Dr Catherine Jones
Dr Catherine Jones

Dr Catherine Jones

Senior Lecturer

About

Latest Publications

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Research

Research Overview

My research focuses on the application of molecular genetics and genomics to the ecology and conservation of endangered species. As molecular ecologists we use molecular data in elusive marine species to assist conservation management questions, particularly in top predators, the elasmobranchs. Yet the biology of long-lived and enigmatic ‘flagship’ species such as the Great white, basking shark and Flapper skate are surprisingly poorly understood. We seek to comprehend how genetic diversity evolves in these small, highly vagile populations, the role that local adaptation plays and its consequence for conservation biology and management, along with the impacts of renewable energy facilities. We utilize methods such as DNA profiling (genetic tagging) through to next generation sequencing, integrating these data with seascape analyses (GIS) in an effort to provide comprehensive information for biodiversity management and conservation, such as implementation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). 

Additionally I seek to understand the invasive nature of several Arionid slugs, vectors of many plant diseases, which is of fundamental importance for national and international crop security. Similarly understanding the evolution of host-parasite interactions in several aquatic systems (including the medically important freshwater snail intermediate host of trematodes, Biomphalaria glabrata and the ectoparasitism in commercially important Atlantic salmon by sealice or the monogenean, Gyrodactylus salaris) is of fundamental importance.  

 

Funding and Grants

Recent grants:

2020-2024. Sea Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) Biennial Keystone grant award: ‘Genetic monitoring tool for North-East Atlantic Elasmobranchs to assist conservation and management’.  https://saveourseas.com/project/a-genetic-tool-to-help-monitor-sharks-and-skates-in-the-north-east-atlantic/

2018-2023. Nature.Scot ‘Assessing MPA efficacy and adaptive management of the common skate’. (with Peter Wright, Marine Scotland & David Donnan Nature.Scot)

2017-2019. Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA) EU Partnership Building (PEER) co-PI, ‘International Marine Connectivity Network’, co-PI Oscar Gaggiotti (St. Andrews).

2016-2018. NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility (NBAF) NBAF965 ‘Genetic structure and connectivity in the endangered yet potentially commercially valuable North Atlantic porbeagle shark: informing conservation and towards sustainable fisheries management.’

2013-2017. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). ‘Genetic monitoring of the basking shark, Cetorhinus maximus in Scottish waters to address environmental impacts; effective population size, population connectivity and group kinship’.

2015-2016. NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility (NBAF) NBAF942 'Genetic monitoring to assess the potential for anthropogenic impacts in the endangered common skate in the north east Atlantic: genetic diversity, connectivity and effective population size'. 

2014-2016. NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility (NBAF) NBAF765 ‘Stock structure, residency and kinship of white shark aggregations along the South African coast.’ 

2014-2015. NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility (NBAF) NBAF764 ‘Baseline data for assessing environmental impacts on basking sharks in Scottish waters: effective population size, connectivity and group kinship.'

2013-2015. NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility (NBAF) NBAF723 'Population structure, kinship and the demographic history of the basking shark, Cetorhinus maximus'.  

Publications

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