Brian Luke is using microsatellites to look at connectivity of the Sutter Buttes ringtails (Bassariscus astutus) with other California populations as well as investigating inbreeding, genetic effective population size, and relationships among radiocollared ringtails in the Sutter Buttes population. Sutter Buttes are a mountain island in the center of the Sacramento Valley, which may cause this population to be relatively isolated from riparian and mountain populations in California.

This research dovetails with the longterm ecological study of ringtails by Professor Dave Wyat and Sacramento City College (pictured below).

(Below) Graduate student, Brian Luke, takes buccal swab for DNA from ringtail while Dave Wyatt holds

(Below left) ringtail in a manzanita near the Sutter Buttes, Calfornia. (Below right) B Sacks and ringtail.