Conservation Science


Please click on the individual links to find out more about our projects

Oryx conservation genomics

The scimitar-horned oryx has been brought back from the brink of extinction through a series of captive breeding and reintroduction programmes. We run several projects where genetic data is being used to inform their ongoing conservation.

Mobula ray conservation

Manta and devil rays are targeted by fisheries across the globe. We are using genetic and genomic tools to understand more about this vulnerable group and help inform management and conservation efforts.

FORESFA - Investigating the Origin of Sub-standard and Falsified Medicines

The FORESFA project is a Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award focusing on the global issue of sub-standard and falsified pharmaceuticals. We take a multi-disciplinary approach to investigate product origins and their impact on population health. Our group at the University of Edinburgh is leading on the application of eDNA to examine the pharmabiome of falsified tablets, with the aim of generating data that allow seizures of illegal product to be linked and ultimately mapped back to source.

Scottish red deer immunogenetics

This project is set to develop a high throughput genotyping protocol of functional MHC Class II loci in Scottish red deer populations with the aim to develop an immunogenetic map across Scotland.

Red squirrel conservation genetics

We are undertaking whole-genome sequencing of UK red squirrels with the aim of understanding population structure, landscape-wide distribution of genetic diversity and disease susceptibility in order to inform their long-term conservation.

White-beaked and Atlantic white-sided dolphin conservation genomics

This project aims to resolve population genomic structure, habitat shifts and disease status in two Lagenorhynchus species to inform conservation management

Golden eagle genomics

The golden eagle is an iconic bird of prey actively being conserved in Scotland and many other areas around the world. Through genetic monitoring and whole genome sequencing our research projects are informing global decision-making for golden eagle population management.

Shark conservation genetics

Elasmobranchs are of global conservation concern with around 25% of all species considered threatened with extinction. We are working on several projects that will fill these knowledge gaps and help provide evidence-based recommendations to prevent overexploitation.

Grasscutter breeding

Grasscutters are large African rodents and are recognized as an important rural protein source and popular speciality meat. We are working to develop a selective breeding programme to support the grasscutter farming communities in the Upper West region of Ghana.

Spiral-horned antelope conservation genetics

The spiral horned antelopes (Tragelaphini) are a group of charismatic sub-Saharan antelope that includes the bongo, kudu and Western Derby eland, the world’s largest antelope. Our research focuses on the population genetic management of captive breeding populations.

Antarctic skate conservation genetics and fisheries management

This project is set up to assess potential genetic discontinuities between different species of Amblyraja skates caught during by-catch activities in order to inform fisheries management.

Population genetics of army ants and associates

This project is set up to further assess the population genetics of neotropical Eciton army ants and that of their associates.

Assessment of diet, gut microbiome, and plant detoxification in roe deer as a tool for forest management

This project will take an omics approach to assess diet composition, gut microbiota, and secretion of tannin-binding salivary proteins in woodland roe deer populations in to inform forest management strategies in Scotland

Plant-animal interactions: Phoenicean juniper dispersal

This project is set up to assess the effect of historical and contemporary processes in the dispersal and population structure of Phoenicean juniper in Cabrera Archipelago National Park.