Conservation genetics of human conflict in the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)

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Human-Elephant-Conflict in Bago Yoma, Myanmar

In the Bago Yoma region of Myanmar, we evaluate the impact of direct human-conflict in this high density area of humans and elephants. Here elephants are heavily impacted by the developing skin trade, and condensed populations are frequently raiding local farms for crops. We determined the overall population structure, and gained demographic insights as to what defines a crop-raider.

Elephant Habitat Loss in the Nakai Plateau, Laos

In the Nakai Plateau elephant population of Laos, we compare and contrast the diversity and demography of a population of high conservation value before and after the construction of a hydroelectric dam. Overall, we found a seasonally shifting population, unique from the previous occupants of the plateau.

Patterns of Range wide Genetic Diversity and Distinction in the Asian Elephant 

Genetic data from across the range of the species is used to identify hotspots of genetic diversity despite genetic marker bias, a problem frequently encountered in conservation genetic studies. We also evaluate evolutionary distinctiveness in Asian elephants, highlighting the importance of certain populations for conservation of this iconic species. 


Ahlering, M.A., K. Budd, S. Schuttler, and L.S. Eggert. 2020. Genetic analyses of noninvasively collected samples aids in the conservation of elephants. In, Conservation Genomics in Mammals: Integrative research using novel approaches (Ortega, J. and J. E. Maldonado, Eds.). Springer, ISBN 978-3-030-33333-1

Eggert, L., Berkman, L., Budd, K., Keller, B., Hildreth, A., & Millspaugh, J. 2020. Genetic analyses of the parasitic nematode, Parelaphostrongylus tenuis, in Missouri and Kentucky reveal unexpected levels of diversity and population differentiation. Parasitology, 1-33. 

Budd, K*., J.C. Gunn*, T. Finch, K. Klymus, N. Sitati, and L.S. Eggert. 2020. Effects of Diet, Habitat, and Phylogeny on the Fecal Microbiome of Wild African Savanna (Loxodonta africana) and Forest Elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis). Ecology & Evolution 10(12):5637-5650. *joint-first authors

Budd, K., L. Berkman, M. Anderson, J. Koppelman, and L.S. Eggert. 2018. Genetic Structure and Recovery of the Missouri White-Tailed Deer. Journal of Wildlife Management 82(8): 1598-1607. 

Speaker Information

Kris Budd
Ph.D. Candidate - Eggert Lab
Division of Biological Sciences
University of Missouri