Congratulations to UA BSC graduate Peter Scott, who went on to do great things as a postdoc out at UCLA, and is now an Assistant Professor at Assistant Professor at West Texas A&M Univ.
Peter just had a first-authored paper in Science (plus the cover!!). Peter studied tortoises that were part of a big relocation project out in southern CA and looked to try to predict what predicted survival of the relocated individuals. The idea is really simple, but provides excellent data that supports a classic assumption that underlies much of modern population/conservation genetics: more genetic variation = greater fitness. This is often difficult to test, but in this case they had the data on individual survival. They use extensive RAD-tag SNP set and look at probability of survival based on individual heterozygosity, translocation distance, and geographic origin... lo and behold, heterozygosity was the key predictor of tortoise survival. Really cool stuff. Congrats Peter!
Scott, P. A., Allison, L. J., Field, K. J., Averill-Murray, R. C., & Shaffer, H. B. (2020). Individual heterozygosity predicts translocation success in threatened desert tortoises. Science, 370(6520), 1086–1089. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abb0421
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