Michael W Bruford

Michael W Bruford
Cardiff University | CU · School of Biosciences

BSc PhD FLSW MAE

About

900
Publications
193,045
Reads
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27,093
Citations
Citations since 2016
195 Research Items
13165 Citations
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Introduction
I am a conservation biologist specialising on the genomics of wild and domestic animal species. I am co-Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission's Conservation Genetics Specialist Group, co-Director of Cardiff University's Sustainable Places Research Institute and Dean for Environmental Sustainability.
Additional affiliations
November 2019 - present
University of Pretoria
Position
  • Professor
January 2005 - June 2005
October 2001 - present
Cardiff University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Education
October 1986 - September 1990
University of Leicester
Field of study
  • Zoology
October 1981 - June 1984
University of Portsmouth
Field of study
  • Biomolecular science

Publications

Publications (900)
Article
Full-text available
Open access to sequence data is a cornerstone of biology and biodiversity research, but has created tension under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Policy decisions could compromise research and development, unless a practical multilateral solution is implemented. Ensuring international benefit-sharing from sequence data...
Article
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Biodiversity underlies ecosystem resilience, ecosystem function, sustainable economies, and human well‐being. Understanding how biodiversity sustains ecosystems under anthropogenic stressors and global environmental change will require new ways of deriving and applying biodiversity data. A major challenge is that biodiversity data and knowledge are...
Article
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The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and the spread of COVID-19 is explored using a social-ecological systems (SES) framework. From an SES perspective, the pandemic is the outcome of feedback loops and cascading interactions within an anthropologically disturbed system. However, the SES framework tends to overemphasize human agency as drivers of system dise...
Article
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The wild population of the crested ibis (Nipponia nippon) has recovered remarkably from seven individuals in 1981 to over 7000 in 2021. However, it is unclear how key factors, from endogenous density dependence to exogenous environmental pressure, have contributed to the species’ re-covery. We used species distribution models to quantify the contri...
Article
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Numerous terrestrial mammal species have experienced extensive population declines during past centuries, due largely to anthropogenic pressures. For some species, including the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), environmental and legal protection has more recently led to population growth and recolonization of parts of their historic ranges. While hera...
Preprint
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Genetic diversity among and within populations of all species is necessary for people and the planet to survive in a changing world. Over the past three years, the conservation of genetic diversity has received increased ambition and specificity in commitments under the draft Convention on Biological Diversity's (CBD) post 2020 Global Biodiversity...
Article
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Erymnochelys madagascariensis is a Critically Endangered turtle endemic to Madagascar. Anthropogenic activity has depleted the wild population by 70% in the last century, and effective conservation management is essential to ensuring its persistence. Captive breeding was implemented to augment depleted populations in the southern part of Ankarafant...
Article
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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...
Article
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Genetic diversity is one of the three main levels of biodiversity recognised in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Fundamental for species adaptation to environmental change, genetic diversity is nonetheless under‐reported within global and national indicators. When it is reported, the focus is often narrow and confined to domesticated o...
Article
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The Coalition for Conservation Genetics (CCG) brings together four eminent organizations with the shared goal of improving the integration of genetic information into conservation policy and practice. We provide a historical context of conservation genetics as a field and reflect on current barriers to conserving genetic diversity, highlighting the...
Article
We investigated the controversial origin of domestic sheep (Ovis aries) using large samples of contemporary and ancient domestic individuals and their closest wild relatives: the Asiatic mouflon (Ovis gmelini), the urial (Ovis vignei) and the argali (Ovis ammon). A phylogeny based on mitochondrial DNA, including 213 new cytochrome‐b sequences of wi...
Article
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Domestic sheep and their wild relatives harbor substantial genetic variants that can form the backbone of molecular breeding, but their genome landscapes remain understudied. Here, we present a comprehensive genome resource for wild ovine species, landraces and improved breeds of domestic sheep, comprising high-coverage (∼16.10×) whole-genomes of 8...
Article
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O babuíno da Guiné (Papio papio), que é simultaneamente a espécie de babuínos mais ameaçada e a menos investigada, foi reportado como estando a diminuir na Guiné-Bissau devido à intensa pressão exercida pelas atividades antropogénicas. Es-tes resultados motivaram investigação dirigida à biologia, ecologia, evolução, parasitologia e conservação das...
Article
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1. The use of ecological replacements (analogue species to replace extinct taxa) to restore ecosystem functioning is a promising conservation tool. However, this approach is controversial, in part due to a paucity of data on interactions between analogue species and established taxa in the ecosystem. 2. We conducted ecological surveys, comprehensiv...
Preprint
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The extent to which genomic convergence shapes locally adapted phenotypes in different species remains a fundamental question in evolutionary biology. It would help assessing the relative role of historical contingencies versus determinism in evolution. To bring new insights to this debate we set up a framework which aimed to compare the adaptive t...
Article
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The influence of large‐scale variables such as climate change on phenology has received a great deal of research attention. However, local environmental factors also play a key role in determining the timing of species life cycles. Using the meadow brown butterfly Maniola jurtina as an example, we investigate how a specific habitat type, lowland ca...
Article
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A correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10592-021-01376-9
Article
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Only five species of the once-diverse Rhinocerotidae remain, making the reconstruction of their evolutionary history a challenge to biologists since Darwin. We sequenced genomes from five rhinoceros species (three extinct and two living), which we compared to existing data from the remaining three living species and a range of outgroups. We identif...
Article
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Global conservation policy and action have largely neglected protecting and monitoring genetic diversity—one of the three main pillars of biodiversity. Genetic diversity (diversity within species) underlies species’ adaptation and survival, ecosystem resilience, and societal innovation. The low priority given to genetic diversity has largely been d...
Article
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Background The lack of an understanding about the genomic architecture underpinning parental behaviour in subsocial insects displaying simple parental behaviours prevents the development of a full understanding about the evolutionary origin of sociality. Lethrus apterus is one of the few insect species that has biparental care. Division of labour c...
Article
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Millions of migratory birds occupy seasonally favourable breeding grounds in the Arctic¹, but we know little about the formation, maintenance and future of the migration routes of Arctic birds and the genetic determinants of migratory distance. Here we established a continental-scale migration system that used satellite tracking to follow 56 peregr...
Article
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Guinea-Bissau (GB) is a regional stronghold for primate conservation. Ten primates occur in the country, including the Western chimpanzee ( Pan troglodytes verus ) and two colobus monkeys ( Colobus polykomos and Piliocolobus badius temminckii ). Primate meat is consumed at households and bushmeat-dedicated establishments, locally named "Abafatório"...
Article
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How animals, particularly livestock, adapt to various climates and environments over short evolutionary time is of fundamental biological interest. Further, understanding the genetic mechanisms of adaptation in indigenous livestock populations is important for designing appropriate breeding programs to cope with the impacts of changing climate. Her...
Preprint
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Widespread and unregulated hunting of ungulates in Southeast Asia is resulting in population declines and localised extinctions. Increased access to previously remote tropical forest following logging and changes in land-use facilitates hunting of elusive wild cattle in Borneo, which preferentially select secluded habitat. We collated the first pop...
Article
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Abstract: Illegal hunting and trade threaten the high biodiversity of Guinea-Bissau (GB) in West Africa, particularly for nonhuman primates (NHP). Primate carcasses are sold at bushmeat markets and at restaurants and the primate pet trade is active. Traditional medicine practitioners also use NHP body-parts further promoting the commerce of NHP ski...
Article
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Background: Constraints in migratory capabilities, such as the disruption of gene flow and genetic connectivity caused by habitat fragmentation, are known to affect genetic diversity and the long-term persistence of populations. Although negative population trends due to ongoing forest loss are widespread, the consequence of habitat fragmentation...
Technical Report
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See the ERBAP launch here: https://youtu.be/p0QNjaNUO2Q We currently find ourselves in the midst of both a climate and biodiversity emergency, requiring changes to the way the University operates in order to deliver healthy functioning ecosystems capable of supporting climate and well-being goals for future generations. In compliance with Cardiff...
Technical Report
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Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are sites that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity. The purpose of the Guidelines for using A Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas is to ensure that KBA identification is based on consistent, scientifically rigorous yet practical methods. These KBA Guidelines p...
Article
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Global biodiversity policy is at a crossroads. Recent global assessments of living nature (1, 2) and climate (3) show worsening trends and a rapidly narrowing window for action. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has recently announced that none of the 20 Aichi targets for biodiversity it set in 2010 has been reached and only six have bee...
Article
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The domestication and subsequent global dispersal of livestock are crucial events in human history, but the migratory episodes during the history of livestock remain poorly documented [1–3]. Here, we first developed a set of 493 novel ovine SNPs of the male-specific region of Y chromosome (MSY) by genome mapping. We then conducted a comprehensive g...
Article
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The Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is one of five extant rhinoceros species and among the rarest large mammals on Earth. Once widespread across Southeast Asia, it is now on the verge of extinction, with only one wild population remaining (estimated at ~60 individuals) on the island of Java, Indonesia. To assess the past genetic diversity o...
Article
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The 196 parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will soon agree to a post-2020 global framework for conserving the three elements of biodiversity (genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity) while ensuring sustainable development and benefit sharing. As the most significant global conservation policy mechanism, the new CBD framework...
Article
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Background: Despite their regional economic importance and being increasingly reared globally, the origins and evolution of the llama and alpaca remain poorly understood. Here we report reference genomes for the llama, and for the guanaco and vicuña (their putative wild progenitors), compare these with the published alpaca genome, and resequence s...
Article
Africa's black (Diceros bicornis) and white (Ceratotherium simum) rhinoceros are closely related sister-taxa that evolved highly divergent obligate browsing and grazing feeding strategies. Although their precursor species D. praecox and C. mauritanicum appear in the fossil record ∼5.2 million years ago (Ma), by 4 Ma both were still mixed feeders, a...
Article
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Understanding the genetic changes underlying phenotypic variation in sheep (Ovis aries) may facilitate our efforts towards further improvement. Here, we report the deep resequencing of 248 sheep including the wild ancestor (O. orientalis), landraces, and improved breeds. We explored the sheep variome and selection signatures. We detected genomic re...
Article
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Delineating conservation units is a complex and often controversial process that is particularly challenging for highly vagile species. Here, we reassess population genetic structure and identify those populations of highest conservation value in the threatened snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus, Cassin, 1858), a partial migrant shorebird endemic to...
Article
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The West-African sooty mangabey (Cercocebus atys) is threatened by habitat loss, hunting for meat consumption, and mortality during crop-foraging events. The species' overall demographic trend is unknown. Presence and distribution in Guinea-Bissau, a country neighbored by Senegal and Republic of Guinea, was confirmed in 1946 but the species was dec...
Article
Full-text available
The Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is one of five extant rhinoceros species and among the rarest large mammals on Earth. Once widespread across Southeast Asia, it is now on the verge of extinction, with only one wild population remaining (estimated at ~60 individuals) on the island of Java, Indonesia. To assess the past genetic diversity o...
Article
The Sanje mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei) is endemic to the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania, and is classified as Endangered due to its putatively declining population size, habitat degradation and fragmentation. Previous population size estimates have ranged from 1,350 to 3,500 individuals, with the last direct survey being conducted 15 years before the...
Article
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The Madagascar Jacana Actophilornis albinucha (Jacanidae) is an endemic shorebird found in the threatened wetlands of western Madagascar. This species is presumed to exhibit classical polyandry; however, few data are available to support that assumption. More generally, a lack of basic understanding of this species hinders conservation efforts. We...
Article
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Landscape features may restricting dispersal and gene flow, and increase demographic isolation among sub-populations. In addition, landscape features may represent potential dispersal barriers depending on species vagility. To predict the persistence of populations and to formulate adequate conservation measures it is essential to understand the ab...
Article
The spiral-horned antelopes (genus Tragelaphus) are among the most phenotypically diverse of all large mammals, and evolved in Africa during an adaptive radiation that began in the late Miocene, around 6 million years ago. Tragelaphus was able to exploit the habitat heterogeneity created by Plio-Pleistocene paleoclimatic fluctuations and tectonic p...
Article
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Landscape genetics is increasingly being used in landscape planning for biodiversity conservation by assessing habitat connectivity and identifying landscape barriers, using intraspecific genetic data and quantification of landscape heterogeneity to statistically test the link between genetic variation and landscape variability. In this study we us...
Article
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Wildlife ranching including the hunting, collection, sales and husbandry of wild animals in captivity, is practised worldwide and is advocated as an approach towards the conservation of wild species. While many authors have explored the biological impacts of intensive wild population management, primarily with respect to disease transmission (espec...
Article
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Samβada is a genome‐environment association (GEA) software, designed to search for signatures of local adaptation. However, pre‐ and post‐processing of data can be labour‐intensive, preventing wider uptake of the method. We have now developed R.SamBada, an R‐package providing a pipeline for landscape genomic analysis based on Samβada, spanning from...
Article
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Background The bushbuck, Tragelaphus scriptus, is a widespread and ecologically diverse ungulate species complex within the spiral-horned antelopes. This species was recently found to consist of two genetically divergent but monophyletic lineages, which are paraphyletic at mitochondrial (mt)DNA owing to an ancient interspecific hybridization event....
Article
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Understanding genetic structure and diversity underpins the management of isolated populations. Small populations confined to islands may require effective genetic management for population persistence due to inbreeding and reduced genetic diversity. Endemic to the offshore islands of mainland Mauritius, the Bojer’s skink (Gongylomorphus bojerii) h...
Article
Livestock production both contributes to and is affected by global climate change, and substantial modifications will be required to increase its climate resilience. In this context, reliance on dominant commercial livestock breeds, featuring small effective population sizes, makes current production strategies vulnerable if their production is res...
Article
The conservation of adaptive potential to enable populations and species to respond to environmental change is one of the cornerstones of conservation genetics. To date, however, most work has by necessity focused on neutral markers and demographic questions. Now, with the rapid development of genomic technologies, we have new tools with which to a...
Article
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Species delimitation is one of the most contested areas in modern biology, with widespread disagreement about almost every aspect of the definition and implementation of the "species" label. While this debate is intellectually stimulating, it also has real implications for conservation, where its impacts on taxonomic inflation or inertia can mean t...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are sites that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity. A Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas (IUCN, 2016, hereafter the KBA Standard) provides quantitative criteria and associated thresholds for identifying KBAs in an objective, repeatable and transparent way. Th...
Article
Full-text available
Enhancing climate resilience and sustainable production for animals in harsh environments are important goals for the livestock industry given the predicted impacts of climate change. Rapid adaptation to extreme climatic conditions has already been imposed on livestock species, including those exported after Columbus's arrival in the Americas. We c...
Article
The white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) has a discontinuous African distribution, which is limited by the extent of sub-Saharan grasslands. The southern population (SWR) declined to its lowest number around the turn of the nineteenth century, but recovered to become the world's most numerous rhinoceros. In contrast, the northern population (NWR)...
Article
The white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) has a discontinuous African distribution, which is limited by the extent of sub-Saharan grasslands. The southern population (SWR) declined to its lowest number around the turn of the nineteenth century, but recovered to become the world's most numerous rhinoceros. In contrast, the northern population (NWR)...