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Francesca Rolle

Phd thesis

Spatial and temporal patterns of wolf population genetics in the Alps with global management implications

My PhD involves collaboration between the University of Torino and the National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation (Forest Service, USDA). I am co-tutored by Francesca Marucco and Mike Schwartz. The Conservation Genetics Area BIO-CGE of ISPRA is also involved, with Elena Fabbri as my non-academic tutor. 

This research delves into population genetics, with the aim of examining the process of wolf natural recolonization in the Italian Alps over a 25-years period, focusing on several key aspects:

- The reconstruction of multi-generational pedigrees to document the trends of genetic variation over time and space, including the estimation of individuals' reproductive values and effective population size.

- The estimation and forecasting of inbreeding levels, evaluating the occurrence, extent and long-term effects of potential inbreeding events, as well as their dilution over time.

- The evaluation of the fitness of the first wolf-dog hybrid individuals in the Italian Alps, including their dispersal’s ability and success.

Understanding the adaptability of wildlife populations within their ecosystems holds significant implications for conservation practices. This research, integrating population genetics into the history of wolf recolonization, can significantly inform and enhance the success of conservation efforts, particularly given the public interest in this species.

Last update: 21/05/2024 21:50
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