Catherine Grueber
Research Fellow, The University of Sydney
population genetics; evolution; conservation biology

How do evolutionary and population genetics principles help us to understand the processes that drive loss or maintenance of genetic diversity in animal populations?

How do these processes affect the future of threatened species, especially in the face of inbreeding, population fragmentation, translocations, captive rearing and a variety of anthropogenic challenges?

My passion is the advancement of emerging genetic, analytical and computational tools, to gain novel perspectives on evolutionary processes affecting individual- and population-level genetic diversity of threatened species.

I am proud to see these data used to further the conservation goals of a variety of threatened species management programmes.

Please scroll down for publications list.

Email: [email protected]

My lab group website
Applied and Evolutionary Zoology

If you cannot access the articles below through the links provided, I am very happy to provide reprints - contact me on the email address above.


online early

Global commitments to conserving genetic diversity are now necessary and feasible

Hoban, S; Bruford, M; Lopes-Fernandes, M; Funk, C; Galbusera, P; Griffith, MP; Grueber, CE; Heuertz, M; Hunter, ME; Hvilsom, C; Kershaw, F; Kalamujic, B; Khoury, CK; Laikre, L; MacDonald, AJ; Mergeay, J; Meek, M; Mittan, C; Mukassabi, T; O’Brien, D; Ogden, R; Palma da Silva, C; Ramakrishnan, U; Segelbacher, G; Shaw, R; Sjögren-Gulve, P; Velickovic, N; Vernesi, C

Molecular Ecology

online early

First evidence of deviation from Mendelian proportions in a conservation program.

Grueber, CE / Farquharson, KM; Wright, BR; Wallis, GP; Hogg, CJ; Belov, K

Biodiversity and Conservation (2021)


Assessing evolutionary processes over time in a conservation breeding program: a combined approach using molecular data, simulations and pedigree analysis.

Wright, BR; Hogg, CJ; McLennan, EA; Belov, K; Grueber, CE

Emu - Austral Ornithology

online early

Evolutionary genetics of translocated island populations of birds: data and opportunities.

Dwyer, JA; Laws, RJ; Grueber, CE

Conservation Genetics

online early

Authors’ reply to letter to the editor: continued improvement to genetic diversity indicator for CBD

Laikre, L; Hohenlohe, PA; Allendorf, FW; Bertola, LD; Breed, MF; Bruford, MW; Funk, WC; Gajardo, G; González-Rodríguez, A; Grueber, CE; Hedrick, PW; Heuertz, M; Hunter, ME; Johannesson, K; Liggins, L; MacDonald, AJ; Mergeay, J; Moharrek, F; O’Brien, D; Ogden, R; Orozco-terWengel, P; Palma-Silva, C; Pierson, J; Paz-Vinas, I; Russo, I-RM; Ryman, N; Segelbacher, G; Sjögren-Gulve, P; Waits, LP; Vernesi, C; Hoban, S

Nature Communications (2021)


Effective population size remains a suitable, pragmatic indicator of genetic diversity for all species, including forest trees

Hoban, S; Paz-Vinas, I; Aitken, S; Bertola, LD; Breed, MF; Bruford, MW; Funk, WC; Grueber, CE; Heuertz, M; Hohenlohe, P; Hunter, ME; Jaffé, R; Fernandes, ML; Mergeay, J; Moharrek, F; O'Brien, D; Segelbacher, G; Vernesi, C; Waits, L; Laikre, L

Diversity (2021)


Reducing the extinction risk of populations threatened by infectious disease

Glassock, GL; Grueber, CE; Belov, K; Hogg, CJ

Biological Conservation (2021)


Effective population size remains a suitable, pragmatic indicator of genetic diversity for all species, including forest trees.

Hoban, S; Paz-Vinas, I; Aitken, S; Bertola, LD; Breed, MF; Bruford, MW; Funk, WC; Grueber, CE; Heuertz, M; Hohenlohe, P; Hunter, ME; Jaffé, R; Fernandes, ML; Mergeay, J; Moharrek, F; OBrien, D; Segelbacher, G; Vernesi, C; Waits, L; Laikre, L

Conservation Genetics (2021)


Genomics for conservation: a case study of behavioural genes in Tasmanian devils

Silver, LW; Hogg, CJ; Wright, BR; Grueber, CE

Conservation Biology

online early

Moving from trends to benchmarks: regression tree analysis to find the critical inbreeding threshold in the endangered Hawaiian crow.

Flanagan, A; Masuda, B; Grueber, CE; Sutton, J

Molecular Ecology Resources (2021)


Characterisation of reproductive gene diversity in the endangered Tasmanian devil.

Brandies, PA; Wright, BR; Hogg, CJ Grueber, CE; Belov, K

Conservation Genetics (2020)

21: 869-877

Genetic impacts of conservation management actions in a critically endangered parrot species.

Morrison, CE; Johnson, RL; Grueber, CE; Hogg, CJ

Evolutionary Ecology (2020)


Assessment of the dunnocks' introduction to New Zealand using innate immune-gene diversity.

Lara, CE; Grueber, CE; Holtmann, B; Santos, ESA; Johnson, SL; Robertson, BC; Castaño-Villa, GJ; Lagisz, M; Nakagawa, S

Biological Conservation (2020)


Genetic diversity targets and indicators in the CBD post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework must be improved.

Hoban, S; Bruford, M; D'Urban Jackson, J; Lopes-Fernandes, M; Heuertz, M; Hohenlohe, PA; Paz-Vinas, I; Sögren-Gulve, P; Segelbacher, G; Vernesi, C; Aitken, S; Bertola, LD; Bloomer, P; Breed, M; Rodrí­guez-Correa, H; Funk, WC; Grueber, CE; Hunter, ME; Jaffe, R; Liggins, L; Mergeay, J; Moharrek, F; O'Brien, D; Ogden, R; Palma-Silva, C; Pierson, J; Ramakrishnan, U; Simo-Droissart, M; Tani, N; Waits, L; Laikre, L

Molecular Ecology Resources (2020)


A demonstration of conservation genomics for threatened species management.

Wright, BR; Farquharson, KA; McLennan, EA; Belov, K; Hogg, CJ; Grueber, CE

Conservation Genetics (2020)


Investigating inbreeding in a free-ranging, captive population of an Australian marsupial.

Mulvena, SR; Pierson, JC; Farquharson, KA; McLennan, EA; Hogg, CJ; Grueber, CE

Evolutionary Applications (2020)


Deciphering genetic mate choice: not so simple in group-housed conservation breeding programs.

Farquharson, KA; Hogg, CJ; Belov, K; Grueber, CE

Animal Conservation (2020)


Mixing genetically differentiated populations successfully boosts diversity of an endangered carnivore.

McLennan, EA; Grueber, CE; Wise, P; Belov, K; Hogg, CJ

PeerJ (2020)


Inbreeding depression in one of the last DFTD-free wild populations of Tasmanian devils.

Gooley, RM; Hogg, CJ; Fox, S; Pemberton, D; Belov, K; Grueber, CE

Intl Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife (2020)


MHC-associated Baylisascaris schroederi load informs the giant panda reintroduction program.

Zhu, Y; Grueber, CE; Li, Y; He, M; Hu, L; He, K; Liu, H; Zhang, H; Wu, H

Australian Zoologist (2020)

40: 492-504

Genetic analysis of scat samples to inform conservation of the Tasmanian devil.

Grueber, CE; Chong, R; Gooley, RM; McLennan, EA; Barrs, VR; Belov, K; Hogg, CJ

Emu - Austral Ornithology (2020)

120: 56-64

Low innate immune-gene diversity in the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot (Neophema chrysogaster).

Morrison, CE; Hogg, CJ; Gales, R; Johnson, RN; Grueber, CE

Biological Conservation (2020)

241: 108318

Preserving the demographic and genetic integrity of a single source population during multiple translocations.

Hogg, CJ; McLennan, EA; Wise, P; Lee, AV: Pemberton, D; Fox, S; Belov, K; Grueber, CE

CSIRO Publishing (2019)

Genetic tools - maintaining genetic diversity in the Tasmanian devil metapopulation. Pages 55-65 in "Saving the Tasmanian Devil: Recovery Through Science-based Management", CJ Hogg, S Fox, D Pemberton and K Belov (editors).

Grueber, CE; McLennan, EA

Elsevier (2019)

MHC genes and mate choice. Pages 331-336 in "Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, 2nd edn", J Choe (editor).

Brandies, P; Grueber, CE; Hogg, CJ; Belov, K

Molecular Biology Reports (2019)

46: 5575-5580

Impact of reduced-representation sequencing protocols on detecting population structure in a threatened marsupial.

Wright, BR; Grueber, CE; Lott, MJ; Belov, K; Johnson RN; Hogg, CJ

Animal Microbiome (2019)

1: 8

Looking like the locals - gut microbiome changes post-release in an endangered species.

Chong, R; Grueber, CE; Fox, S; Wise, P; Barrs, VR; Hogg, CJ; Belov, K;

Behavioral Ecology (2019)

30: 1196-1204

MHC-associated mate choice under competitive conditions in captive versus wild Tasmanian devils.

Day, J; Gooley, RM; Hogg, CJ; Belov, K; Whittington, CM; Grueber, CE

Conservation Genetics (2019)

20: 1187-1193

A case for genetic parentage assignment in captive group housing.

Farquharson, KA; Hogg, CJ / Grueber, CE

Animal Conservation (2019)

22: 348-361

Founder relationships and conservation management: empirical kinships reveal the effect on breeding programmes when founders are assumed to be unrelated.

Hogg, CJ; Wright, B; Morris, KM; Lee, AV; Ivy, JA; Grueber, CE / Belov, K

Reproduction, Fertility and Development (2019)

31: 1296–1304

A Tasmanian devil breeding program to support wild recovery.

Grueber, CE; Peel, E; Wright, BR; Hogg, CJ; Belov, K

BMC Genomics (2019)

20: 453

From reference genomes to population genomics: comparing three reference-aligned reduced-representation sequencing pipelines in two wildlife species.

Wright, B / Farquharson, KA; McLennan, EA; Belov, K; Hogg, CJ; Grueber, CE

Journal of Virology (2019)

93: e00205-19

Fecal viral diversity of captive and wild Tasmanian devils characterized using virion-enriched metagenomics and meta-transcriptomics.

Chong, R; Shi, M; Grueber, CE; Holmes, EC; Hogg, CJ; Belov, K; Barrs VR

Molecular Ecology Resources (2019)

19: 659-671

Too much of a good thing? Finding the most informative genetic dataset to answer conservation questions.

McLennan, EA; Hogg, CJ; Wright, BR; Belov, K; Grueber, CE

Evolutionary Applications (2019)

12: 280-291

Complex problems need detailed solutions: Harnessing multiple data types to inform genetic management in the wild.

Grueber, CE; Fox, S; McLennan, EA; Gooley, RM; Pemberton, D; Hogg, CJ; Belov, K

Australian Veterinary Journal (2018)

96: 442-449

High blood lead concentrations in captive Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii): a threat to the conservation of the species?

Hivert, LG; Clarke, JR; Peck, SJ; Lawrence, C; Brown, WE; Huxtable, SJ; Schaap, D; Pemberton, D; Grueber, CE

Pacific Conservation Biology (2018)

24: 271-279

Devil women.

Fox, S; Hogg, CJ; Grueber, CE; Belov, K

Nature Genetics (2018)

50: 1102-1111

Adaptation and conservation insights from the koala genome.

Johnson, RN / O’Meally, D / Chen, Z; Etherington, GJ; Ho, SYW; Nash, WJ; Grueber, CE; Cheng, Y; Whittington, CM; Dennison, S; Peel, E; Haerty, W; O’Neill, RJ; Colgan, D; Russell, TL; Alquezar-Planas, DE; Attenbrow, V; Bragg, JG; Brandies, PA; Chong, AY-Y; Deakin, JE; Di, Palma, F; Duda, Z; Eldridge, MDB; Ewart, KM; Hogg, CJ; Frankham, GJ; Georges, A; Gillett, AK; Govendir, M; Greenwood, AD; Hayakawa, T; Helgen, KM; Hobbs, M; Holleley, CE; Heider, TN; Jones, EA; King, A; Madden, D; Graves, JAM; Morris, KM; Neaves, LE; Patel, HR; Polkinghorne, A; Renfree, MB; Robin, C; Salinas, R; Tsangaras, K; Waters, PD; Waters, SA; Wright, B; Wilkins, MR / Timms, P / Belov, K

PeerJ (2018)

6: e5438

Disentangling the mechanisms of mate choice in a captive koala population.

Brandies, PA; Grueber, CE; Ivy, JA; Hogg, CJ; Belov, K

Nature Communications (2018)

9: 1055

A meta-analysis of birth-origin effects on reproduction in diverse captive environments.

Farquharson, KA; Hogg, CJ; Grueber, CE

Biological Conservation (2018)

222: 287-288

Response to Britt et al. 2018 “The importance of non-academic co-authors in bridging the conservation genetics gap” Biological Conservation 218, 118–123

Hogg, CJ; Taylor, HR; Fox, S; Grueber, CE

Mammalian Biology (2018)

91: 41-45

Landscape-level field data reveal broad-scale effects of a fatal, transmissible cancer on population ecology of the Tasmanian devil.

Grueber, CE; Fox, S; Belov, K; Pemberton, D; Hogg, CJ

Wildlife Research (2018)

45: 31-37

Are any populations safe? Unexpected reproductive decline in a population of Tasmanian devils free of devil facial tumour disease.

Farquharson, KA / Gooley, RM; Fox, S; Huxtable, S; Belov, K; Pemberton, D; Hogg CJ / Grueber, CE

BMC Zoology (2018)

3: 2

The effects of group versus intensive housing on the retention of genetic diversity in insurance populations.

Gooley, RM; Hogg, CJ; Belov, K; Grueber, CE

Biological Reviews (2018)

93: 1108–1124

Intergenerational effects of nutrition on immunity: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Grueber, CE; Gray, LJ; Morris, KM; Simpson, SJ; Senior, AM

Conservation Genetics (2018)

19: 439-450

Pedigree reconstruction using molecular data reveals an early warning sign of gene diversity loss in an island population of Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii)

McLennan, EA; Gooley, RM; Wise, P; Belov, K; Hogg, CJ / Grueber, CE

Molecular Ecology (2017)

26: 4631–4643

Population demography and heterozygosity-fitness correlations in natural guppy populations: an examination using sexually selected fitness traits

Grueber, CE; Fitzpatrick, JL; Devigili, A; Gasparini, C; Ramnarine, IW; Evans, JP

Scientific Reports (2017)

7: 2161

Increasing generations in captivity is associated with increased vulnerability of Tasmanian devils to vehicle strike following release to the wild

Grueber, CE / Reid-Wainscoat, EE; Fox, S; Belov, K; Shier, DM; Hogg, CJ / Pemberton, D

Scientific Reports (2017)

7: 1830

No evidence of inbreeding depression in a Tasmanian devil insurance population despite significant variation in inbreeding

Gooley, RM; Hogg, CJ; Belov, K / Grueber, CE

Journal of Heredity (2017)

108: 488-495

Pedigree analysis reveals a generational decline in reproductive success of captive Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii): implications for captive management of threatened species

Farquharson, KA; Hogg, CJ; Grueber, CE

Molecular Ecology (2017)

26: 2660–2673

Reciprocal translocation of small numbers of inbred individuals rescues immunogenetic diversity.

Grueber, CE / Sutton, JT; Heber, S; Briskie, JV; Jamieson, IG; Robertson, BC

Animal Conservation (2017)

20: 14-15

Making the best of a bad situation: genetic rescue in the absence of an ideal source population.

Grueber, CE

New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2017)

41: 98-106

Differential patterns of diversity at microsatellite, MHC, and TLR loci in South Island saddleback populations that have been affected by translocations and disease.

Knafler, GJ; Grueber, CE; Sutton, JT; Jamieson, IG

Conservation Letters (2017)

10: 133–138

“Devil tools & tech”: a synergy of conservation research and management practice.

Hogg, CJ; Grueber, CE; Pemberton, D; Fox, S; Lee, AV; Ivy, JA; Belov, K

Ecology (2016)

97: 3293-3299

Heterogeneity in ecological and evolutionary meta-analyses: its magnitude and implications.

Senior, AM; Grueber, CE; Kamiya, T; Lagisz, M; O’Dwyer, K; Santos, ESA; Nakagawa, S

Mammalian Biology (2016)

81: 523–526

Macronutritional consequences of food generalism in an invasive mammal, the wild boar.

Senior, AM / Grueber, CE; Machovsky-Capuska, GE; Simpson, SJ; Raubenheimer, D

Archives of Virology (2016)

161: 811-820

Comparison of beak and feather disease virus prevalence and immunity-associated genetic diversity over time in an island population of the Red-crowned Parakeet.

Knafler, GJ; Ortiz-Catedral, L; Jackson, B; Vasarni, A; Grueber, CE; Robertson, BC; Jamieson, IG

Evolution (2016)

70: 154-166

Unexpected positive and negative effects of continuing inbreeding in one of the world`s most inbred wild animals.

Weiser, EL; Grueber, CE; Kennedy, ES; Jamieson, IG

BMC Genomics (2015)

16: 791

Development of a SNP-based assay for measuring genetic diversity in the Tasmanian devil insurance population.

Wright, B; Morris, K; Grueber, CE; Willet, C; Gooley, R; Hogg, CJ; O’Meally, D; Hamede, R; Jones, M; Wade, C; Belov, K

Trends in Genetics (2015)

31: 528-535

Genomic insights into a contagious cancer in Tasmanian devils.

Grueber, CE; Peel, E; Gooley, R; Belov, K

Molecular Ecology (2015)

24: 3860–3872

Lack of genetic diversity across diverse immune genes in an endangered mammal, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii).

Morris, KM; Wright, B; Grueber, CE; Hogg, C; Belov, K

Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal (2015)

13: 370-375

Comparative genomics for biodiversity conservation.

Grueber, CE

Conservation Genetics (2015)

16: 595-611

Toll-like receptor diversity in 10 threatened bird species: relationship with microsatellite heterozygosity.

Grueber, CE; Knafler, GJ; King, TM; Senior, AM; Grosser, S; Robertson, B; Weston, KA; Brekke, P; Harris, CLW; Jamieson, IG

Molecular Ecology (2015)

24: 1645–1653

Impacts of early viability selection on management of inbreeding and genetic diversity in conservation.

Grueber, CE; Hogg, CJ; Ivy, JA; Belov, K

PLoS ONE (2014)

9: e89632

Episodic positive selection in the evolution of avian Toll-like receptor innate immunity genes.

Grueber, CE; Wallis, GP; Jamieson, IG

Evolution (2014)

68: 987-955

Severe inbreeding depression and no evidence of purging in an extremely inbred wild species - the Chatham Island black robin.

Kennedy, ES / Grueber, CE; Duncan, RP; Jamieson, IG

Conservation Genetics Resources (2013)

5: 1043-1047

Primers for amplification of innate immunity Toll-like receptors in threatened birds of the Apterygiformes, Gruiformes, Psittaciformes and Passeriformes.

Grueber, CE; Jamieson, IG

Molecular Ecology (2013)

22: 4470–4482

Genetic drift outweighs natural selection at toll-like receptor (TLR) immunity loci in a reintroduced population of a threatened species.

Grueber, CE; Wallis, GP; Jamieson, IG

Immunogenetics (2013)

65: 619–633

Characterization of MHC class II B polymorphism in bottlenecked New Zealand saddlebacks reveals low levels of genetic diversity.

Sutton, JT; Robertson, BC; Grueber, CE; Stanton, JL; Jamieson, IG

PLoS ONE (2013)

8: e61471

Parallel tagged next-generation sequencing on pooled samples – a new approach for population genetics in ecology and conservation.

Zavodna, M; Grueber, CE; Gemmell, NJ

Conservation Biology (2013)

27: 335-344

Simulating retention of rare alleles in small populations to assess management options for species with different life histories.

Weiser, EL; Grueber, CE; Jamieson, IG

PLoS ONE (2012)

7: e45011

Variation at innate immunity Toll-like receptor genes in a bottlenecked population of a New Zealand robin.

Grueber, CE; Wallis, GP; King, TM; Jamieson, IG

Molecular Ecology Resources (2012)

12: 1161–1167

AlleleRetain: a program to assess management options for conserving allelic diversity in small, isolated populations.

Weiser, EL; Grueber, CE; Jamieson, IG

NZ Journal of Ecology (2012)

36: 223-227

Are introduced takahe populations on offshore islands at carrying capacity? Implications for genetic management.

Grueber, CE; Maxwell, JM; Jamieson, IG

Ibis (2011)

153: 384-394

Low genetic diversity and small population size of Takahe Porphyrio hochstetteri on European arrival in New Zealand.

Grueber, CE; Jamieson, IG

Journal of Evolutionary Biology (2011)

24: 699-711

Multimodel inference in ecology and evolution: challenges and solutions.

Grueber, CE; Nakagawa, S; Laws, RL; Jamieson, IG

Molecular Ecology (2011)

20: 67-79

The imprecision of heterozygosity-fitness correlations hinders the detection of inbreeding and inbreeding depression in a threatened species.

Grueber, CE; Waters, JM; Jamieson, IG

Conservation Biology (2010)

24: 1617-1625

Inbreeding depression accumulation across life-history stages of the endangered takahe.

Grueber, CE; Laws RJ; Nakagawa S; Jamieson IG

Conservation Genetics (2008)

9: 645-651

Quantifying and managing the loss of genetic variation in a free-ranging population of takahe through the use of pedigrees.

Grueber, CE; Jamieson IG

NZ Journal of Ecology (2008)

32: 130-137

Managing genetic diversity in threatened populations: a New Zealand perspective.

Jamieson, IG; Grueber, CE; Waters, JM; Gleeson, DM

Molecular Ecology Resources (2008)

8: 884-886

Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci from the endangered New Zealand takahe (Gruiformes; Rallidae; Porphyrio hochstetteri).

Grueber, CE; King, TM; Waters, JM; Jamieson, IG

Molecular Ecology (2008)

17: 3978-3984

Heterozygosity-fitness correlations and their relevance to studies on inbreeding depression in threatened species.

Grueber, CE; Wallis, GP; Jamieson, IG