UC SPARK - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Dr Tammy Steeves

Biological Sciences

Fields of Research

  • Conservation genetics
  • Evolutionary genetics
  • Population genetics
  • Phylogeography
  • Phylogenetics
  • Genomics

Researcher Summary

My main research interests focus on the ecological and evolutionary processes that contribute to the formation and maintenance of species boundaries, particularly in threatened shorebirds and seabirds. The novelty of my research stems from my application of population genetic, phylogeographic and phylogenetic methods to ancient and modern DNA to: (1) test explicit hypotheses regarding the evolutionary histories of natural populations and (2) develop conservation genetic management strategies for species at risk.

Subject Area: Disciplines


Research/Scholarly/Creative Works

  • Bennett JR., Maloney RF., Steeves TE., Brazill-Boast J., Possingham HP. and Seddon PJ. (2017) Spending limited resources on de-extinction could lead to net biodiversity loss. Nature Ecology and Evolution 1(4): 0053-0053. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-016-0053. (Journal Article)
  • Overbeek AL., Hauber ME., Brown E., Cleland S., Maloney RF. and Steeves TE. (2017) Evidence for brood parasitism in a critically endangered Charadriiform with implications for conservation. Journal für Ornithologie 158(1): 333-337. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10336-016-1375-x. (Journal Article)
  • Steeves TE., Johnson JA. and Hale ML. (2017) Maximising evolutionary potential in functional proxies for extinct species: a conservation genetic perspective on de-extinction. Functional Ecology 31(5): 1032-1040. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12843. (Journal Article)
  • Galla SJ., Buckley TR., Elshire R., Hale ML., Knapp M., Mccallum J., Moraga R., Santure AW., Wilcox P. and Steeves TE. (2016) Building strong relationships between conservation genetics and primary industry leads to mutually beneficial genomic advances. Molecular Ecology 25(21): 5267-5281. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.13837. (Journal Article)
  • Schori J., Murray TJ., Steeves T. and Maloney RF. (2016) Development of accurate population monitoring methods for Brachaspis robustus, a highly cryptic endangered grasshopper species endemic to NZ. Brisbane, Australia: Society for Conservation Biology Oceania 4th Congress, 6-8 Jul 2016 (Conference Contribution - Other)
  • Steeves TE. (2016) Conservation genomics: Single species management and beyond. University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand: University of Canterbury and Te Kōhaka o Tūhaitara Trust Workshop, Invited speaker. (Oral Presentation)
  • Gardner PP., Fasold M., Burge SW., Ninova M., Hertel J., Kehr S., Steeves TE., Griffiths-Jones S. and Stadler PF. (2015) Conservation and losses of non-coding RNAs in avian genomes. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0121797. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0121797. (Journal Article)
  • Kearvell JC. and Steeves TE. (2015) Evidence for assortative mating in sympatric populations of orange-fronted (Cyanoramphus malherbi) and yellow-crowned (C. auriceps) kakariki. Notornis 62(2): 71-75. (Journal Article)
  • Schmid M., Smith J., Burt DW., Aken BL., Antin PB., Archibald AL., Ashwell C., Blackshear PJ., Boschiero C. and Brown CT. (2015) Third Report on Chicken Genes and Chromosomes 2015. Cytogenetics and Cell Genetics 145(2): 78-179. http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000430927. (Journal Article)
  • Steeves TE. (2015) A flock of genomes: Implications for the conservation genomic management of threatened birds. Rotorua, New Zealand: MapNet 2015, 28-30 Oct 2015 (Conference Contribution - Other)
  • (2014) Comparative genomic data of the Avian Phylogenomics Projects. (Journal Article)
  • Correction Zhang G., Li C., Li Q., Li B., Larkin DM., Lee C., Storz JF., Antunes A., Greenwold MJ. and Meredith RW. (2014) Comparative genomics reveals insights into avian genome evolution and adaptation. The Scientific monthly 346(6215): 1311-1320. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1251385. (Journal Article)
  • Steeves TE. (2014) Conservation genomics of threatened birds: From the genome of one model species to the genomes of many non-model species. University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand: Canterbury 'Omics Symposium, Invited speaker. (Oral Presentation)
  • Steeves TE. and Hale ML. (2014) Will the real conservation genetics please stand up? Bringing the genetics of small populations into the de-extinction debate. Palmerston North, New Zealand: New Zealand Ecological Society Conference, De-extinction Symposium, Invited speaker, 16-20 Nov 2014 (Conference Contribution - Other)
  • Andrews BJ., Hale ML. and Steeves TE. (2013) Characterisation of microsatellite loci in the critically endangered orange-fronted kAkAriki (Cyanoramphus malherbi) isolated using genomic next generation sequencing. Conservation Genetics Resources 5(1): 235-237. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12686-012-9777-4. (Journal Article)
  • Steeves TE. (2013) Hybrids, hooligans and hookups: Conservation genetic management of a critically endangered New Zealand endemic. Centre for Conservation Research, Calgary Zoological Society: Invited talk. (Oral Presentation)
  • Steeves TE. (2013) Introducing team-based learning in biology: A combined approach. University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand: University of Canterbury Teaching Week, Teaching Showcase, Invited speaker. (Oral Presentation)
  • Steeves TE. (2013) The early bird gets the worm? A role for migratory behaviour in the diversification of highly mobile marine invertebrates. Department of Biology, University of Lethbridge, Canada: Biology 4500 (Seminars in Biological Sciences), Invited guest seminar. (Oral Presentation)
  • Steeves TE. (2013) Out with the old and in with the new: Studying speciation in the 21st century. University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand: Biolive 2013 (The conference for biology educators), Invited keynote speaker, 14-17 Jul 2013 (Conference Contribution - Other)
  • Hale ML., Burg TM. and Steeves TE. (2012) Sampling for microsatellite-based population genetic studies: 25 to 30 individuals per population is enough to accurately estimate allele frequencies. PLoS ONE 7(9): e45170. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0045170. (Journal Article)
  • Massaro M., Ortiz-Catedral L., Julian L., Galbraith JA., Kurenbach B., Kearvell J., Kemp J., van Hal J., Elkington S. and Taylor G. (2012) Molecular characterisation of beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) in New Zealand and its implications for managing an infectious disease. Archives of Virology 157(9): 1651-1663. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00705-012-1336-5. (Journal Article)
  • Steeves TE. (2012) As the birds fly: Population differentiation and speciation in highly mobile seabirds. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, MD, USA: UMBC Department of Biological Sciences Seminar Series, Invited speaker. (Oral Presentation)
  • Hagen EN., Hale ML., Maloney RF. and Steeves TE. (2011) Conservation genetic management of a critically endangered New Zealand endemic bird: minimizing inbreeding in the Black Stilt Himantopus novaezelandiae. Ibis 153(3): 556-561. (Journal Article)
  • Rayner MJ., Hauber ME., Steeves TE., Lawrence HA., Thompson DR., Sagar PM., Bury SJ., Landers TJ., Phillips RA. and Ranjard L. (2011) Contemporary and historical separation of transequatorial migration between genetically distinct seabird populations. Nature Communications 2: 332. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms1330. (Journal Article)
  • Morris-Pocock JA., Steeves TE., Estela FA., Anderson DJ. and Friesen VL. (2010) Comparative phylogeography of brown (Sula leucogaster) and red-footed boobies (S. sula): The influence of physical barriers and habitat preference on gene flow in pelagic seabirds. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54(3): 883-896. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2009.11.013. (Journal Article)
  • Steeves T., Pelser PB., McKown M., Gangloff B., Bretagnolle V. and Rayner M. (2010) Assessing the taxonomic validity of an enigmatic subgenus, the 'cookilaria' petrels. Victoria, Canada: 1st World Seabird Conference, 10-10 Sep 2010 (Conference Contribution - Other)
  • Steeves TE., Holdaway RN., Hale ML., McLay E., McAllan IAW., Christian M., Hauber ME. and Bunce M. (2010) Merging ancient and modern DNA: extinct seabird taxon rediscovered in the North Tasman Sea. Biology Letters 6(1): 94-97. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2009.0478. (Journal Article)
  • Steeves TE., Maloney RF., Hale ML., Tylianakis JM. and Gemmell NJ. (2010) Genetic analyses reveal hybridization but no hybrid swarm in one of the world's rarest birds. Molecular Ecology 19(23): 5090-5100. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-294x.2010.04895.x. (Journal Article)
  • Steeves TE., Hale ML. and Gemmell NJ. (2008) Development of polymorphic microsatellite markers for the New Zealand black stilt (Himantopus novaezelandiae) and cross-amplification in the pied stilt (Himantopus himantopus leucocephalus). Molecular Ecology Resources 8(5): 1105-1107. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-0998.2008.02170.x. (Journal Article)
  • Robertson BC., Steeves TE., McBride KP., Goldstien SJ., Williams M. and Gemmell NJ. (2007) Phylogeography of the New Zealand blue duck (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos): implications for translocation and species recovery. Conservation Genetics 8(6): 1431-1440. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10592-007-9294-2. (Journal Article)
  • Steeves TE., Anderson DJ. and Friesen VL. (2005) A role for nonphysical barriers to gene flow in the diversification of a highly vagile seabird, the masked booby (Sula dactylatra). Molecular Ecology 14(12): 3877-3887. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-294x.2005.02713.x. (Journal Article)
  • Steeves TE., Anderson DJ. and Friesen VL. (2005) The Isthmus of Panama: a major physical barrier to gene flow in a highly mobile tropical seabird. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 18(4): 1000-1008. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2005.00906.x. (Journal Article)
  • Steeves TE., Anderson DJ., McNally H., Kim MH. and Friesen VL. (2003) Phylogeography of Sula: The role of physical barriers to gene flow in the diversification of tropical seabirds. Journal of Avian Biology 34(2): 217-223. http://dx.doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-048X.2003.03086.x. (Journal Article)
  • Friesen VL., Anderson DJ., Steeves TE., Jones H. and Schreiber EA. (2002) Molecular support for species status of the Nazca Booby (Sula granti). Auk 119(3): 820-826. (Journal Article)
  • Steeves TE., Darling JD., Rosel PE., Schaeff CM. and Fleischer RC. (2001) Preliminary analysis of mitochondrial DNA variation in a southern feeding group of eastern North Pacific gray whales. Conservation Genetics 2(4): 379-384. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1012590315579. (Journal Article)
  • Darling JD., Keogh KE. and Steeves TE. (1998) Gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) habitat utilization and prey species off Vancouver Island, B.C.. Marine Mammal Science 14(4): 692-720. (Journal Article)