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Conservation genomics of endangered green sea turtles

Descrizione del progetto

Genetica e satelliti in soccorso delle tartarughe marine

Più di 100 milioni di anni fa, le tartarughe marine andavano in giro sulla terra insieme ai dinosauri. Oggi, delle appena sette specie restanti di tartarughe marine, sei sono a rischio di estinzione. Il progetto SeaTGen, finanziato dall’UE, concentrerà l’attenzione sulle tartarughe verdi (Chelonia mydas) nell’Oceano Indiano sud-occidentale. Studierà il modo in cui le popolazioni interagiscono e in cui possono essere colpite dalle minacce nei terreni di nidificazione e nelle aree di foraggiamento, nonché lungo i loro corridoi migratori. In particolare, il progetto impiegherà polimorfismi a singolo nucleotide dell’intero genoma combinati con marcatori tradizionali di mtDNA. Metodi genetici innovativi con dati dall’ecologia del movimento (telemetria satellitare) e dall’oceanografia saranno usati per valutare la struttura della popolazione e la storia demografica recente. I risultati saranno utili per azioni di conservazione future.

Obiettivo

Conservation and management of marine turtle populations are challenging because of their complex life history involving long-distance migrations. Consequently, marine turtles are affected by a wide range of anthropogenic threats across temporal and spatial scales, including climate change. The cumulative effect of these impacts is likely to have direct and indirect implications on these endangered species in the near future. This project aims to refine our understanding of the spatial structure of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the South-West Indian Ocean to understand better how populations interact and how they may be impacted by threats both at the nesting ground, at distant foraging areas, and along migratory corridors. To do so we aim to apply the power of genome-wide Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) combined with traditional mtDNA markers to assess fine-scale population structure and recent demographic history. In addition, the research will take a multidisciplinary approach, combining novel genetic methods with data from movement ecology (satellite telemetry) and oceanography (ocean current modelling) to provide a comprehensive analysis of connectivity between breeding and foraging areas. The results will allow conservation managers and policymakers to identify areas in need of protection and to assess the potential impacts of anthropogenic activities such as marine turtle interaction with fisheries. As such, our results will provide the scientific basis for future conservation actions within the framework of Integrated Maritime Policy.

This project will allow me to gain critical new skills in conservation genomics. This will broaden my research horizon, strengthen my research profile and place me in a strong position for furthering my research career within the European Community.

Coordinatore

AALBORG UNIVERSITET
Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 219 312,00
Indirizzo
FREDRIK BAJERS VEJ 7K
9220 Aalborg
Danimarca

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Regione
Danmark Nordjylland Nordjylland
Tipo di attività
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Collegamenti
Costo totale
€ 219 312,00