavior is of particular interest from an evolutionary perspective. Comparisons of prosociality across non-human animal species have, however, so far largely focused on primates, and their interpretation is hampered by the diversity of paradigms and procedures used. Here we present the first systematic comparison of prosocial behavior across multiple species in a taxonomic group outside the primate order, namely the bird family Corvidae. We measured prosociality in 8 corvid species, which...

Polygenic basis for adaptive morphological variation in a threatened Aotearoa | New Zealand bird, the hihi (Notiomystis cincta)

Laura Duntsch, Barbara Tomotani, Pierre De Villemereuil, Patricia Brekke, Kate Lee, John Ewen & Anna Santure
To predict if a threatened species can adapt to changing selective pressures, it is crucial to understand the genetic basis of adaptive traits, especially in species historically affected by severe bottlenecks. We estimated the heritability of three hihi (Notiomystis cincta) morphological traits known to be under selection: nestling tarsus length, body mass and head-bill length, using 523 individuals and 39,699 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from a 50K Affymetrix SNP chip. We then examined the genetic...

Increased typhoon activity in the Pacific deep tropics driven by Little Ice Age circulation changes

James Bramante, Murray Ford, Paul Kench, Andrew D. Ashton, Michael Toomey, Richard M. Sullivan, Kristopher B. Karnauskas, Caroline C. Ummenhofer & Jeffrey P. Donnelly
The instrumental record reveals that tropical cyclone activity is sensitive to oceanic and atmospheric variability on inter-annual and decadal scales. However, our understanding of climate’s influence on tropical cyclone behavior is restricted by the short historical record and sparse prehistorical reconstructions, particularly in the western North Pacific where coastal communities suffer loss of life and livelihood from typhoons annually. Here we reconstruct three millennia of deep tropical North Pacific cyclogenesis and compare with other records...

Emperor penguin air sac oxygen

Paul Ponganis, Cassondra Williams, Max Czapanskiy, Jason John, Judy St. Leger & Miriam Scadeng
Some marine birds and mammals can perform dives of extraordinary duration and depth. Such dive performance is dependent on many factors, including total body oxygen (O2) stores. For diving penguins, the respiratory system (air sacs and lungs) constitutes 30-50% of the total body O2 store. To better understand the role and mechanism of parabronchial ventilation and O2 utilization in penguins both on the surface and during the dive, we examined air sac partial pressures of...

Registration Year

  • 2020

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • University of Auckland
  • University of St Andrews
  • Aarhus University
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • University of Montana
  • National Marine Mammal Foundation
  • University of Pretoria
  • Livestock Improvement Corporation