Global drivers of recent diversification in a marine species complex

New paper by Catarina and Jan in Molecular Ecology, (full article here), investigates genome-wide divergence, introgression patterns and inferred demographic history between species pairs of all six extant rock lobster species within the genus Jasus – species with a larval duration of up to two years. Funded by the Australian Research Council, this work shows the important effect of habitat and demographic processes on the recent divergence of species in the genus.

Abalone sampling at Southern Ocean Mariculture

Jan and Phoebe visited Southern Ocean Mariculture (SOM) in Port Fairy, Victoria at the start of July to collect samples for Phoebe’s honours project. Phoebes project, supported by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and the Australian Abalone Growers Association, seeks to test established methods of early prediction of genetic merit in abalone broodstock. It was freezing in Port Fairy in comparison to sunny Townsville, but great to see the abalone growth and the impressive technology and set up at SOM! Thanks for hosting us!

Abalone = Yum!

8th International Barcode of Life Conference

Jan gave a plenary lecture at the 8th International Barcode of Life Conference in Trondheim, Norway on June 19. Jan spoke about “Dating the West Antarctic ice sheet collapse using molecular sequence data.” The conference was great – loads of metabarcoding presentations including monitoring freshwater and marine environments and also using barcoding to ascertain the ingredients in foods. Great to catch up with old friends and make new ones and see a little bit of beautiful Norway!

Jan delivering her lecture in Trondheim

Exciting genetics and glaciology collaboration underway!

Last week Sally and Jan, together with Nerida Wilson from Western Australian Museum, visited our collaborators Prof Tim Naish and A/Prof Nick Golledge at the Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand to discuss about how the past Antarctic Ice Sheet configurations influenced population genetics in the Southern Ocean. We aim to combine genetics and glaciology to reconstruct the past collapses of West Antarctic Ice sheet. Watch this space!

At the Antarctic Research Centre, from Left to Right, Nick Golledge, Nerida Wilson, Sally Lau, Tim Naish and Jan Strugnell

During our trip to New Zealand we also took the opportunity to visit the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in Wellington to sample benthic critters for our Southern Ocean genetics projects. With a wealth of Antarctic biodiversity preserved, this collection is like a treasure box to us! Thank you Sadie Smith for hosting us!  

Jan at the NIWA collections. (Check out the size of that lobster!)