Melanie L. Lancaster

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Human-induced changes to natural systems can cause major disturbances to fundamental ecological and population processes and result in local extinctions and secondary contacts between formerly isolated species. Extensive fur seal harvesting during the nineteenth century on Macquarie Island (subantarctic) resulted in extinction of the original population.(More)
Asexual organisms that naturally coexist with sexual relatives may hold the key to understanding the maintenance of sex and recombination, a long-standing problem in evolutionary biology. This situation applies to the peach-potato aphid, Myzus persicae, in southeastern Australia where cyclical parthenogens form mixed populations with obligate parthenogens.(More)
Demographic and genetic replenishment of populations through the exchange of individuals is essential for their persistence. Habitat loss and fragmentation can reduce the permeability of landscapes, hinder dispersal and compromise the genetic integrity of populations over time. We examined ecological connectivity in an arboreal marsupial, the common(More)
A suite of polymorphic microsatellite markers and the complete mitochondrial genome sequence was developed by next generation sequencing (NGS) for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot, Neophema chrysogaster. A total of 14 polymorphic loci were identified and characterized using DNA extractions representing 40 individuals from Melaleuca, Tasmania,(More)
Hybridization among organisms can potentially contribute to the processes of evolution, but this depends on the fitness of hybrids relative to parental species. A small, recently formed population of fur seals on subantarctic Macquarie Island contains a high proportion of hybrids (17-30%) derived from combinations of three parental species: Antarctic,(More)
Human impacts on natural systems can cause local population extinctions, which may promote redistribution of taxa and secondary contact between divergent lineages. In mammalian populations that have mating systems shaped by polygyny and sexual selection, the potential for hybridization to ensue and persist depends on individual and demographic factors. At(More)
Eleven microsatellite markers were developed for the Common ringtail possum, an arboreal marsupial abundant in fragmented forests of south-eastern Australia. Loci were highly polymorphic (4-32 alleles per locus) and heterozygosity ranged from 0.66 to 1. Two loci deviated significantly from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium proportions, possibly because of(More)
Commercial sealers exterminated the original fur seal population at Macquarie Island in the early 1800s. The first breeding record since the sealing era was not reported until March 1955. Three species of fur seal now occur at Macquarie Island, the Antarctic (Arctocephalus gazella), subantarctic (A. tropicalis) and New Zealand (A. forsteri) fur seal. Census(More)
Nine polymorphic microsatellite markers were developed for a nationally endangered marsupial, the southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) using a next generation sequencing approach. The nine markers were genotyped in 59 individuals from two distinct locations (the Mt Burr Range and the Mt Lofty Ranges) in South Australia. All loci showed Hardy–Weinberg(More)
For some species, particularly invertebrates, developing single copy nuclear markers is an expensive and time-consuming task that may result in few or no usable markers. This has proven true for Onychophora (velvet worms). Here we describe our PCR-based method of generating single copy nuclear markers in Onychophora—a phylum comprised of species generally(More)