Daniel White

Dr

  • The University of Western Australia (M092), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth

    Australia

  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated using citation counts from Scopus for publications in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository
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Personal profile

Biography

Although I've worked with a diverse array of species and systems, a common theme is an interest in understanding how evolutionary forces and population dynamics shape genetic variation within natural populations, with a focus on conservation. Currently I have a co-appointment with UWA, where I am a NESP (National Environmental Science Program) Threatened Species Recovery Hub Research Fellow with the Mitchell lab in the School of Biological Sciences, and Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research Crown Research Institute in New Zealand (https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/home).

My work at UWA is focused on describing contemporary genetic diversity within threatened species and building this data into population viability models to enable informed decision making around species translocations. This allows estimates of not just the probability of survival of translocated populations, but also how much source population genetic variation is captured, and projects how well that genetic diversity is retained into future generations. I work closely with WA’s Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy NGO. Target species include the banded hare wallaby (Lagostrophus fasciatus), the western barred bandicoot (Perameles bougainville) and the dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) – all chosen for DBCA’s ‘Dirk Hartog Island: Return to 1616’ project.

My role with the Biodiversity and Conservation Team at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research in New Zealand as a population geneticist and bioinformatician, sees me involved with the molecular component of a 4 year MBIE funded Research Programme on kiwi rescue which includes developing a non-invasive genetic approach for population monitoring of kiwi (Apteryx spp.) from microsatellite data. Other recent and current projects include quantifying population bottlenecks and estimating allele retention in translocated populations of Cook Strait giant weta, and the genetic delimitation of taxa within New Zealand land snails. My genomics based work has helped reveal population connectivity and genomic adaptation in the Galaxias maculatus fish species complex using SNP data generated from genome complexity reduction techniques such as GBS, and I have worked extensively on the discovery of viral aetiological agents of wildlife disease using de novo metagenomcis, mostly in endangered New Zealand birds, e.g., kākāpō and rowi kiwi. Currently I’m assembling and annotating a common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) transcriptome as part of the ‘Achilles Heel’ project – which aims to find good candidate genes for gene silencing for control of this invasive species. Such work often relies on bash scripting to link perl and python programs.

Education/Academic qualification

Human Genetics, PhD, University College London

Oct 2001Jun 2005

Award Date: 30 Jan 2006

Population and Quantitative Genetics, MSc by Research, University of Edinburgh

Oct 1999Sep 2000

Award Date: 31 Oct 2000

Zoology, BSc Honours , University of Edinburgh

Oct 1994Sep 1998

Award Date: 30 Sep 1998

External positions

Population Geneticist and Bioinformatician, Landcare Research

Nov 2011 → …

Research expertise keywords

  • population and evolutionary genetics
  • conservation genetics and wildlife ecology
  • molecular ecology
  • bioinformatics
  • computer simulations

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