From rivers to ocean basins – quantifying sex-specific connectivity in sharks
My PhD project aims to quantify fine-scale, sex-specific connectivity in sharks. To accomplish this, neonates from spatially well-defined nursery areas will be examined and genotyped for sex-linked regions. Connectivity in sharks will also be analysed on a global scale in order to provide critical information on management units for species conservation and fin trade management. Candidate species include the Endangered river shark species (Glyphis glyphis and G. garricki) and the iconic bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas). The first two species will be analysed as part of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub: Northern Australian hotspots for the recovery of threatened euryhaline species. In the end, understanding male-specific gene flow and female philopatry will provide policymakers with crucial information on population dynamics and boundaries.
Scientific advisory team
Christopher Burridge; University of Tasmania (UTAS)
Pierre Feutry; Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Peter Kyne; Charles Darwin University (CDU)
Gregory Maes; University of Leuven (KULeuven)
My previous research has always focussed on applying molecular techniques to answer ecological questions. My master thesis investigated a recent biological invasion of an Australian mussel (Xenostrobus securis) and the best actions for eradication. During 6 months of volunteering at James Cook University, I looked at the diet composition from three sympatric coral trout species. In addition, we also examined which genetic marker exhibit the best qualities for metabarcoding in tropical reef predators. Furthermore, I helped on some small projects, including ‘Effects of ketogenic diet on gut microbiome and schizophrenia-like behaviour in mice’ and ‘Coral microbiomes: their habitat distribution and response to environmental changes’. Finally, during a short-term employment at CSIRO I analysed genomic data to identify population differentiation on a fine scale in Australian and New Zealand school sharks (Galeorhinus galeus).
- Devloo-Delva F, Maes GE, Hernández SI, McAllister JD, Grewe PM, Thomson RB, Feutry P (in review) Accounting for kin sampling reveals genetic connectivity in Tasmanian and New Zealand school sharks, Galeorhinus galeus. Ecology and Evolution.
- PhD in Quantitative Marine Science (QMS) at the University of Tasmania and CSIRO (2017-present)
- Master in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (EMBC+) at the University of Ghent and the University of Oviedo (2013-2015)
- Bachelor in Biology at the University of Leuven (2010-2013)
Matley, J.K., Maes, G.E., Devloo‐Delva, F., Huerlimann, R., Chua, G., Tobin, A.J., Fisk, A.T., Simpfendorfer, C.A. & Heupel, M.R. (2018). Integrating complementary methods to improve diet analysis in fishery‐targeted species. Ecology and Evolution.
Devloo-Delva, F., Huerlimann, R., Chua, G., Matley, J.K., Heupel, M.R., Simpfendorfer, C.A. & Maes, G.E. (2018). How does marker choice affect your diet analysis: comparing genetic markers and digestion levels for diet metabarcoding of tropical-reef piscivores. Marine & Freshwater Research.
Devloo-Delva, F., Miralles, L., Ardura, A., Borrell, Y. J., Pejovic, I., Tsartsianidou, V., & Garcia-Vazquez, E. (2016). Detection and characterisation of the biopollutant Xenostrobus securis (Lamarck 1819) Asturian population from DNA Barcoding and eBarcoding. Marine pollution bulletin, 105(1), 23-29.
Miralles, L., Dopico, E., Devloo-Delva, F., & Garcia-Vazquez, E. (2016). Controlling populations of invasive pygmy mussel (Xenostrobus securis) through citizen science and environmental DNA. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 110(1), 127-132.
- The Big Data Scholarship – NASA Jet Propulsion Lab-funded (2018): $1,850
- Quantitative Marine Science travel grant – QMS-funded (2018): $2500
- OCS travel grant – Save Our Seas Foundation-funded(2018): $500
- IMAS Quantitative Marine Science Top-up
- SET Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (CSIRO Co-Funded)
- Novel genomic tools for conservation management of elasmobranchs. 3rd Galápagos Conservation and Research Symposium 2018, San Cristobal, Galapagos, Ecuador.
- Sex-linked markers and their use for inferring sex-determination systems in sharks. 3rd Sharks International Conference 2018, Joao Pessoa, Brazil.
- How genomics can identify sampling bias, common breeding grounds and sex-determination markers in School Sharks. 69th International Tuna Conference 2018, Lake Arrowhead, USA.
- Novel genomic tools identify population characteristics and management requirements of Critically Endangered river shark. OCS conference 2018, University of Queensland, Brisbane.
- Genome wide SNPs suggest fine-scale population structure in school sharks (Galeorhinus galeus). ASFBOCS conference 2016, University of Tasmania, Hobart.
- The case of an invasive mussel. YOUMARES 6 conference 2015, University of Bremen, Bremen.
- Telemetry workshop: Southeast Queensland Aquatic Telemetry Workshop. Feb 2018, University of Queensland, Brisbane.
- Bio-informatics workshop: I have Next Generation Sequencing data…what do I do with it? Feb 2016, James Cook University, Cairns.
- Genomics workshop: From Genome to Phenome: Quantitative and Adaptation Genomics in natural and breeding populations. Dec 2016, James Cook University, Townsville.
- Publishing workshop: Tips for writing and publishing: Do’s and Don’ts. Sept 2015, University of Bremen, Bremen.
- Sharks of Galapagos – Galapagos (2018)
- Epaulette sharks – Heron Island, Queensland (2018)
- Epaulette sharks – Heron Island, Queensland (2017)
- Coral microbiomes – Heron Island, Queensland (2016)