[MARMAM] New paper on southern right whale population structure in the South Atlantic

Emma Carroll e.carroll at auckland.ac.nz
Sun May 24 15:14:02 PDT 2020

My colleagues and I are happy to announce the publication of a new paper on
southern right whale population structure in the South Atlantic.

Details below and it is available free via open access from the Journal of


Genetic Diversity and Connectivity of Southern Right Whales (*Eubalaena
australis*) Found in the Brazil and Chile–Peru Wintering Grounds and the
South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur) Feeding Ground

Emma L. Carroll, Paulo H. Ott, Louise F. McMillan,
Bárbara Galletti Vernazzani, Petra Neveceralova, Els Vermeulen,
Oscar E. Gaggiotti, Artur Andriolo, C. Scott Baker, Connor Bamford, Peter
Best, Elsa Cabrera, Susannah Calderan, Andrea Chirife,
Rachel M. Fewster, Paulo A. C. Flores,Timothy Frasier,
Thales R. O. Freitas, Karina Groch, Pavel Hulva, Amy Kennedy,
Russell Leaper, Matthew S. Leslie, Michael Moore, Larissa Oliveira, Jon
Seger, Emilie N. Stepien, Luciano O. Valenzuela, Alexandre Zerbini, and
Jennifer A. Jackson

As species recover from exploitation, continued assessments of connectivity
and population structure are warranted to provide information for
conservation and management. This is particularly true in species with high
dispersal capacity, such as migratory whales, where patterns of
connectivity could change rapidly. Here we build on a previous long-term,
large-scale collaboration on southern right whales (*Eubalaena australis*)
to combine new (nnew) and published (npub) mitochondrial (mtDNA) and
microsatellite genetic data from all major wintering grounds and, uniquely,
the South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur: SG) feeding grounds.
Specifically, we include data from Argentina (npub mtDNA/microsatellite =
208/46), Brazil (nnew mtDNA/microsatellite = 50/50), South Africa (nnew
mtDNA/microsatellite = 66/77, npub mtDNA/microsatellite = 350/47),
Chile–Peru (nnew mtDNA/ microsatellite = 1/1), the Indo-Pacific (npub
mtDNA/microsatellite = 769/126), and SG (npub mtDNA/ microsatellite = 8/0,
nnew mtDNA/microsatellite = 3/11) to investigate the position of previously
unstudied habitats in the migratory network: Brazil, SG, and Chile–Peru.
These new genetic data show connectivity between Brazil and Argentina,
exemplified by weak genetic differentiation and the movement of 1
genetically identified individual between the South American grounds.The
single sample from Chile–Peru had an mtDNA haplotype previously only
observed in the Indo-Pacific and had a nuclear genotype that appeared
admixed between the Indo-Pacific and South Atlantic, based on genetic
clustering and assignment algorithms.The SG samples were clearly South
Atlantic and were more similar to the South American than the South African
wintering grounds.This study highlights how international collaborations
are critical to provide context for emerging or recovering regions, like
the SG feeding ground, as well as those that remain critically endangered,
such as Chile–Peru.

thank you
Emma Carroll

Rutherford Discovery Fellow | Senior Research Fellow
Te Kura Mātauranga Koiora | School of Biological Sciences
Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau | University of Auckland
e: e.carroll at auckland.ac.nz | t: @EmzLCarroll
w: whalednalab.auckland.ac.nz |
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