Sara Oyler-McCance, Ph.D.
Dr. Sara J. Oyler-McCance is a research geneticist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the Fort Collins Science Center (FORT). She has worked for USGS since 1999 as a conservation geneticist leading the Molecular Ecology Lab at FORT. She 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. 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.
- Ph.D. in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, Colorado State University, 1999
- M.S. in Wildlife Biology, University of Maine, 1993
- B.S. in Biology, University of Michigan, 1991
- Affiliate Faculty, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University
- Affiliate Faculty, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University
Science and Products
Characterization of small microsatellite loci isolated in endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) for use in non-invasive sampling
Primers for 10 microsatellite loci were developed specifically to amplify low quantity and quality DNA in the endangered Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis). In a screen of 20 individuals from a population in Missouri, the 10 loci were found to have levels of variability ranging from seven to 18 alleles. No loci were found to be linked, although two loci...Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Fike, Jennifer A.
Evaluation of the genetic distinctiveness of Greater Sage-grouse in the Bi-State Planning Area
The purpose of this study was to further characterize a distinct population of Greater Sage-grouse: the population located along the border between Nevada and California (Bi-State Planning Area) and centered around the Mono Basin. This population was previously determined to be genetically distinct from other Greater Sage-grouse populations across...Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Casazza, Michael L.
Effects of climate change on nutrition and genetics of White-tailed Ptarmigan
White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura) are well suited as a focal species for the study of climate change because they are adapted to cool, alpine environments that are expected to undergo unusually rapid climate change. We compared samples collected in the late 1930s, the late 1960s, and the late 2000s using molecular genetic and stable...Sandercock, Brett K.; Martin, Kathy; Segelbacher, Gernot; Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Stricker, Craig A.; St. John, Judy; Braun, Clait E.; Wann, Gregory T.; Aldridge, Cameron L.
Genetic consequences of trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) reintroductions
Relocation programs are often initiated to restore threatened species to previously occupied portions of their range. A primary challenge of restoration efforts is to translocate individuals in a way that prevents loss of genetic diversity and decreases differentiation relative to source populations-a challenge that becomes increasingly difficult...Ransler, F.A.; Quinn, T.W.; Oyler-McCance, S.J.
Molecular insights into the biology of Greater Sage-Grouse
Recent research on Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) genetics has revealed some important findings. First, multiple paternity in broods is more prevalent than previously thought, and leks do not comprise kin groups. Second, the Greater Sage-Grouse is genetically distinct from the congeneric Gunnison sage-grouse (C. minimus). Third,...Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Quinn, Thomas W.
Characterization of ten microsatellite loci in midget faded rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus concolor)
Primers for 10 microsatellite loci were developed for midget faded rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus concolor), a small bodied subspecies of the Western Rattlesnake, which is found in the Colorado Plateau of eastern Utah, western Colorado and southwestern Wyoming. In a screen of 23 individuals from the most northern portion of the subspecies range in...Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Parker, Joshua M.
A population genetic analysis of the midget faded rattlesnake in Wyoming
Little is known about the population biology of midget faded rattlesnakes, a sensitive subspecies of the Western Rattlesnake, despite conservation efforts to protect them. We conducted a molecular genetic study of midget faded rattlesnakes in southwestern Wyoming to investigate population genetic structure in this area, particularly with reference...Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Parker, J.M.
Regional Variation in mtDNA of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken
Cumulative loss of habitat and long-term decline in the populations of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) have led to concerns for the species' viability throughout its range in the southern Great Plains. For more efficient conservation past and present distributions of genetic variation need to be understood. We examined...Hagen, Christian A.; Pitman, James C.; Sandercock, Brett K.; Wolfe, Don H.; Robel, Robel J.; Applegate, Roger D.; Oyler-McCance, Sara J.
Characterization of small microsatellite loci for use in non invasive sampling studies of Gunnison Sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus)
Primers for 10 microsatellite loci were developed specifically to amplify low quantity and quality DNA for Gunnison Sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus), a species that has been petitioned for listing under the US Endangered Species Act. In a screen of 20 individuals from the largest population in the Gunnison Basin, Colorado, the 10 loci were found...Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; St. John, Judy
Rapid evolution in lekking grouse: Implications for taxonomic definitions
Species and subspecies delineations were traditionally defined by morphological and behavioral traits, as well as by plumage characteristics. Molecular genetic data have more recently been used to assess these classifications and, in many cases, to redefine them. The recent practice of utilizing molecular genetic data to examine taxonomic...Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; St. John, Judy; Quinn, Thomas W.
Gender identification of white-winged doves
White-winged doves (Zenaida asiatica) are migratory game birds with an expanding distribution. Reasons for the range expansion are largely unknown as are characteristics of populations in newly occupied areas. This species is avidly sought in states having large white-wing populations and where it is hunted with specific hunting seasons designed...Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Braun, Clait E.
A rangewide population genetic study of trumpeter swans
For management purposes, the range of naturally occurring trumpeter swans (Cygnus buccinator) has been divided into two populations, the Pacific Coast Population (PP) and the Rocky Mountain Population (RMP). Little is known about the distribution of genetic variation across the species' range despite increasing pressure to make difficult...Oyler-McCance, S.J.; Ransler, F.A.; Berkman, L.K.; Quinn, T.W.