Robert (Scott) Cornman, Ph.D.
(Robert) Scott Cornman is a Biologist at the Fort Collins Science Center. He received a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Georgia. He is a genomics specialist focusing on the application of SNPs, RNA-Seq, and barcode sequencing to organismal ecology and conservation.
- PhD Genetics/University of Georgia, 2006
- B.A. History/Rice University, 1992
- 2015-present, Biologist, USGS FORT, Fort Collins, CO
- 2012-2015, Biologist, USGS LSC, Leetown, WV
- 2008-2012, Geneticist, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD
Science and Products
The Molecular Ecology Laboratory applies genetic and genomic technologies to address a variety of complex questions and conservation issues facing the management of the Nation's fish and wildlife resources. Together with our partners, we design and implement studies to document genetic diversity and the distribution of genetic variation among individuals, populations, and species. Information from these studies is used to support wildlife-management planning and conservation actions. Current and past studies have provided information to assess taxonomic boundaries, inform listing decisions made under the Endangered Species Act, identify unique or genetically depauperate populations, estimate population size or survival rates, develop management or recovery plans, breed wildlife in captivity, relocate wildlife from one location to another, and assess the effects of environmental change.
Genetic analysis is increasingly used to understand ecosystem processes and inform conservation, management, and policy. I assist USGS researchers and their collaborators in the design, analysis, and interpretation of high-throughput genetic studies. Common applications include: detecting genes responsive to particular environmental stressors in a sentinel species or species of conservation concern; generating reference genome sequences of pathogens for functional or evolutionary analysis; identifying genetic variation that distinguish populations or species; using “barcode” sequences to identify species in gut contents, feces, or environmental samples.
The data set is a table of counts, with the rows being the transcripts detected in the samples in the experiment and the columns identifying the samples. Four mussles were exposed to normal freshwater and four mussels were exposed to high salinity (two ppt), for a period of seven days.
Provenance, classification, and abundance of RNA sequence fragments used to assess virus infections in honey bees, Apis mellifera
This dataset was used to assess the relative occurrence and titer of Deformed wing virus (DWV) and Varroa destructor virus 1 (VDV) in public RNA-seq accessions of honey bee using a rapid, kmer-based approach. The data highlight the utility of high-throughput sequencing to monitor viral polymorphisms and statistically test biological predictors of titer.
Draft genome sequence of a picorna-like virus associated with gill tissue in clinically normal brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis
Here, we report a draft genome sequence of a picorna-like virus associated with brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, gill tissue. The draft genome comprises 8,681 nucleotides, excluding the poly(A) tract, and contains two open reading frames. It is most similar to picorna-like viruses that infect invertebrates.Iwanowicz, Luke; Iwanowicz, Deborah; Adams, Cynthia; Galbraith, Heather S.; Aunins, Aaron W.; Cornman, Robert S.
Relative abundance of deformed wing virus, Varroa destructor virus 1, and their recombinants in honey bees (Apis mellifera) assessed by kmer analysis of public RNA-Seq data
Deformed wing virus (DWV) is a major pathogen of concern to apiculture, and recent reports have indicated the local predominance and potential virulence of recombinants between DWV and a related virus, Varroa destructor virus 1 (VDV). However, little is known about the frequency and titer of VDV and recombinants relative to DWV generally. In this...Cornman, Robert S.
RNA sequencing analysis of transcriptional change in the freshwater mussel Elliptio complanata after environmentally relevant sodium chloride exposure
To identify potential biomarkers of salt stress in a freshwater sentinel species, we examined transcriptional responses of the common mussel Elliptio complanata to controlled sodium chloride (NaCl) exposures. Ribonucleic acid sequencing (RNA-Seq) of mantle tissue identified 481 transcripts differentially expressed in adult mussels exposed to 2 ppt...Robertson, Laura S.; Galbraith, Heather S.; Iwanowicz, Deborah; Blakeslee, Carrie J.; Cornman, Robert S.
Available genetic data do not support adaptation of Tobacco ringspot virus to an arthropod host
No abstract available.Cornman, Robert S.
A comparison of honey bee-collected pollen from working agricultural lands using light microscopy and ITS metabarcoding
Taxonomic identification of pollen has historically been accomplished via light microscopy but requires specialized knowledge and reference collections, particularly when identification to lower taxonomic levels is necessary. Recently, next-generation sequencing technology has been used as a cost-effective alternative for identifying bee-collected...Smart, Matthew; Cornman, Robert S.; Iwanowicz, Deborah; McDermott-Kubeczko, Margaret; Pettis, Jeff S; Spivak, Marla S; Otto, Clint R.
Complete genome sequence of a novel aquareovirus that infects the endangered fountain darter, Etheostoma fonticola
Here, we report the complete genome of a novel aquareovirus isolated from clinically normal fountain darters, Etheostoma fonticola, inhabiting the San Marcos River, Texas, USA. The complete genome consists of 23,958 bp consisting of 11 segments that range from 783 bp (S11) to 3,866 bp (S1).Iwanowicz, Luke R. ; Iwanowicz, Deborah; Adams, Cynthia; Lewis, Teresa D.; Brandt, Thomas M.; Cornman, Robert S.; Sanders, Lakyn R.
Transcriptome discovery in non-model wild fish species for the development of quantitative transcript abundance assays
Environmental studies increasingly identify the presence of both contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) and legacy contaminants in aquatic environments; however, the biological effects of these compounds on resident fishes remain largely unknown. High throughput methodologies were employed to establish partial transcriptomes for three wild-caught...Hahn, Cassidy M.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Cornman, Robert S.; Mazik, Patricia M.; Blazer, Vicki S.
Critical considerations for the application of environmental DNA methods to detect aquatic species
Species detection using environmental DNA (eDNA) has tremendous potential for contributing to the understanding of the ecology and conservation of aquatic species. Detecting species using eDNA methods, rather than directly sampling the organisms, can reduce impacts on sensitive species and increase the power of field surveys for rare and elusive...Goldberg, Caren S.; Turner, Cameron R.; Deiner, Kristy; Klymus, Katy E.; Thomsen, Philip Francis; Murphy, Melanie A.; Spear, Stephen F.; McKee, Anna; Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Cornman, Robert S.; Laramie, Matthew B.; Mahon, Andrew R.; Lance, Richard F.; Pilliod, David S.; Strickler, Katherine M.; Waits, Lisette P.; Fremier, Alexander K.; Takahara, Teruhiko; Herder, Jelger E.; Taberlet, Pierre
Metabarcoding of fecal samples to determine herbivore diets: A case study of the endangered Pacific pocket mouse
Understanding the diet of an endangered species illuminates the animal’s ecology, habitat requirements, and conservation needs. However, direct observation of diet can be difficult, particularly for small, nocturnal animals such as the Pacific pocket mouse (Heteromyidae: Perognathus longimembris pacificus). Very little is known of the dietary...Iwanowicz, Deborah; Vandergast, Amy; Cornman, Robert S.; Adams, Cynthia; Kohn, Joshua R.; Fisher, Robert N.; Brehme, Cheryl S.
The bee microbiome: Impact on bee health and model for evolution and ecology of host-microbe interactions
As pollinators, bees are cornerstones for terrestrial ecosystem stability and key components in agricultural productivity. All animals, including bees, are associated with a diverse community of microbes, commonly referred to as the microbiome. The bee microbiome is likely to be a crucial factor affecting host health. However, with the exception...Engel, Philipp; Kwong, Waldan K.; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E.; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, Robert S.; Dainat, Jacques; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Doublet, Vincent; Emery, Olivier; Evans, Jay D.; Farinelli, Laurent; Flenniken, Michelle L.; Granberg, Fredrik; Grasis, Juris A.; Gauthier, Laurent; Hayer, Juliette; Koch, Hauke; Kocher, Sarah; Martinson, Vincent G.; Moran, Nancy; Munoz-Torres, Monica; Newton, Irene; Paxton, Robert J.; Powell, Eli; Sadd, Ben M.; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Song, Se Jin; Schwarz, Ryan S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Dainat, Benjamin
Taxonomic characterization of honey bee (Apis mellifera) pollen foraging based on non-overlapping paired-end sequencing of nuclear ribosomal loci
Identifying plant taxa that honey bees (Apis mellifera) forage upon is of great apicultural interest, but traditional methods are labor intensive and may lack resolution. Here we evaluate a high-throughput genetic barcoding approach to characterize trap-collected pollen from multiple North Dakota apiaries across multiple years. We used the...Cornman, Robert S.; Otto, Clint R.; Iwanowicz, Deborah; Pettis, Jeffery S
Z chromosome divergence, polymorphism and relative effective population size in a genus of lekking birds
Sex chromosomes contribute disproportionately to species boundaries as they diverge faster than autosomes and often have reduced diversity. Their hemizygous nature contributes to faster divergence and reduced diversity, as do some types of selection. In birds, other factors (mating system and bottlenecks) can further decrease the effective...Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Cornman, Robert S.; Kenneth L. Jones; Fike, Jennifer