Anicee Lombal

Current research

The main objective of my research is to investigate the factors (e.g., intrinsic barriers such as philopatry and local adaptation) influencing gene flow among colonies of oceanic seabirds.

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During the first part of my Ph.D project, I used genetic data to elucidate population dynamics and connectivity between colonies of the IUCN listed Vulnerable Providence Petrel Pterodroma solandri, an oceanic seabird restricted to two breeding colonies off eastern Australia; Lord Howe Island and Phillip Island (adjacent to Norfolk Island). These two extant populations show different times of return to nesting sites (diurnal vs. nocturnal), which may influence gene flow between colonies. Quantifying whether this difference in behaviour reflected genetic difference was essential because a planned translocation event on Norfolk Island would potentially bring previously isolated populations back into contact, which may errode any genetic distinctiveness of the small colony established on Phillip Island (See Lombal et al. 2016 and Australian Wildlife Magazine – June 2017).

Flesh-footed shearwater - Lord Howe IslandThe next part of my project involves utilization of DNA and stable isotopes to investigate genetic and foraging differentiation between colonies of Flesh-footed Shearwaters Ardenna carneipes, a migratory species nesting in the southwest Pacific, southern Australia and the Indian Ocean. There is preliminary evidence that eastern and western colonies migrate to different non-breeding areas. Lack of dispersal between these two group of colonies may have important implications for conservation management of this species as local declines cannot be offset by immigration. (See Lombal et al. 2017).

In my final chapter, I will perform a meta-analysis of the factors affecting genetic structuring of seabird colonies by combining data from more than 200 genetic studies available in the literature.

Research experience

During my previous research, I used molecular techniques to investigate genetic connectivity across the range of a North American leaf beetle Chrysomela aeneicollis at the University of Brussels (ULB; see Publication), and to conduct a phylogeny study of a green macroalgae occuring throughout Pacific and Indian Oceans (Halimeda sp.) at the Institute for Research and Development (IRD; see Report – French version) in New Caledonia.

Fascinated by the marine ecosystem, I have been involved in different research projects including the Cetus Project – Cetacean Monitoring in Micronesia – 2014, the 2013 season of observation of Humpback whales Megaloptera novaengliae  with Operation Cetaces (see Field work), a mission of dugong Dugong dugong tracking by telemetry (see Informing dugong conservation 2015, James Cook University), and multiple projects involving seabird species (see Field work).

Education

  • PhD candidate at the University of Tasmania, Australia (2014-present)
  • Master Ecology of Aquatic Ecosystems at the University of Brussels, Belgium (2010)
  • BSc Biology at the University of Brussels, Belgium (2008). 

Publications

Lombal A, Wenner T, Lavers J, Austin J, Woehler E, Hutton I, Burridge CP (2017) Genetic divergence between colonies of Flesh-flooted Shearwater Ardenna carneipes exhibiting different foraging strategies . Conservation genetics

Lombal A, Wenner T, Carlile N, Austin JJ, Woehler E, Priddel D, Burridge CP (2016) Population genetic and behavioural variation of the two remaining colonies of Providence petrel (Pterodroma solandri) Conservation Genetics

Lombal A, Wenner T, Burridge CP (2015) Assessment of high-resolution melting (HRM) profiles as predictors of microsatellite variation – An example in Providence Petrel (Pterodroma solandri)Genes & Genomics

Dellicour S, Fearnley S, Lombal A, Heidl S, Dahlhoff EP, Rank NE and Mardulyn P (2014) Inferring the past and present connectivity across the range of a North American leaf beetle: combining ecological niche modeling and a geographically explicit model of coalescence. Evolution

Funding

Conference presentations

  • Talk at the Australasian Evolution Society and Phylomania meeting 2017 (Hobart)
  • Presentation at the 3rd World Seabird Twitter Conference #WSTC3 2017
  • Talk at the 6th International Albatross and Petrel Conference (IAPC6) 2016 (Barcelona)
  • Talk at the Island Arks Symposium IV (Island Arks) 2016 (Norfolk Island)
  • Talk at the Pacific Seabird Group 43rd Annual Meeting (PSG) 2016 (Hawaii)
  • Talk at the 8th Australasian Ornithological Conference (AOC) 2015 (Adelaide)
  • Poster presentation at the 2015 Annual Conference of the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) (Adelaide)
  • Poster presentation at the 9th Graduate Research Conference (UTAS) 2015 (Hobart)

Workshops & Lab techniques

Teaching experience

Field experience

Anicee Lombal - Australasian Gannets, Portland

Anicee_Seminar1

Service to the community

Professional associations


Contact

anicee.lombal@utas.edu.au

Anicee Lombal - Lord Howe Island

 

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