William B. Sherwin

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We use population genetics theory and computer simulations to demonstrate that population bottlenecks cause a characteristic mode-shift distortion in the distribution of allele frequencies at selectively neutral loci. Bottlenecks cause alleles at low frequency (< 0.1) to become less abundant than alleles in one or more intermediate allele frequency class(More)
It is important to detect population bottlenecks in threatened and managed species because bottlenecks can increase the risk of population extinction. Early detection is critical and can be facilitated by statistically powerful monitoring programs for detecting bottleneck-induced genetic change. We used Monte Carlo computer simulations to evaluate the power(More)
Genotyping of koalas at CA-repeat microsatellite loci has revealed significant differences in the levels of allelic diversity (A) and expected heterozygosity (H(E)) between populations from north-eastern and south-eastern Australia. In the 10 populations studied, allelic diversity ranged from 8.0 in the Nowendoc population to 1.7 in the Kangaroo Is.(More)
In Shark Bay, wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) apparently use marine sponges as foraging tools. We demonstrate that genetic and ecological explanations for this behavior are inadequate; thus, "sponging" classifies as the first case of an existing material culture in a marine mammal species. Using mitochondrial DNA analyses, we show that sponging(More)
We investigate the utility of hypervariable microsatellite loci to measure genetic variability remaining in the northern hairy-nosed wombat, one of Australia's rarest mammals. This species suffered a dramatic range and population reduction over the past 120 years and now exists as a single colony of about 70 individuals at Epping Forest National Park,(More)
Biological diversity is quantified for reasons ranging from primer design, to bioprospecting, and community ecology. As a common index for all levels, we suggest Shannon's (S)H, already used in information theory and biodiversity of ecological communities. Since Lewontin's first use of this index to describe human genetic variation, it has been used for(More)
We demonstrate that koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) MHC class I constitutes a variable multigene family. A total of nine partial exon 2 and 3 major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I sequences are presented, including six sequences from at least three loci from one koala. Variation was detected by examination of sequences from a number of individuals(More)
Koala microsatellite loci containing the dinucleotide motif (CA)n were isolated from a size-fractionated (250-500 bp) koala genomic library and sequenced. Six locus-specific primer pairs were designed and synthesized for DNA amplification using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Microsatellite genotyping of 12 individuals generated unique "fingerprints"(More)
Sexually mature male bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay cooperate by pursuing distinct alliance strategies to monopolize females in reproductive condition. We present the results of a comprehensive study in a wild cetacean population to test whether male alliance membership is a prerequisite for reproductive success. We compared two methods for inferring(More)
Reduced, or bottlenecked, populations are more prone to adverse events. Thus, the detection of genetic bottleneck signatures in wildlife is an important issue for conservation. BOTTLENECK 1.2.02 is a software commonly used for detecting genetic characteristics of past bottlenecks. Here we test the efficiency with which this software detects bottlenecks in(More)