Conservation

Region: Africa, South Pacific, North and South America

This research area focuses on the study of endangered or threatened populations and the development of strategies to preserve and protect the diversity of plants and animals worldwide. The Conservation Genetics discipline encompasses the fields of ecology, molecular biology, population genetics, landscape genetics, landscape ecology, mathematical modeling, and evolutionary systematics.

CTR researchers are working on a NASA-funded project to develop a species spatial distribution model that can incorporate remote sensing-detected or -derived environmental variables with corresponding genetic and phenotypic variables at various spatial and temporal scales. This integrated model will allow for the elucidation of the patterns and processes that govern diversification and speciation in a spatial and/or geographical context and the identification of important habitat for conservation.

Other projects include the study of the influence of human-caused habitat fragmentation on the structuring of populations of the threatened Rockfowl bird (Picathartes sp.) of Africa, and the use of plant population genetics to assess the effect of seed disperser loss on gene flow of Antrocaryon klaineanum(ANACARDIACEAE), a commercially important tree species that is dispersed almost exclusively by heavily hunted mammals.

CTR and the UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology jointly manage the UCLA Conservation Genetics Resource Center which collects genetic samples of plants, mammals, and birds and develops new molecular methods to enhance our analytical capabilities.

Current Projects

Related Publications

2014
Anthony, N. M.; Atteke, C.; Bruford, M. W.; Dallmeier, F.; Freedman, A.; Hardy, O.; Ibrahim, B.; Jeffery, K. J.; Johnson, M.; Lahm, S. A.; Lepengue, N.; Lowenstein, J. H.; Maisels, F.; Mboumba, J.; Mickala, P.; Morgan, K.; Ntie, S.; Smith, T. B.; Sullivan, J. P.; Verheyen, E.; Gonder, M. K. Evolution and conservation of Central African biodiversity: priorities for future research and education in the Congo Basin and Gulf of Guinea. Biotropica 2014, 47 (1), 6–17; DOI 10.1111/btp.12188.
2014
Giorgi, A. P.; Rovzar, C.; Davis, K. S.; Fuller, T.; Buermann, W.; Saatchi, S.; Smith, T. B.; Silveira, L. F.; Gillespie, T. W. Spatial conservation planning framework for assessing conservation opportunities in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. Applied Geography 2014, 53, 369–376; DOI 10.1016/j.apgeog.2014.06.013.
2014
Ruegg, K. C.; Anderson, E. C.; Paxton, K. L.; Apkenas, V.; Lao, S.; Siegel, R. B.; DeSante, D. F.; Moore, F.; Smith, T. B. Mapping migration in a songbird using high-resolution genetic markers. Molecular Ecology 2014, 23 (23), 5726–5739; DOI 10.1111/mec.12977.
2014
Chasar, A.; Harrigan, R. J.; Holbrook, K. M.; Dietsch, T. V.; Fuller, T. L.; Wikelski, M.; Smith, T. B. Spatial and temporal patterns of frugivorous hornbill movements in Central Africa and their implications for rain forest ocnservation. Biotropica 2014, 46, 763–770; DOI 10.1111/btp.12160.
2014
Smith, T. B.; Kinnison, M. T.; Straus, S. Y.; Fuller, T. L.; Carrol, S. P. Prescriptive evolution to conserve and manage biodiversity. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 2014, 45 (1), 1–22; DOI 10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-120213-091747.
2013
Duraes, R.; Carrasco, L.; Smith, T. B.; Karubian, J. Effects of forest disturbance and habitat loss on avian communities in a Neotropical biodiversity hotspot. Biological Conservation 2013, 166, 203–211; DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.07.007. PDF
2013
Fuller, T. L.; Thomassen, H. A.; Peralvo, M.; Wolfgang, B.; Mila, B.; Kieswetter, C. M.; Jarrin-V, P.; Cameron Devitt, S. E.; Mason, E.; Schweizer, R. M.; Schluneggar, J.; Chan, J.; Wang, O.; Schneider, C. J.; Pollinger, J. P.; Saatchi, S.; Graham, C. H.; Wayne, R. K.; Smith, T. B. Intraspecific morphological and genetic variation of common species predicts ranges of threatened ones. Proceedings of the Royal Society Biology 2013, 280; DOI 10.1098/rspb.2013.1237. PDF
2013
Mendoza, E.; Fuller, T. L.; Thomassen, H. A.; Buermann, W.; Ramirez-Mejia, D.; Smith, T. B. A preliminary assessment of the effectiveness of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor for protecting potential Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii Gill, 1865) habitat in Southern Mexico. Integrative Zoology 2013, 8, 35–47; DOI 10.1111/1749-4877.12005. PDF
2012
Laurance, W. F.; Useche, D. C.; Rendeiro, J.; Kalka, M.; Bradshaw, C. J.; Sloan, S. P.; Laurance, S. G.; Arroyo-Rodriguez, V.; Ashton, P.; Benítez-Malvido, J.; Blom, A.; Bobo, K. S.; Cannon, C. H.; Cao, M.; Carroll, R.; Chapman, C.; Coates, R.; Cords, M.; Danielsen, F.; De Dijn, B.; Dinerstein, E.; Donnelly, M. A.; Edwards, D.; Edwards, F.; Farwig, N.; Fashing, P.; Forget, P.; Foster, M.; Gale, G.; Harris, D.; Harrison, R.; Hart, J.; Karpanty, S.; Kress, W. J.; Krishnaswamy, J.; Logsdon, W.; Lovett, J.; Magnusson, W.; Maisels, F.; Marshall, A. R.; McClearn, D.; Mudappa, D.; Nielsen, M. R.; Pearson, R.; Pitman, N.; van der Ploeg, J.; Plumptre, A.; Poulsen, J.; Quesada, M.; Rainey, H.; Robinson, D.; Roetgers, C.; Rovero, F.; Scatena, R.; Schulze, C.; Sheil, D.; Struhsaker, T.; Terborgh, J.; Thomas, D.; Timm, R.; Urbina-Cardona, J. N.; Vasudevan, K.; Wright, S. J.; Arias-G, J. C.; Arroyo, L.; Ashton, M.; Auzel, P.; Babaasa, D.; Babweteera, F.; Baker, P.; Banki, O.; Bass, M.; Bila-Isia, I.; Blake, S.; Brockelman, W.; Brokaw, N.; Brühl, C. A.; Bunyavejchewin, S.; Chao, J.; Chave, J.; Chellam, R.; Clark, C. J.; Clavijo, J.; Congdon, R.; Corlett, R.; Dattaraja, H. S.; Dave, C.; Davies, G.; de Mello Beisiegel, B.; de Nazaré Paes da Silva, R.; Di Fiore, A.; Diesmos, A.; Dirzo, R.; Doran-Sheehy, D.; Eaton, M.; Emmons, L.; Estrada, A.; Ewango, C.; Fedigan, L.; Feer, F.; Fruth, B.; Giacalone Willis, J.; Goodale, U.; Goodman, S.; Guix, J. C.; Guthiga, P.; Haber, W.; Hamer, K.; Herbinger, I.; Hill, J.; Huang, Z.; Sung, I.; Ickes, K.; Itoh, A.; Ivanauskas, N.; Jackes, B.; Janovec, J.; Janzen, D.; Jiangming, M.; Jin, C.; Jones, T.; Justiniano, H.; Kalko, E.; Kasangaki, A.; Killeen, T.; King, H.; Klop, E.; Knott, C.; Koné, I.; Kudavidanage, E.; Lahoz da Silava Ribeiro, J.; Lattke, J.; Laval, R.; Lawton, R.; Leal, M.; Leighton, M.; Lentino, M.; Leonel, C.; Lindsell, J.; Ling-Ling, L.; Linsenmair, K. E.; Losos, E.; Lugo, A.; Lwanga, J.; Mack, A. L.; Martins, M.; McGraw, W. S.; McNab, R.; Montag, L.; Myers Thompson, J.; Nabe-Nielsen, J.; Nakagawa, M.; Nepal, S.; Norconk, M.; Novotny, V.; O’Donnell, S.; Opiange, M.; Ouboter, P.; Parker, K.; Parthasarathy, N.; Pisciotta, K.; Prawiradilaga, D.; Pringle, C.; Rajathurai, S.; Reichard, U.; Reinartz, G.; Renton, K.; Reynolds, G.; Reynolds, V.; Riley, E.; Rödel, M.; Rothman, J.; Round, P.; Sakai, S.; Sanaiotti, T.; Savini, T.; Schaab, G.; Seidensticker, J.; Siaka, A.; Silman, M. R.; Smith, T. B.; Soares de Almeida, S.; Sodhi, N.; Stanford, C.; Stewart, K.; Stokes, E.; Stoner, K. E.; Sukumar, R.; Surbeck, M.; Tobler, M. Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas. Nature 2012, 489 (7415), 290–294; DOI 10.1038/nature11318.
2012
Olveras de Ita, A.; Oyama, K.; Smith, T. B.; Wayne, R. K.; Milá, B. Genetic evidence for recent range fragmentation and severely restricted dispersal in the critically endangered Sierra Madre Sparrow, Xenospiza baileyi. Conservation Genetics 2012, 13, 283–291. PDF
2012
Karubian, J.; Duraes, R.; Storey, J. L.; Smith, T. B. Mating behavior drives seed dispersal by the Long-wattled Umbrellabird Cephalopterus penduliger. Biotropica 2012, 44 (5), 689–698.
2011
Laurance, W. F.; Useche, D. C.; Shoo, L. P.; Herzog, S. K.; Kessler, M.; Escobar, F.; Brechm, G.; Axmacher, J. C.; Chen, I. C.; Gámez, L. A.; Hietz, P.; Fielder, K.; Pyrcz, T.; Wolf, J.; Merklord, C. L.; Cardelus, C.; Marshall, A. R.; Ah-Peng, C.; Aplet, G. H.; del Coro Arizmendi, M.; Baker, W. J.; Barone, J.; Brühl, C. A.; Bussmann, R. W.; Cicuzza, D.; Eilu, G.; Favila, M. E.; Hietz, P.; Hemp, A.; Hemp, C.; Homeier, J.; Huey, R. B.; Hurtado, J.; Jankowski, J.; Kattán, G.; Kluge, J.; Krömer, T.; Lees, D.; Lehnert, M.; Longino, J. T.; Lovett, J.; Martin, P. H.; Patterson, B. D.; Pearson, R. G.; Peh, K. S.; Richardson, B.; Richardson, M.; Samways, M.; Senbeta, F.; Smith, T. B.; Utteridge, T.; Watkins, J. E.; Wilson, R.; Williams, S. E.; Thomas, C. D. Global warming, elevational ranges and the vulnerability of tropical biota. Biological Conservation 2011, 144, 548–557. PDF
2011
Thomassen, H. A.; Fuller, T.; Buermann, W.; Milá, B.; Kieswetter, C. M.; Jarrín-V, P.; Cameron, S. E.; Mason, E.; Schweizer, R.; Schlunegger, J.; Chan, J.; Wang, O.; Peralvo, M.; Schneider, C. J.; Graham, C. H.; Pollinger, J. P.; Saatchi, S.; Wayne, R. K.; Smith, T. B. Mapping evolutionary process: a multi-taxa approach to conservation prioritization. Evolutionary Applications 2011, 4, 397–413. PDF
2010
Freedman, A. H.; Buermann, W.; Mitchard, E. T.; DeFries, R. S.; Smith, T. B. Human impacts flatten rainforest-savanna gradient and reduce adaptive diversity in a rainforest bird. PLOS ONE 2010, 5; DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0013088. PDF
2010
Thomassen, H. A.; Buermann, W.; Mila, B.; Graham, C. H.; Cameron, S. E.; Schneider, C. J.; Pollinger, J. P.; Saatchi, S.; Wayne, R. K.; Smith, T. B. Modeling environmentally associated morphological and genetic variation in a rainforest bird, and its application to conservation prioritization. Evolutionary Applications 2010, 3, 1–16; DOI 10.1111/j.1752-4571.2009.00093.x. PDF
2010
Thomassen, H. A.; Jones, K. C.; Pollinger, J. P.; Smith, T. B. Characterization of novel microsatellite loci for Myzomela cardinalis and M. rubrata honeyeaters, and cross-amplification in other species. Conservation Genetic Resources 2010, 2, 205–208; DOI 10.1007/s12686-009-9135-3. PDF
2009
Smith, T. B. Equating forest conservation with hornbill conservation. Conservation Biology 2009, 23 (782). PDF
2009
Freedman, A. H.; Buermann, W.; LeBreton, M.; Chirio, L.; Smith, T. B. Modeling the effects of anthropogenic habitat change on savanna snake invasions into African rainforest. Conservation Biology 2009, 23. PDF
2008
Smith, T. B.; Grether, G. The importance of conserving evolutionary processes. In Conservation Biology: Evolution in Action; Carroll, S. P., Fox, C. W., Eds.; Oxford University Press: Oxford, U.K., 2008; pp 85–98. PDF
2007
Randall, D. A.; Pollinger, J. P.; Wayne, R. K.; Tallents, L. A.; Johnson, P. J.; Macdonald, D. W. Inbreeding is reduced by female-biased dispersal and mating behavior in Ethiopian wolves. Behavioral Ecology 2007, 18, 579–589; DOI 10.1093/beheco/arm010. PDF
2007
Chaves, J. A.; Pollinger, J. P.; Smith, T. B.; LeBuhn, G. The role of geography and ecology in shaping the phylogeography of the speckled hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys) in Ecuador. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 2007, 43, 795–807; DOI 10.1016/j.ympev.2006.11.006. PDF
2006
Aguilar, A.; Edwards, S. V.; Smith, T. B.; Wayne, R. K. Patterns of variation in MHC class II B loci of the little greenbul (Andropadus virens) with comments on MHC evolution in birds. Journal of Heredity 2006, 97, 133–142. PDF
2006
Riley, S. P.; Pollinger, J. P.; Sauvajot, R. M.; York, E. C.; Bromley, C.; Fuller, T. L. A southern California freeway is a physical and social barrier to gene flow in carnivores. Molecular Ecology 2006, 15 (7), 1733–1741. PDF
2006
Kohn, M. H.; Murphy, W. J.; Ostrander, E. A.; Wayne, R. K. Genomics and conservation genetics. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 2006, 21 (11), 629–637. PDF
2005
Bardekeben, C.; Gray, M. M. Isolation of polymorphic tetranucleotide microsatellite markers for the masked flowerpiercer Diglossia cyanea. Molecular Ecology Notes 2005, 5, 849–850. PDF
2005
Bardeleben, C.; Gray, M. M. Isolation of polymorphic tetranucleotide microsatellite markers for the streak-necked flycatcher Mionectes striaticollis. Molecular Ecology Notes 2005, 5, 755–756. PDF
2005
Aguilar, A.; Smith, T. B.; Wayne, R. K. A comparison of variation between a MHC pseudogene and microsatellite loci of the little greenbul (Androparus virens). BMC Evolutionary Biology 2005, 5 (47); DOI 10.1186/1471-2148-5-47. PDF
2005
Leonard, J. A.; Vila, C.; Wayne, R. K. Legacy lost: genetic variability and population size of extirpated US grey wolves (Canis lupus). Molecular Ecology 2005, 14 (1), 9–17. PDF
2005
Delaney, K. S.; Wayne, R. K. Adaptive units for conservation: Population distinction and historic extinctions in the island scrub-jay. Conservation Biology 2005, 19 (2), 523–533. PDF
2004
Morin, P. A.; Luikart, G.; Wayne, R. K. SNPs in ecology, evolution and conservation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 2004, 19, 208–216; DOI 10.1016/j.tree.2004.01.009. PDF
2004
Austerlitz, F.; Dick, C. W.; Dutech, C.; Klein, E. K.; Oddou-Muratorio, S.; Smouse, P. E.; Sork, V. L. Using genetic markers to estimate the pollen dispersal curve. Molecular Ecology 2004, 13, 937–954; DOI 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2004.02100.x. PDF
2003
Roemer, G. W.; Wayne, R. K. Conservation in conflict: The tale of two endangered species. Conservation Biology 2003, 17 (5), 1251–1260. PDF
2002
Sork, V. L.; Davis, F. W.; Smouse, P. E.; Aspit, V. J.; Dyer, R. J.; Fernandez, J. F.; Kuhn, B. Pollen movement in declining populations of California Valley oak, Quercus lobata: where have all the fathers gone?. Molecular Ecology 2002, 11 (9), 1657–1668. PDF
2001
Roemer, G. W.; Smith, D. A.; Garcelon, D. K.; Wayne, R. K. The behavioural ecology of the island fox (Urocyon littoralis). Journal of Zoology 2001, 255, 1–14; DOI 10.1017/S0952836901001066. PDF
2001
Torres, E.; Lees, D. C.; Vane-Wright, R. I.; Kremen, C.; Leonard, J. A.; Wayne, R. K. Examining monophyly in a large radiation of Madagascan butterflies (Lepidoptera: Satyrinae: Mycalesina) based on mitochondrial DNA data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 2001, 20, 460–473; DOI 10.1006/mpev.2001.0984. PDF
2001
K, S.; K, W. R.; M, G. R. Microsatellite analysis of female mating behaviour in lek-breeding sage grouse. Molecular Ecology 2001, 10, 2043–2048; DOI 0.1046/j.0962-1083.2001.01348.x. PDF
2001
Wayne, R. K.; Brown, D. W. Hybridization and Conservation of Carnivores. In Carnivore Conservation; Gittleman, J. L., MacDonald, D. W., Funk, S. M., Wayne, R. K., Eds.; Cambridge University Press: 2001; pp 145–162.
2001
Girman, D. J.; Vila, C.; Geffen, E.; Creel, S.; Mills, M. G.; McNutt, J. W.; Ginsberg, J.; Kat, P. W.; Mamiya, K. H.; Wayne, R. K. Patterns of population subdivision, gene flow and genetic variability in the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus). Molecular Ecology 2001, 10, 1703–1723; DOI 10.1046/j.0962-1083.2001.01302.x. PDF
2001
Vila, C.; Leonard, J. A.; Gotherstrom, A.; Marklund, S.; Sandberg, K.; Liden, K.; Wayne, R. K.; Ellegren, H. Widespread origins of domestic horse lineages. Science 2001, 291, 474–477; DOI 10.1126/science.291.5503.474. PDF
2001
Maldonado, J. E.; Vila, C.; Wayne, R. K. Tripartite genetic subdivisions in the ornate shrew (Sorex ornatus). Molecular Ecology 2001, 10, 127–147; DOI 10.1046/j.1365-294X.2001.01178.x. PDF
2000
Kohn, M. H.; Pelz, H.; Wayne, R. K. Natural selection mapping of the warfarin-resistance gene. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2000, 97. PDF
2000
Crandall, K. A.; Bininda-Emonds, O. R.; Mace, G. M.; Wayne, R. K. Considering evolutionary processes in conservation biology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 2000, 15, 290–295. PDF
2000
Leonard, J. A.; Wayne, R. K.; Wayne, A. Population genetics of ice age brown bears. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2000, 97, 1651–1654. PDF

CTR Bird

Center for Tropical Research | UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
La Kretz Hall, Suite 300 | 619 Charles E. Young Dr. East | Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496

The Center for Tropical Research, located on the third floor of La Kretz Hall, is part of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles. For general inquiries, contact Christa Gomez, CTR Office Manager, at (310) 206-6234, or by email at cgomez@lifesci.ucla.edu. Visitors are always welcome.

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