A genomics approach to the conservation of kōwaro (Canterbury mudfish, Neochanna burrowsius).
Thesis DisciplineBiological Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Often the most appropriate sampling strategies and genomic approaches to informing the conservation management of threatened taonga species in Aotearoa New Zealand in a culturally responsive manner is unclear. Here I investigate this, using the critically endangered kōwaro (Canterbury mudfish; Neochanna burrowsius) as a case study. Firstly, by examining the effect of sample size on measures of genetic diversity to determine a cost-effective approach to sampling threatened taonga species like kōwaro for population genomics research.
In Te Ao Māori, genomic data obtained from taonga species is tapu and best studied using kaupapa Māori principles. To achieve this, my co-authors and I co-developed a research programme with Ngāi Tūāhuriri that integrates kaupapa Māori with emerging genomic technologies and extensive ecological data for two taonga species. Chapter Three outlines this broader research programme, the foundation of which, is an iterative decision-making framework of critical steps in genomic research that includes tissue sampling as well as data generation, storage and access and how responsiveness at each of these stages encourages the expression of Māoritanga.