Dr Catherine Grueber

BSc, MSc, PhD (Otago)
San Diego Zoo Global postdoctoral fellow

B19 - R.M.C. Gunn Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 8627 0278

Biographical details

Catherine joined the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney as a San Diego Zoo Global postdoctoral fellow in February 2014. Catherine completed her PhD in Zoology at the University of Otago (New Zealand) in 2010. In her PhD, and recent postdoctoral work at the University of Otago, Catherine developed a strong program of conservation genetics research, previously working with a number of threatened New Zealand bird species, especially translocated and reintroduced populations.

Broadly, Catherine's work reveals how evolutionary and population processes affect individual- and population-level genetic diversity of threatened species. In doing so, she aims to develop new techniques for measuring and mitigating loss of diversity in conservation. Catherine’s technical strengths lie in molecular population genetics, understanding the evolutionary consequences of genetic diversity loss (such as the role of inbreeding depression and the evolution of immune-gene diversity), and modelling approaches to hypothesis testing in evolution and conservation genetics.

Current projects

In her current position, Catherine is excited to be working with San Diego Zoo Global in collaboration with the Zoo and Aquarium Association and the Tasmanian government’s Department of Primary Industries, Parks Water and the Environment in a project targeted toward applied conservation management of the Tasmanian devil.

The Tasmanian devil is severely threatened in the wild by a transmissible cancer, devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) so in 2006 an insurance population was established across zoo, islands and free-range enclosures to protect the species from extinction in the wild. The current project uses the latest next-generation sequencing technologies to learn how patterns of genetic diversity can be best maintained in the insurance population. To do so, Catherine’s work will focus on understanding founder relationships, comparing insurance population diversity to wild animals, and combining molecular- and pedigree-based captive breeding protocols to retain maximal diversity of released animals.

Awards and honours

Catherine’s PhD thesis was recognised by the university’s Division of Sciences (University of Otago) as being of “exceptional quality”. Catherine was also awarded the DG Catcheside prize presented by the Genetics Society of AustralAsia to the top doctoral scholar in genetics (2010).

In the media

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Grueber, C., Wallis, G., Jamieson, I. (2014). Episodic Positive Selection in the Evolution of Avian Toll-Like Receptor Innate Genes. PLoS One, 9(3), e89632.
  • Kennedy, E., Grueber, C., Duncan, R., Jamieson, I. (2014). Severe inbreeding depression and no evidence of purging in an extremely inbred wild species - the Chatham Island black robin. Evolution, 68(4), 987-995. [More Information]
  • Sutton, J., Robertson, B., Grueber, C., Stanton, J., Jamieson, I. (2013). Characterization of MHC class II B polymorphism in bottlenecked New Zealand saddlebacks reveals low levels of genetic diversity. Immunogenetics, 65(8), 619-633. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., Graham, W., Jamieson, I. (2013). Genetic drift outweighs natural selection at toll-like receptor (TLR) immunity loci in a re-introduced population of a threatened species. Molecular Ecology, 22(17), 4470-4482. [More Information]
  • Zavodna, M., Grueber, C., Gemmell, N. (2013). Parallel Tagged Next-Generation Sequencing on Pooled Samples - A New Approach for Population Genetics in Ecology and Conservation. PLoS One, 8(4), 1-9. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., Jamieson, I. (2013). Primers for amplification of innate immunity toll-like receptor loci in threatened birds of the Apterygiformes, Gruiformes, Psittaciformes and Passeriformes. Conservation Genetics Resources, 5(4), 1043-1047. [More Information]
  • Weiser, E., Grueber, C., Jamieson, I. (2012). Allele Retain: A program to assess management options for conserving allelic diversity in small, isolated populations. Molecular Ecology Resources, 12(6), 1161-1167. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., Maxwell, J., Jamieson, I. (2012). Are introduced takahe populations on offshore islands at carrying capacity? Implications for genetic management. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 36(2), 223-227.
  • Weiser, E., Grueber, C., Jamieson, I. (2012). Simulating Retention of Rare Alleles in Small Populations to Assess Management Options for Species with Different Life Histories. Conservation Biology, 27(2), 335-344. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., Graham, W., King, T., Jamieson, I. (2012). Variation at Innate Immunity Toll-Like Receptor Genes in a Bottlenecked Population of a New Zealand Robin. PLoS One, 7(9), 1-7. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., Jamieson, I. (2011). Low genetic diversity and small population size of Takahe Porphyrio hochstetteri on European arrival in New Zealand. Ibis, 153(2), 384-394. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., Nakagawa, S., Laws, R., Jamieson, I. (2011). Multimodel inference in ecology and evolution: Challenges and solutions. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 24(4), 699-711. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., Waters, J., Jamieson, I. (2011). The imprecision of heterozygosity-fitness correlations hinders the detection of inbreeding and inbreeding depression in a threatened species. Molecular Ecology, 20(1), 67-79. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., Laws, R., Nakagawa, S., Jamieson, I. (2010). Inbreeding Depression Accumulation across Life-History Stages of the Endangered Takahe. Conservation Biology, 24(6), 1617-1625. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., Wallis, G., Jamieson, I. (2008). Heterozygosity-fitness correlations and their relevance to studies on inbreeding depression in threatened species. Molecular Ecology, 17(18), 3978-3984. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., King, T., Waters, J., Jamieson, I. (2008). Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci from the endangered New Zealand takahe (Gruiformes; Rallidae; Porphyrio hochstetteri). Molecular Ecology Resources, 8(4), 884-886. [More Information]
  • Jamieson, I., Grueber, C., Waters, J., Gleeson, D. (2008). Managing genetic diversity in threatened populations: A New Zealand perspective. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 32(1), 130-137.
  • Grueber, C., Jamieson, I. (2008). Quantifying and managing the loss of genetic variation in a free-ranging population of takahe through the use of pedigrees. Conservation Genetics, 9(3), 645-651. [More Information]

2014

  • Grueber, C., Wallis, G., Jamieson, I. (2014). Episodic Positive Selection in the Evolution of Avian Toll-Like Receptor Innate Genes. PLoS One, 9(3), e89632.
  • Kennedy, E., Grueber, C., Duncan, R., Jamieson, I. (2014). Severe inbreeding depression and no evidence of purging in an extremely inbred wild species - the Chatham Island black robin. Evolution, 68(4), 987-995. [More Information]

2013

  • Sutton, J., Robertson, B., Grueber, C., Stanton, J., Jamieson, I. (2013). Characterization of MHC class II B polymorphism in bottlenecked New Zealand saddlebacks reveals low levels of genetic diversity. Immunogenetics, 65(8), 619-633. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., Graham, W., Jamieson, I. (2013). Genetic drift outweighs natural selection at toll-like receptor (TLR) immunity loci in a re-introduced population of a threatened species. Molecular Ecology, 22(17), 4470-4482. [More Information]
  • Zavodna, M., Grueber, C., Gemmell, N. (2013). Parallel Tagged Next-Generation Sequencing on Pooled Samples - A New Approach for Population Genetics in Ecology and Conservation. PLoS One, 8(4), 1-9. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., Jamieson, I. (2013). Primers for amplification of innate immunity toll-like receptor loci in threatened birds of the Apterygiformes, Gruiformes, Psittaciformes and Passeriformes. Conservation Genetics Resources, 5(4), 1043-1047. [More Information]

2012

  • Weiser, E., Grueber, C., Jamieson, I. (2012). Allele Retain: A program to assess management options for conserving allelic diversity in small, isolated populations. Molecular Ecology Resources, 12(6), 1161-1167. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., Maxwell, J., Jamieson, I. (2012). Are introduced takahe populations on offshore islands at carrying capacity? Implications for genetic management. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 36(2), 223-227.
  • Weiser, E., Grueber, C., Jamieson, I. (2012). Simulating Retention of Rare Alleles in Small Populations to Assess Management Options for Species with Different Life Histories. Conservation Biology, 27(2), 335-344. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., Graham, W., King, T., Jamieson, I. (2012). Variation at Innate Immunity Toll-Like Receptor Genes in a Bottlenecked Population of a New Zealand Robin. PLoS One, 7(9), 1-7. [More Information]

2011

  • Grueber, C., Jamieson, I. (2011). Low genetic diversity and small population size of Takahe Porphyrio hochstetteri on European arrival in New Zealand. Ibis, 153(2), 384-394. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., Nakagawa, S., Laws, R., Jamieson, I. (2011). Multimodel inference in ecology and evolution: Challenges and solutions. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 24(4), 699-711. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., Waters, J., Jamieson, I. (2011). The imprecision of heterozygosity-fitness correlations hinders the detection of inbreeding and inbreeding depression in a threatened species. Molecular Ecology, 20(1), 67-79. [More Information]

2010

  • Grueber, C., Laws, R., Nakagawa, S., Jamieson, I. (2010). Inbreeding Depression Accumulation across Life-History Stages of the Endangered Takahe. Conservation Biology, 24(6), 1617-1625. [More Information]

2008

  • Grueber, C., Wallis, G., Jamieson, I. (2008). Heterozygosity-fitness correlations and their relevance to studies on inbreeding depression in threatened species. Molecular Ecology, 17(18), 3978-3984. [More Information]
  • Grueber, C., King, T., Waters, J., Jamieson, I. (2008). Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci from the endangered New Zealand takahe (Gruiformes; Rallidae; Porphyrio hochstetteri). Molecular Ecology Resources, 8(4), 884-886. [More Information]
  • Jamieson, I., Grueber, C., Waters, J., Gleeson, D. (2008). Managing genetic diversity in threatened populations: A New Zealand perspective. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 32(1), 130-137.
  • Grueber, C., Jamieson, I. (2008). Quantifying and managing the loss of genetic variation in a free-ranging population of takahe through the use of pedigrees. Conservation Genetics, 9(3), 645-651. [More Information]

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