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October 12, 2013
Julie Savidge and co-authors recognized for a paper that identifies the importance of eradication units published in November 2012.
Out of more than 100 competing publications, "Genetic evaluation of an attempted Rattus rattus eradication on Congo Cay, U.S. Virgin Islands" by Julie Savidge and her co-authors was presented with the 2012 Outstanding Publications Award from the National Wildlife Research Center. The paper identifies importance of eradication units and was published in Biological Invasions November 2012 Issue.
Savidge is a professor in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology in CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources and a member of the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. She teaches introductory courses to wildlife, ecology and conservation as well as upper-level classes on wildlife conservation issues and invasive species.
The NWRC recognized the article for its “rigorous approach to an important management question, its publication in a high quality scientific journal, and the authors’ ability to infer their findings to more broad issues faced in eradication programs of invasive species.”
The study used rapidly evolving genetic markers to explain the source of a persistent, invasive rat population on Congo Cay – an island known for its ecological value as a seabird breeding ground and for endangered species. The researchers used only post-eradication DNA samples to determine if current rat populations were survivors of failed eradication attempts or reinvaders from neighboring cays.
Their findings suggest that the rat population on Congo Cay is due at least partially to rat immigration from Lovango Cay and that future eradication efforts should include both cays.
According to the NWRC, this study is set apart from others because the authors took additional steps to determine if the population was the result of a bottleneck from a failed eradication or a founder event from immigration. This is a distinction many studies are unable to make. Savidge’s paper also provided recommendations for future eradication attempts that could be applied to other biological invasions.
Savidge received her bachelor’s degree in zoology from Colorado State University and her Ph.D. in ecology, ethology and evolution from the University of Illinois.
Contact: Bryony Wardell
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