How can understanding the marmot’s genome improve conservation?
Dr. Jamie Gorrell is studying Vancouver Island Marmot genetics at Vancouver Island University with a focus on how understanding genetics can inform and improve conservation. When we started marmot conservation breeding and reintroduction, we had to make guesses about how to best conserve as much of the marmot’s genetic diversity as possible because we couldn’t look at the marmot’s genome directly.
The work at Dr. Gorrell’s lab is changing that. As a result of his and his student’s work, we are getting a better picture of how successful we’ve been (watch the video to find out 😀). In the future, this work will give us more powerful tools to understand which marmots to pair, and where to release specific marmots – and improve the recovery of our favorite species in the process.
Yesterday, Dr. Gorrell provided a short presentation on the work completed so far. It is a short presentation, made for non specialists – you don’t need to be a genomicist to understand it! https://viuvideos.viu.ca/media/Jamie+Gorrell+Pecha+Kucha/0_w8kc5j5z