Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Genetic Tools for Wildlife Management - Wildlife Professional Article

Genetic Tools for Wildlife Management

By Emily Latch, Rachel Crowhurst, Sara Oyler-McCance and Stacie J. Robinson

Granted interim status in November, 2013, The Wildlife Society’s (TWS) Molecular Ecology Working Group aims to promote scientific advancement by applying molecular techniques to wildlife ecology, management, and conservation. The working group—composed of scientists from diverse backgrounds—met for the first time in Pittsburgh at the TWS Annual Conference held in October. Our overarching goal is to enhance awareness of molecular ecology and genetic applications to wildlife biology and act as an informational and networking resource. During the group’s interim status, which runs for three years, we intend to focus on a broad scope of molecular ecology that is applicable to wildlife including genetic and genomic methods, conservation genetics, non-invasive genetic population monitoring, landscape genetics, evolutionary genetics, and molecular forensics.

To read the rest, click the link to check out the Wildlife Professional Article.

Inaugural Working Group Meeting - Summary and Minutes

The rising interest and applicability of molecular methods to wildlife ecology, management, and conservation has led to increasing coverage of genetic topics at TWS conferences.  Several fascinating conference sessions in recent years led to some great conversations. And that led many of us (lab geeks, students, researchers, managers) to wish for a venue to discuss and share information about molecular ecology within the TWS realm.  So we did it - we came together to for the TWS Molecular Ecology Working Group!

The group had it's first official meeting at the 2014 TWS National Conference in Pittsburg. We discussed goals, organization, and elected our first set of officers. If you missed that first meeting - check out the meeting minutes below.  And be sure to join us at the next conference!

10/09/2014 at TWS National Conference in Pittsburgh, PA

1)     Introductions – 26 people attended, each introduced themselves

2)     MEWG Mission Statement & Scope of Activity
·       Broad goals include:
o   Professional network for information sharing
§  Bringing together all people doing all things molecular
o   Providing information and training to students
o   Conservation management
o   A place to go to as a resource (expertise) for FWS and state agencies
o   Sponsoring workshops and symposia that are beneficial because they reach out to other professionals who may have research or management uses for genetic data but little experience using molecular techniques
o   Playing a role in TWS (resources for the larger TWS community)
§  Expert opinions
§  Position statements
§  Fact sheets

3)     Election of Officers & Board Members
·       We will plan to have 2 year terms with rotating elections so that some positions are elected each year (note - this will entail some positions having an initial 1 year term).
·       Initial elections were made by Yay-Nay votes of those present, future elections will entail online balloting of all active (i.e. paid) members.
·       Officer Positions:
o   Created according to guidance from standard TWS working group charters
o   Chair - Stacie Robinson
§  Represent working group in TWS council
§  Submit annual report
o   Vice-Chair - Emily Latch
§  Serve as Chair-elect
§  Duties shares with Chair
o   Secretary/Treasurer - Lynne Gardner
§  Meeting minutes
§  Management of finances and reporting
o   Communications Officer - Valorie Titus
§  Website/Social medica maintenance
§  Blog / Newsletter circulation
o   Student Representative – Ashley Wurth
§  Represent student concerns
§  Assist in outreach / bridging professional and student communities
·       Executive/Advisory Board:
o   Created in an effort to expand leadership and participation.  We tried to ensure flexibility and did not create rules for board membership, but set the goals to be inclusive and have broad representation of various sectors:
§  Federal/State agencies – Sara Oyler-McCance
§  Academia – Randal DeYoung
§  Students – Darren Wood
§  NGOs – Steven Spear
§  Communications enthusiasts – Kristin Brzeski

4)     Promotion and Recruitment
·       Try to reach out to and recruit interested undergraduates
·       Recruit from regional TWS meetings by sponsoring sessions
·       Partner with Student Development WG to get word out and recruit members
·       Have a mentoring program where students with specific interests can sign up to be paired with an expert
·       Posting advertisements for open graduate/postdoc position in members’ labs
·       Readers of FB/blog/website should be able to get a sense of who is in the MEWG and what is happening in ME research
·       Available resources, in terms of laboratory equipment
·       Sharing lanes on Illumina
·       New equipment people have
·       Access and sharing of computing clusters
·       TWS journals are looking for special sections from working groups for communications
·       Posting of meeting minutes on website
·       Using a hashtag search to get new research out to MEWG community
·       Newsletters should have blurbs from students and photos
·       List of citations of recent literature that has been published since the last newsletter was distributed
·       Links to evoldir and ecology-L
·       Possible Workshops/Symposia
§  Help to people unfamiliar with molecular techniques but want to use them
§  Sample storage and biobanking
§  Training for MEWG members in biometrics
§  Pairing with Climate WG to address questions of adaptive capacity
§  Study design for molecular questions (sampling design)

§  New genomic methods to address questions