Astrid Vik Stronen

Astrid Vik Stronen
University of Ljubljana · Department of Biology

PhD

About

89
Publications
40,519
Reads
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970
Citations
Citations since 2016
58 Research Items
792 Citations
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Introduction
Humans influence the ecology, genetic makeup, movements, disease resistance, and behaviour of species, and I am intrigued by how animals are adapting to our altered landscapes. I am interested in contemporary evolution, including hybridization and its role in shaping populations and their evolutionary trajectories. My recent work includes genetic analyses of Nordic dog and cattle breeds at risk, and wild species including bison, bears, monk seals, golden jackals, coyotes and wolves.
Additional affiliations
September 2016 - August 2017
Aalborg University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2016 - August 2017
Aalborg University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Description
  • Graduate level course in Conservation Biology. Cross-disciplinary course taught in English for biology and environmental engineering students that included lectures, exercises, and excursions (winter semester, 5 ECTS).
November 2013 - August 2016
Aalborg University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 2002 - February 2009
University of New Brunswick/Parks Canada
Field of study
  • Biology
September 1997 - September 2000
The University of Calgary
Field of study
  • Environmental Science
September 1993 - December 1996
University of Bergen
Field of study
  • Zoological Ecology

Publications

Publications (89)
Article
Full-text available
Incorporating genetic considerations into wildlife management can require balancing the conservation of rare genetic variants with the maintenance of gene flow. One system illustrating such trade‐offs is coastal British Columbia, Canada, where black bears (Ursus americanus) can carry a genetic variant responsible for white‐coated “Spirit bears.” We...
Article
Full-text available
Glacial and interglacial periods throughout the Pleistocene have been substantial drivers of change in species distributions. Earlier analyses suggested that modern grey wolves (Canis lupus) trace their origin to a single Late Pleistocene Beringian population that expanded east and westwards, starting ca. 25,000 years ago (ya). Here, we examined th...
Article
Full-text available
Intra- and inter-specific gene flow are natural evolutionary processes. However, human-induced hybridization is a global conservation concern across taxa, and the development of discriminant genetic markers to differentiate among gene flow processes is essential. Wolves (Canis lupus) are affected by hybridization, particularly in southern Europe, w...
Article
Full-text available
Simple Summary: This study evaluates the use of acoustic devices as a method to monitor wolves by analyzing different variables extracted from wolf howls. By analyzing the wolf howls, we fo-cused on identifying individual wolves, subspecies. We analyzed 170 howls from 16 individuals from the three subspecies: Arctic wolves (Canis lupus arctos), Eur...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of ecotypes is complex, partly because of its interdisciplinary nature, but the idea is intrinsically valuable for evolutionary biology and applied conservation. The complex nature of ecotypes has spurred some confusion and inconsistencies in the literature, thereby limiting broader theoretical development and practical application. We...
Article
Full-text available
Hybridisation between wild and domestic taxa raises complex questions for conservation. Genetic advances offer new methods for hybrid identification, yet social and cultural factors can influence study design, and the interpretation, application, and communication of results. A relevant illustration is hybridisation between domestic dogs (Canis lup...
Article
Full-text available
Augmenting the genetic diversity of small, inbred populations by the introduction of new individuals is often termed “genetic rescue“. An example is the Norwegian Lundehund, a small spitz dog with inbreeding-related health problems that is being crossed with three Nordic breeds, including the Norwegian Buhund. Conservation breeding decisions for th...
Article
Full-text available
The Balkan Peninsula and the Dinaric Mountains possess extraordinary biodiversity and support one of the largest and most diverse wolf (Canis lupus) populations in Europe. Results obtained with diverse genetic markers show west-east substructure, also seen in various other species, despite the absence of obvious barriers to movement. However, the s...
Article
Full-text available
Landscape genetic analyses of wildlife populations can exclude variation in a broad suite of potential spatiotemporal correlates, including consideration of how such variation might have similarly influenced people over time. Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) populations in what is now known as coastal British Columbia, Canada, provide an opportunity to...
Article
Full-text available
• Parasites are integral to ecosystem functioning yet often overlooked. Improved understanding of host–parasite associations is important, particularly for wide-ranging species for which host range shifts and climate change could alter host–parasite interactions and their effects on ecosystem function. • Among the most widely distributed mammals wi...
Article
Full-text available
Background Understanding the processes that lead to hybridization of wolves and dogs is of scientific and management importance, particularly over large geographical scales, as wolves can disperse great distances. However, a method to efficiently detect hybrids in routine wolf monitoring is lacking. Microsatellites offer only limited resolution due...
Article
Full-text available
Species range expansions and (re)colonization of landscapes variously dominated by humans occur on a global scale. Understanding such range enlargements and subsequent changes in the composition of ecological communities is important for conservation management, and the golden jackal (Canis aureus) can be considered a model species for regional and...
Article
Full-text available
The gray wolf Canis lupus range in central Europe is dynamically expanding, reconnecting previously isolated populations. Thus, a recent paper has proposed to merge the current Baltic and Central European (CE) wolf management units, which are no longer isolated by distance. However, recent genetic findings indicate that these two populations are no...
Article
Full-text available
The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) is a flagship species for marine conservation, but important aspects of its life history remain unknown. Concerns over imminent extinction motivated a nuclear DNA study of the species in its largest continuous subpopulation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Despite recent evidence of partial subpopula...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In Recommendation 257 L (2016-2017), the Norwegian parliament asked the government to undertake an assessment of the Norwegian subpopulation of wolves on the grounds that an independent assessment of what can be defined as a viable population of wolves in Norway has never previously been conducted. The Ministry of Climate and Environment gave the N...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Understanding the processes that lead to hybridization of wolves and dogs is of scientific and management importance, particularly over large geographical scales, as wolves can disperse great distances. However, a method to efficiently detect hybrids in routine wolf monitoring is lacking. Microsatellites offer only limited resolution due...
Article
Full-text available
From their historic ranges in southeastern Europe, the golden jackal (Canis aureus) distribution is expanding westwards and northwards, with range enlargement from Balkan and Caucasus source populations. Jackals can hybridize with dogs (C. lupus familiaris) and potentially also wolves (C. lupus), which is a conservation concern. Despite the emergin...
Article
Necrotic inflammation of the prepuce (NIP, posthitis) is probably the most serious threat to the males of European bison (Bison bonasus) population living in the Białowieża National Park. Approximately 6% of the males have been affected every year. The aim of this study was to explore genetic regions potentially affecting this disease. The populati...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Brown bears are considered to be endangered in Greece. In 2000 we established the Hellenic Bear Register in order to understand the patterns of brown bear recovery in Greece. We analyzed genetic data from 350 individuals, tracking data from 22 bear-years, 66,500 locations of field evidence and 8,800 compensation claims. More specifically: we carrie...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
The Carpathian Mountains provide critical wildlife habitat in central Europe, and previous genome-wide studies have found western Carpathian Mountain wolves (Canis lupus) to be a separate population. Whereas differentiation to the north may be explained by a lowland-mountain transition and habitat fragmentation, the eastern Carpathian Mountains ext...
Article
Full-text available
Analyses of museum specimens can help illuminate temporal changes in wildlife genetics and distributions, and the objective of our study was to evaluate the suitability of skin samples from the past century for genomic analyses. We examined two European species with extensive genomic resources and existing data: the wild boar (Sus scrofa) and the w...
Article
Full-text available
Native domestic breeds represent important cultural heritage and genetic diversity relevant for production traits, environmental adaptation and food security. However, risks associated with low effective population size, such as inbreeding and genetic drift, have elevated concerns over whether unique within‐breed lineages should be kept separate or...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic hybridization is widely perceived as a threat to the conservation of biodiversity. Nevertheless, to date, relevant policy and management interventions are unresolved and highly convoluted. While this is due to the inherent complexity of the issue, we hereby hypothesize that a lack of agreement concerning management goals and approache...
Article
Full-text available
A ‘rewilding’ process is occurring in Europe and beyond, centered on landscapes reverting from agricultural use to a more natural state. Wild species are arriving by natural or human-mediated range expansion, at times reclaiming ranges from which they were lost centuries ago. Recent colonizers include alien invasives and species expanding their his...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Understanding population recoveries is important in shaping conservation strategies and actions. We used a rear-edge population of brown bears in Greece as a case study (2000-2015) for understanding the patterns of a large carnivore population recovery. We analyzed genetic data from 350 individuals, tracking data from 22 bear-years, 66,500 location...
Article
Full-text available
After a strong demographic decline before World War II, wild boar populations are expanding and the species is now the second-most abundant ungulate in Europe. This increase raises concerns due to wild boar impact on crops and natural ecosystems and as potential vector of diseases. Additionally, wild boar can hybridize with domestic pigs, which co...
Article
Full-text available
Background Genomic methods can provide extraordinary tools to explore the genetic background of wild species and domestic breeds, optimize breeding practices, monitor and limit the spread of recessive diseases, and discourage illegal crossings. In this study we analysed a panel of 170k Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms with a combination of multivari...
Article
In 2009, a frozen mummy of the steppe bison (SB) (Bison priscus) was discovered between the lower Kolyma River and the Alazeya River in northeast Siberia, Russia. The specimen was dated with 14C and estimated to have lived more than 48,000 14C years before present (BP). The relationship between SB and the European Bison (EB) (Bison bonasus), also k...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the mechanisms and patterns involved in population recoveries is challenging and important in shaping conservation strategies. We used a recovering rear-edge population of brown bears at their southernmost European range in Greece as a case study (2007-2010) to explore the recovery genetics at a species' distribution edge. We used 17...
Article
Full-text available
The grey wolf (Canis lupus) is an iconic large carnivore that has increasingly been recognized as an apex predator with intrinsic value and a keystone species. However, wolves have also long represented a primary source of human–carnivore conflict, which has led to long-term persecution of wolves, resulting in a significant decrease in their number...
Article
Full-text available
This letter was submitted by several scientists across North America in reply to a response from Alberta's S. Boutin regarding killing wolves under the guise of caribou recovery.
Article
Full-text available
Genetic rescue, outcrossing with individuals from a related population, is used to augment genetic diversity in populations threatened by severe inbreeding and extinction. The endangered Norwegian Lundehund dog underwent at least two severe bottlenecks in the 1940s and 1960s that each left only five inbred dogs, and the approximately 1500 dogs rema...
Data
Supporting information with additional tables and figures. Table A—Pairwise FST-values for the Lundehund and a selection of other Nordic Spitz breeds. Table B—SNPs with ID, chromosome and position (bp) from CanFam2 found as outliers. Figure A—ADMIXTURE cross-validation error values for K (population clusters) from 1–6. Figure B—ADMIXTURE results fo...
Article
Full-text available
ContextMethods for detecting contemporary, fine-scale population genetic structure in continuous populations are scarce. Yet such methods are vital for ecological and conservation studies, particularly under a changing landscape. Objectives Here we present a novel, spatially explicit method that we call landscape relatedness (LandRel). With this me...
Article
Full-text available
Many domestic breeds face challenges concerning genetic variability, because of their small population sizes along with a high risk of inbreeding. Therefore, it is important to obtain knowledge on their extinction risk, along with the possible benefits of certain breeding strategies. Since many domestic breeds face the same problems, results from s...
Article
Accurate identification of species and populations is essential for biodiversity conservation and for monitoring of international trade in wild species. Morphological and behavioural traits are not always reliable for species identification of samples of unknown origin, and suspected hybridization augments this challenge. We used mitochondrial DNA...
Article
Full-text available
Runs of homozygosity (ROH), uninterrupted stretches of homozygous genotypes resulting from parents transmitting identical haplotypes to their offspring, have emerged as informative genome-wide estimates of autozygosity (inbreeding). We used genomic profiles based on 698 K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) from nine breeds of domestic cattle (Bos...
Data
FIGURE S1: Manhattan plot and plots of frequency of SNP in a ROH in the range 500Kb - 15Mb. Chromosomes 2, 3, 7, 14 and 16 are shown. FIGURE S2: Manhattan plot and plots of frequency of SNP in a ROH in the range > 15Mb. Chromosomes 6, 9 and 20 are shown. TABLE S1: Summary table showing the genes identified in the screened regions, their function an...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological and environmental heterogeneity can produce genetic differentiation in highly mobile species. Accordingly, local adaptation may be expected across comparatively short distances in the presence of marked environmental gradients. Within the European continent, wolves (Canis lupus) exhibit distinct north–south population differentiation. We...
Data
Table S1. Correlation between environmental variables (detailed in Table 1). Table S2. Complete identification for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci on the Illumina CanineHD BeadChip (170K SNPs) with information from the MAP‐file in PLINK. Table S3. Summary of major functional genes near single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci identifie...