Norah P. Saarman

Norah P. Saarman
Utah State University | USU · Department of Biology

PhD, UC Santa Cruz

About

63
Publications
12,213
Reads
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467
Citations
Citations since 2016
57 Research Items
443 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
Introduction
I use genomics, population genetics, and spatial ecology to investigate where species live, the genetic diversity and phenotypic traits that allow them to be successful in their environment, and the mechanisms that shape genetic diversity and adaptive traits. I integrate diverse information types across traditional disciplines to improve our understanding of these mechanisms. My long term goal is to improve our ability to predict population responses to climate change.
Additional affiliations
August 2020 - present
Utah State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Description
  • Tenure track faculty in Biology, where I research genomics, population genetics, and spatial ecology, and I will teach computational biology starting spring of 2021.
October 2015 - June 2020
Yale University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2008 - December 2014
University of California, Santa Cruz
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (63)
Thesis
Full-text available
My dissertation addressed questions of the origin and maintenance of biodiversity, and the genomic response to environmental change in blue mussels (genus Mytilus). In chapters One and Two I explored the nature of species barriers and the consequence of hybridization. The ecological and genetic factors determining the extent of introgression betwee...
Article
Full-text available
The effective population size (N e ) is a fundamental parameter in population genetics that determines the relative strength of selection and random genetic drift, the effect of migration, levels of inbreeding, and linkage disequilibrium. In many cases where it has been estimated in animals, N e is on the order of 10%-20% of the census size. In thi...
Article
Full-text available
Uganda is the only country where the chronic and acute forms of human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) or sleeping sickness both occur and are separated by < 100 km in areas north of Lake Kyoga. In Uganda, Glossina fuscipes fuscipes is the main vector of the Trypanosoma parasites responsible for these diseases as well for the animal African Trypanosom...
Article
The ecological and genetic factors determining the extent of introgression between species in secondary contact zones remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate the relative importance of isolating barriersand the demographic expansion of invasive Mytilus galloprovincialison the magnitude and the direction of introgression with the native M. tr...
Article
Full-text available
Trypanosoma evansi is the parasite causing surra, a form of trypanosomiasis in camels and other livestock, and a serious economic burden in Kenya and many other parts of the world. Trypanosoma evansi transmission can be sustained mechanically by tabanid and Stomoxys biting flies, whereas the closely related African trypanosomes T. brucei brucei and...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Aedes albopictus originates from Southeast Asia and is considered one of the most invasive species globally. This mosquito is a nuisance and a disease vector of significant public health relevance. In Europe, Ae. albopictus is firmly established and widespread south of the Alps, a mountain range that forms a formidable biogeographic barrie...
Preprint
Full-text available
The primary vector of the trypanosome parasite causing human and animal African trypanosomiasis in Uganda is the riverine tsetse fly Glossina fuscipes fuscipes ( Gff ). We conducted a genome-wide association (GWA) analysis with field-caught Gff . To increase statistical power, we first improved the Gff genome assembly with whole genome 10X Chromium...
Article
Full-text available
Background Seahorses, seadragons, pygmy pipehorses, and pipefishes (Syngnathidae, Syngnathiformes) are among the most recognizable groups of fishes because of their derived morphology, unusual life history, and worldwide distribution. Despite previous phylogenetic studies and recent new species descriptions of syngnathids, the evolutionary relation...
Article
Full-text available
Tsetse flies ( Glossina spp.) house a population-dependent assortment of microorganisms that can include pathogenic African trypanosomes and maternally transmitted endosymbiotic bacteria, the latter of which mediate numerous aspects of their host’s metabolic, reproductive, and immune physiologies. One of these endosymbionts, Spiroplasma , was recen...
Article
Full-text available
Vector control is an effective strategy for reducing vector‐borne disease transmission, but requires knowledge of vector habitat use and dispersal patterns. Our goal was to improve this knowledge for the tsetse species Glossina pallidipes, a vector of human and animal African trypanosomiasis, which are diseases that pose serious health and socioeco...
Article
Full-text available
A current challenge in the fields of evolutionary, ecological, and conservation genomics is balancing production of large-scale datasets with additional training often required to handle such datasets. Thus, there is an increasing need for conservation geneticists to continually learn and train to stay up-to-date through avenues such as symposia, m...
Preprint
Full-text available
Tsetse flies ( Glossina spp.) house a population-dependent assortment of microorganisms that can include pathogenic African trypanosomes and maternally transmitted endosymbiotic bacteria, the latter of which mediate numerous aspects of their host’s metabolic, reproductive, and immune physiologies. One of these endosymbionts, Spiroplasma , was recen...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Aedes mosquitoes are projected to continue expanding their ranges, which could expose millions more humans to the diseases they carry. The implementation of vector control methods ranging from traditional (e.g., insecticides) to cutting edge (e.g., genetic modification) could be improved with landscape connectivity maps and increased u...
Article
Full-text available
Fungal communities are structured across time and space by abiotic and biotic factors. We use amplicon-based genetic sequencing techniques to identify unculturable and culturable fungi in airborne spore assemblages across a vegetation mosaic and over the course of a rainy season in coastal California, USA. We found that the assemblages of fungal sp...
Article
Full-text available
Glossina pallidipes is the main vector of animal African trypanosomiasis and a potential vector of human African trypanosomiasis in eastern Africa where it poses a large economic burden and public health threat. Vector control efforts have succeeded in reducing infection rates, but recent resurgence in tsetse fly population density raises concerns...
Article
Full-text available
Tsetse flies (Glossina spp.) are vectors of parasitic trypanosomes, which cause human (HAT) and animal African trypanosomiasis (AAT) in sub-Saharan Africa. In Uganda, Glos-sina fuscipes fuscipes (Gff) is the main vector of HAT, where it transmits Gambiense disease in the northwest and Rhodesiense disease in central, southeast and western regions. E...
Article
Full-text available
Tsetse flies (Glossina spp.) are vectors of parasitic trypanosomes, which cause human (HAT) and animal African trypanosomiasis (AAT) in sub-Saharan Africa. In Uganda, Glos-sina fuscipes fuscipes (Gff) is the main vector of HAT, where it transmits Gambiense disease in the northwest and Rhodesiense disease in central, southeast and western regions. E...
Preprint
Full-text available
Tsetse flies ( Glossina spp.) are vectors of parasitic trypanosomes, which cause human (HAT) and animal African trypanosomiasis (AAT) in sub-Saharan Africa. In Uganda, Glossina fuscipes fuscipes ( Gff ) is the main vector of HAT, where it transmits Gambiense disease in the northwest and Rhodesiense disease in central, southeast and western regions....
Article
Reforestation is challenging when timber harvested areas have been degraded, invaded by non‐native species, or are of marginal suitability to begin with. Conifers form mutualistic partnerships with ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) to obtain greater access to soil resources, and these partnerships may be especially important in degraded areas. However, t...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the mechanisms that enforce, maintain, or reverse the process of speciation is an important challenge in evolutionary biology. This study investigates the patterns of divergence and discusses the processes that form and maintain divergent lineages of the tsetse fly Glossina fuscipes fuscipes in Uganda. We sampled 251 flies from 18 sit...
Article
The tsetse fly Glossina pallidipes, the major vector of the parasite that causes animal African trypanosomiasis in Kenya, has been subject to intense control measures with only limited success. The G. pallidipes population dynamics and dispersal patterns that underlie limited success in vector control campaigns remain unresolved, and knowledge on g...
Article
Seagrass populations are in decline worldwide. Eelgrass (Zostera marina L.), one of California’s native seagrasses, is no exception to this trend. In the last 8 years, the estuary in Morro Bay, California, has lost 95% of its eelgrass. Population bottlenecks like this one often result in severe reductions in genetic diversity; however, this is not...
Article
Full-text available
Tsetse flies (genus Glossina) are the only vector for the parasitic trypanosomes responsible for sleeping sickness and nagana across sub‐Saharan Africa. In Uganda, the tsetse fly Glossina fuscipes fuscipes is responsible for transmission of the parasite in 90% of sleeping sickness cases, and co‐occurrence of both forms of human‐infective trypanosom...
Article
Full-text available
Background Glossina pallidipes is a major vector of both Human and Animal African Trypanosomiasis (HAT and AAT) in Kenya. The disease imposes economic burden on endemic regions in Kenya, including south-western Kenya, which has undergone intense but unsuccessful tsetse fly control measures. We genotyped 387 G. pallidipes flies at 13 microsatellite...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptive responses to thermal stress in poikilotherms plays an important role in determining competitive ability and species distributions. Amino acid substitutions that affect protein stability and modify the thermal optima of orthologous proteins may be particularly important in this context. Here, we examine a set of 2,770 protein-coding genes t...
Data
Diagnostic PCR for the GCT/Ala281 deletion in F1FO-ATP synthase subunit γ in T. evansi type A. Shown are nucleotides 1–859 (GCT deletion) and 1–863 (‘wild type’), respectively, of gene TevSTIB805.10.220 / Tb427.10.180 (systematic TriTrypDB.org IDs). Primer combination F1/R1 will give a 855-bp amplicon if the deletion is present. Primer combination...
Data
STRUCTURE v2.3.4 [51] plot of individual assignments with K values of 2 through 7. Each vertical bar represents a strain’s probability of assignment to one of K genetic clusters, with T. brucei (Tb) strains on the left (light gray horizontal bar) and T. evansi (Tev) strains on the right (dark gray horizontal bar). Individuals with 100% probability...
Data
PCR primers used in microsatellite marker amplification, with general information about the motif, size range in bp (size), chromosome location (location), and source of the protocol used. (DOCX)
Data
Among-cluster genetic differentiation (FST) among each STRUCTURE-defined [51] genetic cluster, using only strains with Q values >0.80 (S3 Table): (A) all strains, (B) T. brucei (Tb) strains only, and (C) T. evansi (Tev) strains only. Pairwise FST (below diagonal) was calculated in ARLEQUIN v.3.2 [59] with Wright’s statistics [60], following the var...
Data
Distance tree based on 15 microsatellite markers and Reynolds et al (1983) distances using the UPGMA method implemented in the R package, “PopPR” v2.3 [54, 55]. Support values are shown on nodes only for values above 50% and are based on 1000 bootstrap replicates. Terminal tips identify the strains (Table 1 and S1 Table) and are color coded accordi...
Data
STRUCTURE v2.3.4 [51] plot of delta K for K values of 2 to 9 based on 20 runs each performed with a burn-in of 5,000 and a total of 250,000 iterations. Although K = 2 had the highest delta K and thus explained the highest hierarchical level in the data, a K value of 7 was the next hierarchical level with a peak in delta K, and was able to distingui...
Data
Summary of pairwise Reynolds (1983) genetic distances computed in the R package. “PopPR” v2.3.0 [54, 55] between strains belonging to the same or different STRUCTURE-defined clusters as outlier box-plots color coded according to legend to the left. Boxes and whiskers on each box-plot represent the minimum, 1st quartile, 3rd quartile, and maximum di...
Data
Sample details of strains from previous studies showing sample ID, publication, taxon, kDNA, host of isolation, locality of origin and year of isolation, n/a indicates no history found on the year of isolation. (DOCX)
Data
Assignment scores from STRUCTURE v2.3.4 [51] clustering analysis with K = 7 showing sample ID, taxon, genetic cluster “a-g” (Fig 2) if probability of assignment (Q) above or equal to 0.8, or "uncertain" if Q < 0.8 for each strain of (A) Trypanosoma brucei brucei (Tbb) or T. b. rhodesiense (Tbr), and (B) T. evansi (Tev). (DOCX)
Data
Within-cluster distance using STRUCTURE-based [51] genetic clusters including strains with Q values > 0.80 (S3 Table) for (A) all strains regardless of taxonomy, (B) T. brucei (Tb) strains, and (C) T. evansi (Tev) strains. Number of pairwise between-strain comparisons (N pairs), mean Reynolds (1983) [56] distance (mean distance) estimated in the R...
Data
Summary of differences in within-cluster Reynolds [56] distance of STRUCTURE-defined clusters based on analysis of variance (ANOVA, p-value < 0.0001), and the Tukey-Kramer HSD test performed in JMP v11.2 (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA, 1989–2012), using only the 86 strains with Q values >0.80 (S3 Table): (A) Ordered difference report between cl...
Data
Linear regression of allelic richness (microsatellite loci) and haplotype diversity (mtDNA) over longitude produced using JMP V11.0 (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA, 1989–2007). Triangles, diamonds, and squares identify sampling sites within the Northwest, Transition Zone, Northeast genetic units, respectively. (PDF)
Data
Pairwise DEST for 42 populations averaged over 16 loci. The first two columns show the sampling site pairs, while the third and fourth columns report their mean DEST values and the Benjamini-Hochberg corrected significance p-values, respectively. Estimates were made in the R package DEMEtics [60]. (XLSX)
Data
Results of tests for isolation by distance where geographic distance between sampling sites (km) were linear-regressed over nuclear microsatellites based genetic distance (FST /(1-FST)) and mtDNA sequence based genetic distance (ΦST/(1-ΦST)). Results for the Northwest, Transition Zone, Northeast, West units, and all samples combined (Overall) are s...
Data
Effective population size and bottleneck tests. Estimates of effective population size (Ne) were computed for each of the 42 sampling sites across the geographic regions in northern Uganda using three methods: LD, modified temporal method of Waples [66] based on [67] and heterozygote excess method. Estimates are provided together with their 95% CI....
Data
Table showing list and frequency of distribution of haplotypes recovered from the G. f. fuscipes samples mtDNA sequences analyzed from northern Uganda. (XLSX)
Data
Discriminant Analysis of Principal Components (DAPC) based on genetic diversity at 16 microsatellite loci in 42 populations and obtained using the adegenet package [52] in R [53]. Two linear discriminants (LD1 and LD2) were used, following selection of principal components using a-score optimization, to plot G. f. fuscipes genotypes. Color codes ar...
Data
Total number of microsatellite alleles by locus. (DOCX)
Data
Table shows the probability of assignment (q-values) of individuals to each of the 3 genetic units, individual mtDNA haplotype, home region of individual, and if it’s a migrant the origin of migration, as well as comparison between microsatellite and mtDNA genetic assignment. (XLSX)
Data
Pairwise FST and ɸST comparisons for microsatellites (A) and mtDNA (B) respectively. FST values are reported in the lower diagonal. Since most values are significant, we highlight those that are non-significant in bold. All computations were done in ARLEQUIN. Significance was calculated based on a P<0.05. (XLSX)
Data
Table showing the total number of migrants based on GENECLASS and FLOCK. General information is displayed (population, closest village, drainage basin). Total, female, and male migrants are shown as counts from each unit based on both analyses. (XLSX)
Data
Sample information and molecular diversity indices. Sample geographic locations, sample sizes, and genetic diversity statistics for 16 microsatellite loci and for a 490bp mtDNA COI-COII gene fragment in 42 populations of G. f. fuscipes. ** Indicates samples collected prior to 2014, N = number of individuals analyzed, AR = Allelic richness, Ho = Obs...
Data
Microsatellite loci information. The table reports loci names followed by the forward (F) and reverse (R) primers names and sequences. The last column reports its source. M13 tails are marked with an asterisk (*). (DOCX)
Data
Wilcoxon signed rank test results comparing STRUCTURE results from the real data to the hybrid swarm model and the mechanical mixing model. (XLSX)
Conference Paper
Abstract Dourine is a sexually transmitted trypanosomosis that affects equids, historically attributed to a distinct etiologic agent, Trypanosoma equiperdum. The disease was first eradicated in Italy in the 1940s, but there was then a serious epidemic in the mid-70s. After sporadic reports at the end of the 1990s, an outbreak starting in May 2011...
Article
The family Syngnathidae is a large and diverse clade of morphologically unique bony fishes, with 57 genera and 300 described species of seahorses, pipefishes, pipehorses, and seadragons. They primarily inhabit shallow coastal waters in temperate and tropical oceans, and are characterized by a fused jaw, male brooding, and extraordinary crypsis. Phy...
Article
Full-text available
Background - Glossina fuscipes fuscipes is a tsetse species of high economic importance in Uganda where it is responsible for transmitting animal African trypanosomiasis (AAT) and both the chronic and acute forms of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT). We used genotype data from 17 microsatellites and a mitochondrial DNA marker to assess temporal c...
Article
The ecological and genetic factors determining the extent of introgression between species in secondary contact zones remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate the relative importance of isolating barriersand the demographic expansion of invasive Mytilus galloprovincialison the magnitude and the direction of introgression with the native M. tr...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the population structure and evolutionary history of the eastern Pacific seahorse Hippocampus ingens is critical for the effective management of this threatened species. Life history characteristics of H. ingens (site fidelity and brooding of young) may limit gene flow and lead to population differentiation. A recent study analyzing c...
Article
Full-text available
The &apos;Mimic Octopus&apos; Thaumoctopus mimicus Norman & Hochberg, 2005 exhibits a conspicuous primary defence mechanism (high-contrast colour pattern during &apos;flatfish swimming&apos;) that may involve facultative imperfect mimicry of conspicuous and/or inconspicuous models, both toxic and non-toxic (Soleidae and Bothidae). Here, we examine...

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Projects (5)
Project
I use population genomics to understand the complexities of vector populations. I am most excited to apply this information within a geographic context, and am involved in multiple projects in Uganda and Kenya that inform on-the-ground vector control of the tsetse fly, the vector of the deadly human disease "sleeping sickness", and the animal disease "nagana". I am also interesting in the invasive history and genomic traits of the mosquito Aedes aegypti, which is the vector of many human diseases such as Zika virus, Dengue fever, yellow fever, and Chikungunya virus.