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Conservation Genomics

One of the primary strengths of La Kretz Center researchers is the intersection of conservation biology and cutting-edge genomic science. We actively fund projects that bring together academics, resource and land policy professionals, and regulatory experts to optimally use the power of genomics in the conservation of California’s threatened and exploited species. In partnership with the UCLA Grand Challenges program, we have launched the California Conservation Genomics Initiative. In addition, we continue to fund researchers as they quantify the distribution of genetic variation that is critical for adaptation and species resilience in the face of climate change, habitat fragmentation, and other challenges faced by declining species.

PROJECTS

ucla to lead $10 million california conservation project

California Conservation Genomics Project

The UCLA La Kretz Center will lead a $10 million California conservation project in a state-funded initiative that will provide officials with the scientific basis for confronting climate change. “This project has the potential to revolutionize how we manage our land,” said Bradley Shaffer, a UCLA distinguished professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and director...

luke browne

Valley Oak Conservation in a Changing Climate

Rapidly changing climate in California and around the world has the potential to cause a mismatch between the environmental conditions that plants are adapted to and the environmental conditions they will face in the future, which threatens the viability of many plant populations. Working with the California endemic species Valley oak (Quercus lobata), La Kretz...

california conservation genomics initiative

California Conservation Genomics Initiative

In this broadly integrative initiative, we bring together genome biologists, conservation scientists, resource managers and policy leaders to enable the linkage of conservation genomics with remote sensing and climate models to change the face of wildlife management in California. By working across university research laboratories and regulatory and research agencies, we marshal the power of genomics to redefine endangered species management in the face of climate change across California, including terrestrial, freshwater, and marine species.

Publications

Adaptational lag to temperature in valley oak (Quercus lobata) can be mitigated by genome-informed assisted gene flow

Luke Browne, Jessica W. Wright, Sorel Fitz-Gibbon,Paul F. Gugger, and Victoria L. Sork

Published Work | 2019 | PNAS December 10, 2019 116 (50) 25179-25185


Landscape genomic signatures indicate reduced gene flow and forest-associated adaptive divergence in an endangered neotropical turtle

Gallego-Garcia, N., G. Forero-Medina, M. Vargas-Ramirez, S. Caballero, and H. B. Shaffer

Published Work | 2019 | Molecular Ecology 28:2757–2771


Genomic data recover previously undetectable fragmentation effects in an endangered amphibian

McCartney-Melstad, E., J. K. Vu, and H. B. Shaffer

Published Work | 2018 | Molecular Ecology 27:4430-4443



Desert tortoises in the genomic age: population genomics and the landscape

Shaffer HB, McCartney-Melstad E, Ralph P, Bradburd G, Lundgren E, Vu J, Hagerty B, Sandmeier F, Weitzman C, Tracy CR.

Published Work | 2017 |


Exon capture optimization in amphibians with large genomes

E. McCartney-Melstad, G. G. Mount, and H. B. Shaffer

Published Work | 2016 | Molecular Ecology Resources 16:1084-1094


Hybridization and endangered species protection in the molecular era

R.K. Wayne and H. B. Shaffer

Published Work | 2016 | Molecular Ecology 25:280-289


Amphibian molecular ecology and how it has informed conservation

E. McCartney-Melstad and H. B. Shaffer

Published Work | 2015 | Molecular Ecology 24:5084-5109


Desert Tortoises in the Genomic Age: Population Genetics and the Landscape

H. B. Shaffer, E. McCartney-Melstad, P. Ralph, G. Bradburd, E. Lundgren, J. Vu, B. Hagerty, F. Sandmeier, C. Weitzman, R. Tracy

Progress Report | 2015


Conservation genetics and genomics of amphibians and reptiles

H. B. Shaffer, M, Gidiş E. McCartney-Melstad, K. M. Neal, H. M. Oyamaguchi, M. Tellez, and E. M. Toffelmier

Published Work | 2015 | Annual Reviews of Animal Biosciences 3:113-138


The advantages of going large: genome-wide SNPs clarify the complex population history and systematics of the threatened western pond turtle

P.Q. Spinks, R. C. Thomson, and H. B. Shaffer

Published Work | 2014 | Molecular Ecology 23:2228-2241


Genomics in ecology, evolution and systematics

H. B. Shaffer and M. D. Purugganan

Published Work | 2013 | Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 44:1-4