[MARMAM] New publication: genetic population structure of spinner dolphins in the SW Indian Ocean

Jeremy KISZKA jeremy.kiszka at gmail.com
Wed Oct 5 04:33:18 PDT 2016

Dear colleagues,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the following publication:

Viricel, A., Simon-Bouhet, B., Ceyrac, L., Dulau-Drouot, V., Berggren, P., Amir, O.A., Jiddawi, N., Mongin, P. & Kiszka, J. Habitat availability and geographic isolation as potential drivers of the population structure in an oceanic dolphin in the Southwest Indian Ocean. Marine Biology 163:219



Delphinid populations show highly variable patterns of genetic diversity and population structure. Previous studies indicate that habitat discontinuities and geographic isolation are major drivers of population division in cetaceans. Spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) are distributed in all tropical oceans, but they are particularly common around islands and atolls. This species occurs in shallow waters at daytime to rest and socialise, and feeds on offshore mesopelagic prey overnight. Here, we investigated the genetic population structure of spinner dolphins in the Southwest Indian Ocean along a west–east geographic gradient, from eastern Africa to the Mascarene archipelago. We combined analyses of 12 microsatellite loci, mtDNA control region sequences, and sighting data to assess genetic differentiation and characterise habitat preferences of these populations. Significant genetic structure among the three sampled sites (Zanzibar, Mayotte and La Réunion) was observed using both types of molecular markers. Overall, our results indicate that geographic isolation and potentially other factors, such as shallow-water habitats to rest and socialise, may be important drivers of the genetic population structure of insular spinner dolphins in this region.

Please contact me (jeremy.kiszka at gmail.com) if you have any question.


Jeremy Kiszka (PhD)
Research Assistant Professor
Florida International University
Department of Biological Sciences
Tel. (305) 919 4104 (office)
Mobile. (786) 717 9797 (cell)

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