New Caledonian Araucaria Research
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Research
 
Browse the list below of RBGE Araucaria Research Projects
 
 
Conservation Genetics
Taxonomy
Evolutionary Genetics
Conservation
   
 
 
Map and Location
 
Click on the map for more details of the Island of New Caledonia .
     

 

Research Team

The main thrust of current research is being carried out by two PhD students Chris Kettle and Mai-lan Kranitz and research technician Alex Ponge. This work is coordinated by Dr Pete Hollingsworth in close collaboration with Martin Gardner, Dr Robert Mill and Dr Richard Ennos (University of Edinburgh). In addition, Dr Tanguy Jaffre provides invaluble support from the IRD Noumea.

 

Conservation Genetics: Chris Kettle, PhD Student working on reproductive ecology and population genetics.

Project outline:
The ultimate aim of this research is to investigate the genetic implications of forest fragmentation for remnant populations. We expect that fragmentation will result in restricted gene flow between populations. This may lead to a reduction in within-population genetic diversity and elevated levels of inbreeding. Using direct and indirect measures of gene flow we are investigating reproductive ecology and population differentiation in this fascinating genus of conifers.
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Taxonomy: Mai-lan Kranitz, PhD student working on Araucaria phylogenetics and species delimitation.

Project outline:
The ultimate aim of this research is to estimate the timing and order of evolutionary diversification of the New Caledonian Araucaria species, and to resolve taxonomic controversies regarding some closely related and subtly different species. The approach is a combination of molecular data (chloroplast sequencing, AFLPs and microsatellites) and morphological observations.
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Evolutionary Genetics

Dr. Pete Hollingsworth, Project Co-ordinator - heads the Conservation Biology and Population Genetics group at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Project outline:
The ultimate aim of this research is the integration of population genetic and phylogenetic data to try to gain a synthetic view of factors driving the diversification of so many wind pollinated species in such a small area.
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Conservation

Martin Gardner Martin leads the International Conifer Conservation Programme (ICCP) and initiated work on New Caledonian Araucaria species at RBGE. The ICCP was established in 1991 and the programme integrates in situ with ex situ conservation, through horticulture, scientific research and training in the UK and abroad. His prime interest in this project is to bridge the gap between scientific research and practical conservation and assist in the development of scientifically based conservation programmes.
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Dr. Richard Ennos - Reader in the Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology at the University of Edinburgh. His primary research interest is ecological genetics, combining expertise in population genetic theory, laboratory based analysis of molecular markers, and field-based ecological research. Specifically this focuses on understanding the factors which determine the extent and dynamics of genetic variation within populations, and the application of this knowledge to inform sustainable management and conservation strategies.
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  Dr Robert Mill is the conifer taxonomist at RBGE and a specialist in botanical Latin. He is currently creating a web-based database as a repository of information on Araucaria biodiversity.
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  Dr Michelle Hollingsworth manages the molecular biology laboratories at RBGE where Alex Ponge is a molecular biology research technician. Michelle and Alex work on a broad range of plant groups, but both have undertaken field work in New Caledonia and are interested in population differentiation and reproductive biology of New Caledonian conifers.
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    Philip Thomas is conservation biologist working with the International Conifer Conservation Programme. His work involves projects in many countries including New Caledonia, Chile, China and Vietnam.
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    Dr Ashley Robertson was a post-doctoral researcher at RBGE in 2001 funded by NERC to develop nuclear microsatellite markers for New Caledonian Araucaria.

 

 


 
 
Resources
 
Browse the list below of RBGE Araucaria resources
 
 
Species Distribution Map

Araucaria Biodiversity Database (coming soon)

RBGE Collection
 
 
Species Status
 
Browse the arrows below to view the IUCN conservation status of some of the threated species.

             
 
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Contact information: Email p.hollingsworth@rbge.org.uk; Telephone +44 (0) 131 248 2883;
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 20a Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, UK..