Two of the ESRs based at Swansea University have recently taken part in the Postgraduate Seminar Series 2017.
In her session Marta covered her previous research on FosSahul database and Megafauna extinctions in Australia.
‘The fossil record has grown substantially over the last three decades, thus permitting more refined chronologies of major biological events and tests of their underlying causes. These chronologies provide palaeoecological insights into extinction and evolutionary processes that enable better predictions and management of factors driving biodiversity loss. However, more fossil data does not necessarily equate to higher information quality given uncertainties in dating that can lead to incorrect timing of ecological processes. FosSahul is the first quality-rated dataset of nonhuman vertebrate fossils for Sahul (Australia and New Guinea) through the Quaternary to the present (doi:10.1038/sdata.2016.53). Only 23 % of the full set of fossil ages were rated as ‘reliable’, so available ages must be carefully scrutinised before they can be used for building chronologies or timing inferences. We discuss multiple potential applications of this dataset for better understanding the past, present and future of Australia’s history of life’.
Teja’s session looked at her current research i.e. Tackling the freshwater invasive species issues by using innovative molecular detection methods.
‘Environmental DNA (eDNA) barcoding and metabarcoding methods are currently the most promising techniques for an early detection of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Limiting the impact and spread of AIS requires an appropriate management strategy, focused on effective early detection, evaluation of their dispersal potential and to measure the recolonization success after eradication. The main aim is to develop and optimize eDNA AIS and native species molecular detection techniques based on the combination of eDNA field studies and mesocosm experiments. The following research is based on native and non- native aquatic invertebrate and fish communities found in Welsh freshwater bodies’.
h.k.rehwald August 18th, 2017
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