[MARMAM] Upcoming SMM Editors’ Select Series Webinar, 19 October 2023: Genetically separate populations of dugongs in Australia, with Dr. Janet Lanyon

Student Members-at-Large Society for Marine Mammalogy smal at marinemammalscience.org
Fri Oct 6 07:18:18 PDT 2023


Greetings MARMAM community!

Join us on *Thursday, 19 October 2023 at 5pm EDT / 10pm GMT / 7am +1 AEST*
for the next SMM Editors' Select Series Webinar: *Genetically separate
populations of dugongs in Australia: implications for coping with local
environmental stressors with Dr. Janet Lanyon*

This event is free to attend and presented online via Zoom, but
registration is required.
Register here:
https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_nNiRBV4kTa-gh8Xidk0pSg#/registration
Space on Zoom is limited to the first 500 attendees. The talk will also be
streamed live on the SMM Facebook page.

About the talk:
Despite the lack of obvious physical barriers and their ability to travel
significant distances, many marine mammals exhibit substantial population
structuring over relatively short geographical distances. The dugong (*Dugong
dugon*) is a vulnerable marine mammal found in inshore seagrass habitats
throughout the Indo-Pacific, including in the waters of northern Australia.
We investigated the genetic population structure of dugongs in the shallow
coastal waters along >2000 km of the eastern Queensland coast including the
Great Barrier Reef region. Microsatellite genotypes for 22 loci in 293
dugongs, SNP genotypes based on 10,690 loci in 43 dugongs, and 410 bp
mitochondrial control-region sequences from 639 dugongs were analysed.
Clustering analysis techniques consistently identified an abrupt genetic
break in the Whitsunday Islands region of central Queensland (20.3°S),
which interrupts an overall pattern of isolation-by-distance. Geographic
distance was relatively more important than sea-surface temperature and
seagrass distribution in explaining pairwise microsatellite genetic
distances. The cause of reduced dispersal across this region is unknown but
might relate to an unusual tidal and current mix, termed the ‘sticky-water’
effect, and/or a break in the geographical distribution of offshore
seagrass meadows. This genetic structuring suggests distinct breeding units
north and south of the Whitsunday Islands region, and also mostly separate
populations with limited gene flow within each of the north and south
ranges. Recently, profiles of faecal microbiota from dugongs from all along
the Queensland coast show marked variation, supporting these separate
populations and possibly indicating ecological differences, e.g., feeding
niches. Implications of these separate genetic populations in terms of how
dugongs might respond to local threats to habitat and how these findings
should be considered when developing management plans for Queensland
dugongs will be discussed.

About the presenter:
Janet Lanyon is a zoologist, specializing in marine mammal biology. For
thirty years, Janet has been a full-time academic at The University of
Queensland (UQ) and Director of the UQ Marine Vertebrate Research Group.
Since 1995, she has been Lead Investigator in a long-term population and
health study of the dugongs of southern Queensland, Australia. She has
published widely on diverse aspects of the biology of marine wildlife, and
is an Associate Editor of the journal Marine Mammal Science. Her research
expertise includes the ecology, physiology and conservation biology of
marine megafaunal wildlife, principally dugongs, coastal dolphins and sea
turtles.


Open access to this article is made temporarily available in the weeks
around the presentation and can be found here:
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/mms.13021
Current SMM members have access to all Marine Mammal Science papers.

Missed a presentation or want to share this series with a friend? All
previous Editors' Select presentations are recorded and archived on our
YouTube channel here:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUc78IynQlubS2DVS1VZoplf_t42-yZOO

We hope to see you there!

Ayça Eleman, Ph.D. Candidate
Theresa-Anne Tatom-Naecker, Ph.D. Candidate
Sophia Volzke, Ph.D. Candidate
*Student Members-at-Large (SMaLs)*
*The Society for Marine Mammalogy*
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