Mark Statham

Sacramento Valley Red Fox Project Coordinator  
Postdoctoral Research Scholar  
Canid Diversity and Conservation Lab  
Veterinary Genetics Laboratory  
University of California, Davis Email:
One Shields Avenue/Old Davis Rd. Phone office/lab: 530 754 7932
Davis, California 95616-8744 USA Fax: 530 752 3556


Ph.D. in Genetics and Ecology (2005). Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland.
Title: Development and Use of DNA Identification Techniques for Irish Mustelids.
B.Sc. (Hons) in Zoology (1999). University of Dundee, Scotland, UK

Research Interests

During my PhD research in Ireland working on Mustelids I became interested in
Phylogeography, Phylogenetics and Conservation. As Ireland is an island off the coast of
Europe that was predominantly covered with glaciers during the last glacial maximum, how did
it get its Flora and Fauna? Ireland story is made more complicated and interesting by the fact
that many of the earliest remains for Ireland’s current terrestrial mammal species are dated
after the arrival of man. So how did these species get to Ireland, and where did they come
from? Using genetic signatures in a population and comparing these to other regional
populations can shed light on the situation. The population might be closely related to its
nearest geographic neighbor, supporting a natural colonization; diverse with its own endemic
lineage, supporting an ancient relict population; or genetically depauperate and more closely
related to a geographically distant populations, possibly indicating intervention by man.
Subsequently I have used similar techniques to look at the phylogeography of the black-footed
ferret, the most endangered mammal in North America and also of the red fox, the most widely
distributed terrestrial carnivore in the world. Currently I am investigating the phylogeography of
the Red fox in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. I am also using phylogeographic analysis to
determine native versus non-native red fox populations in California and the USA as a whole.

Current Projects