Deborah Ann Dawson

Deborah Ann Dawson
The University of Sheffield | Sheffield · Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

PhD

About

452
Publications
32,786
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
5,063
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 1998 - present
The University of Sheffield
Position
  • Scientific Manager of the NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility at Sheffield
April 1994 - April 1998
University of Leicester
Position
  • Research
April 1991 - April 1994
University of Leicester
Position
  • Research

Publications

Publications (452)
Article
Full-text available
The pink pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri) is an endemic species of Mauritius that has made a remarkable recovery after a severe population bottleneck in the 1970s to early 1990s. Prior to this bottleneck, an ex situ population was established from which captive‐bred individuals were released into free‐living subpopulations to increase population size and g...
Preprint
Full-text available
Invasive mammals are responsible for the majority of native species extinctions on islands. While most of these extinction events will be due to novel interactions between species (e.g. exotic predators and naive prey), it is more unusual to find incidences where a newly invasive species causes the decline/extinction of a native species on an islan...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the frequency, spatiotemporal dynamics and impacts of parasite coinfections is fundamental to developing control measures and predicting disease impacts. The European turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur) is one of Europe’s most threatened bird species. High prevalence of infection by the protozoan parasite Trichomonas gallinae has previo...
Preprint
Understanding the frequency, spatiotemporal dynamics and impacts of parasite coinfections is fundamental to developing control measures and predicting disease impacts. The European turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur) is one of Europe’s most threatened bird species. High prevalence of infection by the protozoan parasite Trichomonas gallinae has previo...
Article
Full-text available
Segmentina nitida Müller 1774 is a rare European freshwater snail of drainage ditches and marshland, which has seen a marked decrease in range (~ 80%) over the last 100 years in the UK. This has been attributed to over-dredging of drainage ditches for land management, conversion of grazing marshes to arable farmland, as well as eutrophication. Segm...
Article
Full-text available
Background Solitary bees, such as the red mason bee ( Osmia bicornis ), provide important ecosystem services including pollination. In the face of global declines of pollinator abundance, such haplodiploid Hymenopterans have a compounded extinction risk due to the potential for limited genetic diversity. In order to assess the genetic diversity of...
Article
Full-text available
Many bird species are vulnerable to environmental change, so knowledge of their diet and its variation can help to understand population status and flexibility to respond to change. Insectivorous species are predicted to have a flexible diet within and between individuals, which can respond to naturally fluctuating prey abundance, thus allowing opp...
Article
Full-text available
In human-dominated landscapes, connectivity is crucial for maintaining demographically stable mammalian populations. Here, we provide a comprehensive noninvasive genetic study for the brown bear population in the Hellenic Peninsula. We analyze its population structuring and connectivity, estimate its population size throughout its distribution, and...
Article
Full-text available
There have been significant declines in population numbers of many bat species in the United Kingdom, including Natterer’s bats Myotis nattereri , over the last century, largely due to anthropogenic changes. The philopatry, which temperate-zone bats often exhibit to their natal landscapes, in combination with anthropogenic threats, can lead to frag...
Article
Exposure of male fish to estrogenic substances from wastewater treatment works (WwTWs) results in feminization and reduced reproductive fitness. Nevertheless, self-sustaining populations of roach (Rutilus rutilus) inhabit river stretches polluted with estrogenic WwTW effluents. In this study, we examine whether such roach populations have evolved a...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract When and where animals breed can shape the genetic structure and diversity of animal populations. The importance of drivers of genetic diversity is amplified in island populations that tend to have more delineated gene pools compared to continental populations. Studies of relatedness as a function of the spatial distribution of individuals...
Article
Full-text available
Most studies on sexual size dimorphism address proximate and functional questions related to adults, but sexual size dimorphism usually develops during ontogeny and developmental trajectories of sexual size dimorphism are poorly understood. We studied three bird species with variation in adult sexual size dimorphism: black coucals (females 69% heav...
Article
Full-text available
To understand the evolution of cognitive abilities, we need to understand both how selection acts upon them and their genetic (co)variance structure. Recent work suggests that there are fitness consequences for free-living individuals with particular cognitive abilities. However, our current understanding of the heritability of these abilities is r...
Article
Full-text available
1. Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding has revolutionized biomonitoring in both marine and freshwater ecosystems. However, for semi-aquatic and terrestrial animals, the application of this technique remains relatively untested. 2. We first assess the efficiency of eDNA metabarcoding in detecting semi-aquatic and terrestrial mammals in natural lo...
Article
Full-text available
Migratory movements in response to seasonal resources often influence population structure and dynamics. Yet in mobile marine predators, population genetic consequences of such repetitious behaviour remain inaccessible without comprehensive sampling strategies. Temporal genetic sampling of seasonally recurring aggregations of planktivorous basking...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive species can have wide-ranging negative impacts, and an understanding of the process and success of invasions can be vital to determine management strategies, mitigate impacts and predict range expansions of such species. Monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) and ring-necked parakeets (Psittacula krameri) are both widespread invasive species...
Article
Full-text available
Savannah elephant populations have been severely reduced and fragmented throughout its remaining range. In general, however, there is limited information regarding their genetic status, which is essential knowledge for conservation. We investigated patterns of genetic variation in savannah elephants from the Greater Kruger Biosphere, with a focus o...
Poster
Full-text available
African savannah elephant numbers have been decreasing throughout most of Africa due to anthropogenic action. Population fragmentation and a decline in numbers can lead to lower adaptability and evolutionary potential, and greater inter-population differentiation. Fragmentation and confinement to protected areas areas are increasing. The Associated...
Preprint
Full-text available
Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding has revolutionised biomonitoring in both marine and freshwater ecosystems. However, for semi-aquatic and terrestrial animals, the application of this technique remains relatively untested. We first assess the efficiency of eDNA metabarcoding in detecting semi-aquatic and terrestrial mammals in natural lotic ec...
Preprint
Full-text available
Bats play ecologically pivotal roles within both natural and agricultural systems but also act as vectors of disease. Increasing anthropogenic pressure on bats has led to an increase in zoonotic disease outbreaks. There is a need for a broad understanding of bat ecology and behaviour to inform conservation and disease management. We used microsatel...
Article
Full-text available
Movement of individuals, or their genes, can influence eco-evolutionary processes in structured populations. We have limited understanding of the extent to which spatial behavior varies among groups and individuals within populations. Here, we use genetic pedigree reconstruction in a long-term study of European badgers (Meles meles) to characterize...
Article
Full-text available
Plant‐herbivore interactions provide critical insights into the mechanisms that govern the spatiotemporal distributions of organisms. These interactions are crucial to understanding the impacts of climate change, which are likely to have an effect on the population dynamics of alpine herbivores. The Royle's pika (Ochotona roylei, hereafter pika) is...
Article
Full-text available
Following publication of the original article [1], one of the authors reported that his name was listed incorrectly, and that he would like his name to appear as S. James Reynolds instead of Silas James Reynolds. The latter format would confuse citations as all his previous publications are in the former format.
Article
Full-text available
Objective The objective here is to identify highly polymorphic microsatellite loci for the Palaearctic sweat bee Lasioglossum malachurum. Sweat bees (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) are widespread pollinators that exhibit an unusually large range of social behaviours from non-social, where each female nests alone, to eusocial, where a single queen reprodu...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Seabirds have suffered dramatic population declines in recent decades with one such species being the sooty tern Onychoprion fuscatus. An urgent call to re-assess their conservation status has been made given that some populations, such as the one on Ascension Island, South Atlantic, have declined by over 80% in three generations. Litt...
Article
Full-text available
Population persistence depends in many cases on gene flow between local populations. Parnassius apollo nevadensis is an endemic subspecies of Apollo butterfly in the Sierra Nevada (southern Spain), whose populations are distributed in discrete patches at altitudes between 1850 and 2700 m. In this paper, we use 13 microsatellite loci to examine the...
Article
Full-text available
Global-scale gene flow is an important concern in conservation biology as it has the potential to either increase or decrease genetic diversity in species and populations. Although many studies focus on the gene flow between different populations of a single species, the potential for gene flow and introgression between species is understudied, par...
Article
Full-text available
Background The Greater Water Parsnip, Sium latifolium (Apiaceae), is a marginal aquatic perennial currently endangered in England and consequently the focus of a number of conservation translocation projects. Microsatellite markers were developed for S. latifolium to facilitate comparison of genetic diversity and composition between natural and int...
Article
Full-text available
Despite extensive habitat fragmentation, the Neotropical region possesses 30% of the world´s bird species. Microsatellites have remained one of the most popular genetic markers and have been used in ecological and conservation studies since the 1990's. We conducted a literature review comparing the number of papers published from January 1990 to Ju...
Article
The effects of population bottlenecks, from both the population and conservation genetics point of view, have attracted great interest. Heterozygosity and allelic diversity are basic components of the evolutionary potential of populations. Many endangered species go through bottlenecks from time to time. The consequences are important because in th...
Article
Full-text available
In most passerine birds, individuals attempt to maximise their fitness by providing parental care while also mating outside their pair bond. A sex-specific trade-off between these two behaviours is predicted to occur since the fitness benefits of extra-pair mating differs between the sexes. We use nest observations and parentage analysis to reveal...
Article
Full-text available
We have developed a new marker (Z43B) that can be successfully used to identify the sex of most birds (69%), including species difficult or impossible to sex with other markers. We utilized the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata EST microsatellite sequence (CK309496) which displays sequence homology to the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of the avian spi...
Article
Full-text available
Microsatellite loci are widely used in ecological and evolutionary studies to assess inbreeding, genetic parentage and population structure. Such loci are often optimised in multiplexes to allow for economical and efficient use. Here, we tested 11 microsatellite loci designed for use in European bee-eaters (Merops apiaster), along with 31 loci isol...
Article
Full-text available
The filter-feeding basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) is the largest fish found in the Northeast Atlantic, however there is little baseline ecological data despite its globally threatened status. In order to investigate the basking sharks’ population connectivity, patterns of relatedness and effective population numbers over time, we developed a mi...
Article
Full-text available
During the 1950s and 1970s the osprey (Pandion haliaetus) experienced a dramatic population crash and remains of conservation concern in several parts of the world. We isolated 37 microsatellite loci and assessed these in ospreys sampled in the UK and Norway (using mouth swabs/feathers). From 26 loci variable in four ospreys, we selected 13, combin...
Article
The Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae) went through a huge population decline in the last century. To address questions on conservation genetics, ecology and evolutionary biology we characterised 120 microsatellite markers (30 Z-linked) in this species using four methods: designing primers from the reference genome of a confamilial species (the ze...
Article
Full-text available
Microsatellite markers were designed to be of utility for genotyping multiple species of birds, including those of conservation concern, hence saving resources and enabling species/genome comparisons. We used the proven approach of Dawson et al. (Mol Ecol Resour 10:475–494, 2010) and assessed markers in multiple species, including nine species of c...
Article
Disentangling the factors shaping species distributions remains a central goal in biogeography, ecology and evolutionary biology. The extrinsic pressures that may facilitate range shifts, such as climatic factors or biotic interactions are well known. However, in contrast, the possible intrinsic factors are manifold and hard to generalize across ta...
Article
Full-text available
Many squirrel species around the world are threatened by forest loss and fragmentation. To facilitate studies of squirrel biodiversity, particularly of flying squirrels in Southeast Asia, we identified Hylopetes, Menetes, Glaucomys and Sciurus squirrel microsatellite sequences with homologs in a second squirrel species (Spermophilus tridecemlineatu...
Article
Understanding the distribution of genetic diversity in exploited species is fundamental to successful conservation. Genetic structure and the degree of gene flow among populations must be assessed to design appropriate strategies to prevent the loss of distinct populations. The cephalopod Nautilus pompilius is fished unsustainably in the Philippine...
Article
Full-text available
A new primer set was developed for sex-typing birds, Z37B. This primer set was designed to amplify al-leles of small size to render it suitable for sex-typing degraded samples, including shed feathers. This marker successfully sex-typed 50 % of the species tested, including passerines, shorebirds, rails, seabirds, eagles and the brown kiwi Apteryx...
Article
Full-text available
We characterized 28 unique African stonechat (Saxicola torquata) microsatellite loci. Seventeen loci characterized in 24 unrelated Saxicola torquata axillaris individuals sampled at Mount Meru, Tanzania displayed 2–26 alleles per locus and observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.29 to 0.92. Heterozygous females and sequence similarity suggested all...
Article
Full-text available
One hundred and forty-four existing microsatellite avian loci were tested for polymorphism in two to four unrelated European rollers. This allowed the identification of 28 unique polymorphic loci that we characterized in 34 unrelated individuals from a population in Guadix, Spain. The putative chromosomal locations of all the polymorphic loci in Eu...
Article
Full-text available
We characterized 20 new microsatellite loci isolated from Parnassius apollo nevadensis. The 20 loci displayed 2–12 alleles and expected heterozygosities varied from 0.22 to 0.89; the markers were amplified in nine multiplex reactions. The combined non-exclusion probabilities of this set are 0.001084 and 0.000005 for the first and second parents, re...
Article
Full-text available
We characterized twenty unique polymorphic microsatellite loci in the Eurasian stone curlew Burhinus oedicnemus, a bird of conservation concern in Europe. The loci were genotyped in 24 individuals and displayed between 2 and 21 alleles per locus. All twenty loci were autosomal based on the genotyping of individuals of known sex and seventeen loci w...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic structure can be a consequence of recent population fragmentation and isolation, or a remnant of historical localised adaptation. This poses a challenge for conservationists since misinterpreting patterns of genetic structure may lead to inappropriate management. Of 17 species of reptile originally found in Mauritius, only five survive on t...
Article
Full-text available
One of the best known outcomes of coevolution between species is the rejection of mimetic parasite eggs by avian hosts, which has evolved to reduce costly cuckoo parasitism. How this behavioral adaptation varies along the life of individual hosts remains poorly understood. Here we identify for the first time, lifetime patterns of egg rejection in a...