Who calls the African Wild dog? De novo SNP discovery and genotyping in the Lycaon pictus.

Last changed: 24 May 2021
Image of scientific poster. Author: Mathilda Bertills.

Mathilda Bertills, Forest Science programme


Short description of your pro: Large carnivores, especially the African wild dog, are vulnerable to human-mediated changes and climate effects. As they are apex predators, they also affect lower trophic levels. Due to anthropogenic land-use changes affecting habitat, prey, and their population densities, their populations are declining. Thus, accurate population demographic estimates are required for conservation efforts to sustain carnivore populations. Genetic data are of high importance when analysing population demographics as they allow the study of oftentimes cryptic effects (loss of genetic diversity, inbreeding depression, and genetic drift). As next-generation sequencing techniques advances, genetic markers as single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) can provide key ecological information. This information can be used to implement conservation efforts to impede the negative effects on wild dog populations. The main purpose of this study was to develop a highly informative SNP panel through de novo SNP discovery and genotyping of the non-modelled African wild dog. A total of 74 SNP markers were validated and 83 individuals were identified. The SNP chip provides a foundation for further research on relatedness, parental linkage, dispersal patterns, population size estimates, and discovery of cryptic effects.


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Image of scientific poster. Author: Mathilda Bertills.

Additional image to scientific poster.  Author: Mathilda Bertills

About me

Mathilda Bertills. Private photo.

Mathilda Bertills

My interest in preserving biodiversity and impede climate change led me to the Master in Forest Science programme, and a B.Sc. in forest science. Exchange studies and internships further increased my passion for international wildlife management. With the opportunity of a two-month field study collecting genetic samples on the African wild dog in Zambia, I developed the idea of writing a Master’s thesis on this endangered large carnivore. Now I want to use my experience from my M.Sc. degree and internships to contribute to the work of creating a more sustainable future for wildlife, humans, and natural resources. I believe in the collaboration between international relations to mitigate climate change. Working together, each one contributing to individual knowledge, we can achieve positive climate effects, preserve biodiversity and sustainable management of natural resources.