NCBI adopts Pogona

Posted in Pogona Research on Mar 20, 2017

The US National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has made the annotated genome sequence of Fabian, the ZZ dragon lizard, available to the international research community. The IAE made the genome available in 2013 through its local server, but we expect uptake to accellerate now that it is available through NCBI. Through the NCBI servier it is possible to BLAST sequence against the Pogona genome, pull down the sequences and annotation, and search for specific genes and regions. Well done to Denis O'Meally for making this all happen.

Dragons in Anthropocene Archipelagos!

Posted in Pogona Research on Mar 15, 2017

Great new paper from Celine Frere on the water dragon in the suburbs and what appears to be rapid diversification in a novel environment. Top marks also for the fabulous title -- Archipelagos of the Anthropocene: Rapid and extensive differentiation of native terrestrial vertebrates in a single metropolis.

World Wildlife Day big success

Posted in Turtle Research on Mar 03, 2017

World Wildlife Day was celebrated by thousands of Port Moresby parents and children today at POM Nature Park. The day, organised by Michelle McGeorge of POM Nature Park featured a large number of stalls, including one manned by the Piku Team from the University of Canberra.

Endemic and Flagship Species Workshop

Posted in Turtle Research on Mar 01, 2017

The Endemic and Flagship Species Workshop kicks off at Lomana Hotel in Port Moresby today co-hosted by PNG CEPA and Mama Graun and sponsored by ExxonMobil PNG Ltd. The objective of the workshop is to bring together stakeholders with an interest in the newly established Protected Area Policy, to become aware of each others' activities and how they can benefit under the new policy. UC is represented by Carla Eisemberg, Yolarnie Amepou, Fiona Manu, Frank John and Arthur Georges of the Piku Team.

Meghan Castelli secures CSIRO support

Posted in Pogona Research on Feb 21, 2017

Congratulations to IAE PhD student Meghan Castelli on securing support for her project from CSIRO. Meghan is working on *sex and stress: How the environment shapes the genome, phenotype, physiology and behaviour of a widespread Australian reptile, as part of the recently ARC funded project on Pogona vitticeps*.

Pogona embryos sexed in UQ/UC collaboration

Posted in Pogona Research on Feb 20, 2017

Sarah Whiteley visited the Wildife Genetics Laboratories at UC from University of Queensland this week to apply our PCR sex test to embryos from an Pogona embryological series she is developing as part of her honours program. Her work is throwing up some novel insights to the gonadal development of sex reversed lizards likely to change our understanding of this process.

Stable Cretaceous sex chromosomes enable molecular sexing in softshell turtles

Posted in Pogona Research on Feb 16, 2017

My colleagues, Michail Rovatsos, Peter Praschag, Uwe Fritz & Lukáš Kratochvíl have identified differentiated ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes in two species of the softshell turtles (Trionychidae) and Z-specific genes were identified in one of these species. Our knowledge of sex chromosome genes is growing rapidly across a range of reptile species, and so much closer is the discovery of a sex determining gene in a reptile. Further information -- Scientific Reports | 7:42150 | DOI: 10.1038/srep42150.

Scientists descend on Canberra to discuss Turtles in Crisis

Posted in Turtle Research on Feb 12, 2017

Many freshwater turtles in Australia are facing a crisis owing to the interplay of natural conditions (particularly drought) and human-induced changes to their environment. This symposium will bring together existing evidence to chart future knowledge needs so that we can better respond to freshwater turtle declines.

Renewed Funding for Team Pogona

Posted in Pogona Research on Nov 03, 2016

Congratulations to Arthur Georges, Janine Deakin, Stephen Sarre, Tariq Ezaz, Clare Holleley, Jenny Graves and their collaborators for their recent success in securing renewed funding from the Australian Research Council to continue their work on sex determination in dragons.

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