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Project Information

Project Information


Assistance to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Taxonomic Studies of the Red Wolf: A Review of Applications to Carry out Research and Development of a Research Strategy


Project Scope:

At the request of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will convene an ad hoc committee to provide independent guidance about taxonomic research on the red wolf, Canis rufus.  This work will build on the 2019 report Evaluating the Taxonomic Status of the Mexican Gray Wolf and the Red Wolf. The committee will carry out its work as two distinct, but interrelated activities.

Activity 1:  Review of Research Applications

The committee will develop and issue a request for applications for research to determine the taxonomy of wild canid populations in southern Louisiana and any other locations where recent evidence suggests the potential presence of red wolves.The request for applications will need to include a brief description of study design that encompasses both field and laboratory work that ensures safe trapping, morphologic measurements, and hair and blood sampling of live wild canid and tools and techniques for genomic analysis of biologic samples. The committee will carry out an open solicitation, evaluate submitted applications, and rank the applications in order of merit. Merit will be determined based upon factors that influence scientific validity including the goals and objectives of the study, clear hypotheses, research methodology and design of study, proposed statistical analysis and data interpretation, animal welfare considerations, feasibility, and the qualifications, expertise, and experience of the investigators. 

In a brief report, the committee will rank the applications in order of merit and provide comments on additional factors for FWS to consider. The selection of an application for funding will depend on the committee's recommendations and a final decision by FWS. 

Activity 2: Research Strategy to Assess Red Wolf Taxonomy

The committee will develop a research strategy to examine the evolutionary relationships between ancient red wolves, the extant managed red wolf populations, and the unidentified canid populations in southern Louisiana.  The committee will identify the types of studies needed to improve understanding of genetic ancestry, phylogenetic relationships, morphology, behavior, and ecology, taking into consideration evidence about the role of admixture and hybridization in speciation.  Although the strategy will focus on the study of the red wolf, the committee may draw upon knowledge generated from research on other organisms, particularly those with taxonomic questions parallel to those of the red wolf. The strategy will also include key considerations for sampling and analyses to minimize impact on specimens and live organisms when carrying out research.



Status: Current

PIN: DELS-BLS-19-06

Project Duration (months): 15 month(s)

RSO: Sawyer, Keegan

Topic(s):

Biology and Life Sciences
Environment and Environmental Studies



Geographic Focus:

Committee Membership

Committee Post Date: 10/15/2019

Joseph Travis - (Chair)
Dr. Joseph Travis is the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Biological Science at Florida State University. Dr. Travis’ research and expertise is on understanding the interplay between ecological processes and how these processes influence population variation in animal and plant phenotypes and density. His current work focuses on the ecology and evolution of livebearing fishes such as guppies and mosquitofish, and how demography (location of habitat) results in unique, localized traits. Dr. Travis began his career at Florida State as an assistant professor in 1980 and was promoted through the ranks, eventually serving as Department Chair (1991-1997) and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences (2005-2011). He teaches the undergraduate course in evolution for majors in biological science and a graduate course in population ecology. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Oecologia, Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, and The American Naturalist, and served as editor of The American Naturalist from 1998 to 2002. Dr. Travis served as Vice-President (1994) and President (2005) of the American Society of Naturalists and is currently serving as President of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. He has also served on advisory boards for the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and was a member of the National Academies Committee on Gene Drive Research in Non-Human Organisms: Recommendations for Responsible Conduct (2015 to 2018) and chair of the Committee on Evaluating the Taxonomic Status of the Mexican Gray Wolf and the Red Wolf (2018 to 2019). He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his doctoral degree from Duke University.
Fred W. Allendorf
Dr. Fred W. Allendorf is a Regents Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Montana. He was a Professorial Research Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand, 2005-2012). He was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, and a NATO Fellow at Nottingham University in England. He is an evolutionary geneticist who has spent much of his career applying the theory and molecular techniques of population genetics to problems in conservation. Much of his work in evolutionary genetics has been devoted to understanding the genetics of salmonid fishes following a whole genome duplication event (tetraploidy). He was Program Director of Population Biology at the National Science Foundation in 1989-1990, a Senior Fulbright Fellow in New Zealand in 2000-2001, and a Senior Fulbright Specialist at the University of Western Australia in 2013. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was President of the American Genetic Association in 1997, and he has served on the editorial boards of several international journals (e.g., Evolution, Conservation Genetics, Molecular Ecology, and Conservation Biology). He received the American Fisheries Society’s Award of Excellence in recognition of outstanding contributions to fisheries science and aquatic biology in 2011, and the Molecular Ecology Prize for lifetime achievements in the fields of molecular ecology and conservation genetics in 2015. He received a B.S. in Zoology from Penn State University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Fisheries and Genetics from the University of Washington.
Liliana Cortes Ortiz
Dr. Liliana Cortés Ortiz is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on understanding processes and mechanisms involved in the evolution and diversification of primates. Through the use of genetic and genomic approaches, Dr. Cortés Ortiz and her students address questions on phylogenetics, phylogeography, and evolutionary history of neotropical primates. They also study a natural hybrid zone between two species of howler monkeys in Mexico to evaluate the importance of introgression as a source of genetic variation and identify the genetic architecture of reproductive isolation between hybridizing species. Her work includes field-based data/sample collection and laboratory-based molecular work. Dr. Cortés Ortiz is Vice President for the Neotropics - Mesoamerica of the Primate Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Dr. Cortés Ortiz received a B.Sc. in Biology from the Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico, a M.Sc. in Neuroethology also from the Universidad Veracruzana, and a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of East Anglia in England.
Melanie Culver
Dr. Melanie Culver is an assistant professor at the Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson, which she joined in 2002. She is also a conservation geneticist and the Assistant Unit Leader for the U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, UA School of Natural Resources and the Environment. Dr. Culver’s research is focused on conservation genetics, specializing in molecular taxonomy, population genetics, landscape genetics, behavior ecology, wildlife management, and forensics, including the application of genome technologies to wildlife related issues. She has worked on a variety of species including several felids and canids, black bear, water shrew, jumping mouse, bighorn sheep, raptors, muskellunge, and freshwater mussels. Dr. Culver has published more than 72 peer-reviewed papers and is currently an associate editor for the Journal of Heredity. She received her B.S. in biology (emphasis in biochemistry and molecular biology) from the University of Utah in 1984 and her Ph.D. in biology (emphasis in conservation genetics) from the University of Maryland in 1999, and was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Virginia Tech from 1999-2002.
Diane P. Genereux
Dr. Diane P. Genereux is a research scientist in Vertebrate Genomic Biology at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. She develops mathematical and statistical methods to address questions in population genetics, epigenetics, and genomics. She is the scientific manager of the 200 Mammals Project, an international collaboration that is using comparative genomics — specifically, the conservation of DNA sequence over evolutionary time — to identify genetic factors that underlie mammalian phenotypes. Her earlier work identified population genetic and demographic factors that shape the global distribution of fragile X syndrome and yielded new statistical methods for tracking epigenetic stability and change across mammalian development. She has also contributed work identifying genetic variants associated with canine-compulsive disorder in pet dogs. Dr. Genereux is currently collaborating with veterinarians and wildlife biologists on a project to develop a powerful, cost-effective pipeline to identify the genomic basis of diseases in threatened and endangered species, many of which have very low genetic diversity. She has taught undergraduate courses in evolution, genetics, epigenetics, molecular biology, and mathematical modeling, and has written about genomic approaches in several undergraduate and medical textbooks, as well as in the popular literature. She received her A.B. in history and biology from Brown University in 1999, and her Ph.D. in mathematical genetics from Emory University in 2005.
Kelley Harris
Dr. Kelley Harris is an assistant professor of genome sciences at the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine in Seattle. She opened her UW medicine lab in 2018 where she currently uses population genetic theory and high-throughput biological sequence analysis to study recent evolutionary history in humans and other species. One of her primary research interests is the evolution of mutagenesis. She is also broadly interested in the impact of demography, inbreeding, and hybridization on the dynamics of natural selection, particularly in the wake of gene flow between humans, Neanderthals, and other extinct hominids. Dr. Harris has developed a variety of computational methods for inferring population bottlenecks, divergence times, and admixture events at high resolution, and has written about the impact of Neanderthal interbreeding on the fitness of archaic and modern humans. Her lab is developing new statistical models that refine our understanding of how genomes and populations evolve, using methods derived from coalescent theory to visualize and extract the information contained in huge databases of whole genomes. Dr. Harris graduated with a degree in mathematics from Harvard College (2009), then earned her M.Phil. in biological sciences from Cambridge University (2011), and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley (2015).
Elaine A. Ostrander
Dr. Elaine A. Ostrander is chief of the Cancer Genetics and Comparative Genomics Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. She also heads the Section of Comparative Genetics. Dr. Ostrander received her Ph.D. from the Oregon Health Sciences University and did her postdoctoral training at Harvard. She then went to University of California, Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, where, with collaborators, she began the canine genome project, and built the canine linkage and radiation hybrid maps. She worked at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington for 12 years before moving to NIH in 2004. Dr. Ostrander's lab at NIH works in both human and canine genetics. She is best known for her studies of the domestic dog as a well-phenotyped species with an extensively documented population structure that offers unique opportunities for solving fundamental biological problems. Her lab developed the primary genomic mapping resources for the canine genetics field, and applied them to studies of disease and morphology. Dr. Ostrander has published over 350 papers. Her awards include the American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Award, the Burroughs Welcome Award for Functional Genomics, the Asa Mays Award, Lifetime Achievement Awards for both her prostate cancer and canine genetics work, and the Genetics Society of America Medal in 2013. She was elected into the National Academy of Sciences in 2019.
P. David Polly
Dr. P. David Polly is the Robert R. Shrock Professor in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Indiana University and has secondary appointments in the departments of Anthropology and Biological Sciences. A vertebrate paleontologist, Dr. Polly studies the morphological evolution of mammals and other vertebrates, including biogeography and speciation at regional and continental geographic scales, trait-based studies of community response to environmental change, and the quantitative analysis of morphology using geometric morphometrics and phylogenetics. Dr. Polly received his Ph.D. in paleontology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993. He recently served as the president of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Director of the IU Center for Biological Research Collections, and Associate Director of the Environmental Resilience Institute, and he was an Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Environmental Scholar with Yale Institute of Biospheric Studies.
Anne C. Stone
Dr. Anne C. Stone is a Regents Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at the Arizona State University in Tempe. Her specialization and main area of interest is anthropological genetics and her studies are cross-disciplinary, employing bioarchaeological, molecular genetic, population genetic, and genomic approaches. Currently, her research focuses on population history and understanding how humans and the great apes have adapted to their environments, including their disease and dietary environments. Dr. Stone was Fulbright Fellow (1992 to 1993) and a Kavli Scholar (2007), and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2016, she was elected into the National Academy of Sciences. She has served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and the Journal of Human Evolution, and Molecular Biology and Evolution. Dr. Stone holds a B.A. in biology and archaeology from the University of Virginia (1989), and an M.A. (1992) and a Ph.D. (1996) in anthropology from Pennsylvania State University.

Events



Location:

Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center
100 Academy Way, Irvine, CA 92617
Event Type :  
Meeting

Description :   

Committee Meeting 3 Agenda

February 20-21, 2020

National Academy of Sciences

Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center

100 Academy Way, Board Room

Irvine, CA

 

February 20, 2020

9:00 Opening Remarks – Joseph Travis (chair), Florida State University

9:05 Speaker Presentations & Discussion

Each speaker will give a 15minute presentation, which will be followed by 15 minutes of Q&A

9:05 Effects of hybridization on the mammalian skeleton – Lauren Schroeder, University of Toronto  [Remote]

9:35 Best practices in computational approaches to study evolutionary theory and genetics—Rasmus Nielsen, University of California, Berkeley [Remote]

10:05 Best practices and pitfalls in paleogenomics— Beth Shapiro, University of California, Santa Cruz [Remote]

10:35 Break

10:45 Taxonomic evidence on extant red wolves - Kristin E. Brzeski, Michigan Technological University [Remote]

 

11:15 Research strategies and methodologies to study mammalian evolution: Applicable lessons for the red wolf – Mark Springer, University of California, Riverside

11:45 Public Comments (In-person attendees only with advanced sign-up. Online participants may submit written comments to bls@nas.edu or through the project webpage (https://www8.nationalacademies.org/pa/projectview.aspx?key=51810 )

12:00   Adjourn Public Session





If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Keegan Sawyer
Contact Email:  ksawyer@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  -

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Some sessions are open and some sessions are closed

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-


Location:

Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Event Type :  
Meeting

Description :   

Closed session meeting for the committee to discuss the research applications and begin drafting the letter report. Discussion on Activity 2 - developing the research strategy and possible invitations for speakers.


Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Keegan Sawyer
Contact Email:  ksawyer@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  -

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Fred W. Allendorf
Melanie Culver
Liliana Cortes Ortiz
Kelley Harris
Diane P. Genereux
P. David Polly
Elaine A. Ostrander
Anne Stone
Joseph Travis.

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

Research applications, letter report,Activity 2 - developing the research strategy, and possible invitations for speakers.

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
December 09, 2019
Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
TeleConference

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Keegan Sawyer
Contact Email:  ksawyer@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  -

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Fred Allendorf
Liliana Cortes Ortiz
Melanie Culver
Diane Genereux
Kelley Harris
David Polly
Joseph Travis
Anne Stone.

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

Call to recap the meeting, discuss to do items for the committee, discussion on the draft RFA, scheduling for next calls and the in-person meeting.

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
October 24, 2019
Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Meeting

Description :   

You may view the recorded session here.

 

OPEN SESSION 

12:20     Log-in to Public Meeting

12:30     Welcome – Joseph Travis, Chair of the Study Committee

  • Purpose of the session
  • Disclaimer
  • Study process and timeline

12:40     Context and Expectations for the NAS Study – Miguel Garcia-Bermudez, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Comments from USFWS will be followed by discussion with members of the committee.

1:15        Public Comments.

Members of the public are invited to share evidence and views they would like for the committee to take into consideration.  Advanced sign-up is required.

1:30        Adjourn Open Session (remember to log out of the open session zoom conference)

--------------------------------------------------

 

This meeting is the first of several information-gathering events of the Committee on Assistance to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Taxonomic Studies of the Red Wolf: A Review of Applications to Carry out Research and Development of a Research Strategy.


This meeting will be held remotely via Zoom. Members of the public are invited to register to watch the meeting online. The recording of the meeting will be posted here afterwards.

Members of the public are welcome to give brief public statements about evidence or ideas for the committee’s consideration*. If you are interested in doing so during the public comment session, *advance sign up upon registration is required. If you are unable to attend this session, members of the public are also able to submit written comments through the "Feedback" button along the top toolbar of this page or by emailing us at bls@nas.edu.



Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Keegan Sawyer
Contact Email:  ksawyer@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  -

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Some sessions are open and some sessions are closed

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Fred Allendorf
Liliana Cortes Ortiz
Melanie Culver
Diane Genereux
Kelley Harris
Elaine Ostrander
David Polly
Joseph Travis
Anne Stone

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

Questions to ask the sponsor, statement of task review, agenda for closed and open sessions.

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
October 24, 2019
Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Publications

  • Publications having no URL can be seen at the Public Access Records Office
Publications

No data present.