Comparative phylogeography and genetic structure of small mammals across southern Africa: inferences from differing habitats and life histories
(with Prof Nigel Bennett)
Landscape genetics integrates population genetics, landscape ecology, and spatial statistics; the main question is how geographic distances and landscape heterogeneity influence individual movement (gene flow). South Africa is rich in different habitats, landscapes, and climate, and host a wide variety of endemic species and diversity hotspots. Small mammals serve as models to understand how landscape factors such areas within reserves and between reserves may affect the genetic structure and at which distance this may breakdown at both a local and national scale. Sasha’s work compares different small mammal species, and the interpretation of her results include behavioural differences, diet and climate to create a truly 3D approach to the investigation of genetic connectivity.