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
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.
Characterization of microsatellite loci isolated in Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus)
Primers for 15 microsatellite loci were developed for Mountain Plover, a species whose distribution and abundance have been reduced drastically in the past 30 years. In a screen of 126 individuals collected from four breeding locales across the species' range, levels of polymorphism ranged from two to 13 alleles per locus. No two loci were found...John, J. St; Kysela, R.F.; Oyler-McCance, S.J.
Characterization of microsatellite loci isolated in trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator)
Primers for 16 microsatellite loci were developed for the trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator), a species recovering from a recent population bottleneck. In a screen of 158 individuals, the 16 loci were found to have levels of variability ranging from two to seven alleles. No loci were found to be linked, although two loci repeatedly revealed...John, J. St; Ransler, F.A.; Quinn, T.W.; Oyler-McCance, S.J.
A multilocus population genetic survey of greater sage-grouse across their range
The distribution and abundance of the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) have declined dramatically, and as a result the species has become the focus of conservation efforts. We conducted a range-wide genetic survey of the species which included 46 populations and over 1000 individuals using both mitochondrial sequence data and data...Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Taylor, S.E.; Quinn, T.W.
Characterization of microsatellite loci isolated in midget-faded rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis concolor)
Primers for five polymorphic microsatellite loci were developed for the midget faded rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis concolor), a rare subspecies of western rattlesnake (Crotalus viridus) found only in parts of Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah. Five polymorphic microsatellites were isolated, four of which had relatively high levels of diversity (eight to...Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; St. John, J.; Parker, J.M.; Anderson, S.H.
Population genetic analysis of Mountain Plover using mitochondrial DNA sequence data
Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus) distribution and abundance have been reduced drastically in the past 30 years and the conversion of shortgrass prairie to agriculture has caused breeding populations to become geographically isolated. This, coupled with the fact that Mountain Plovers are thought to show fidelity to breeding grounds, leads to...Oyler-McCance, S.J.; St. John, J.; Knopf, F.L.; Quinn, T.W.
Population genetics of Gunnison sage-grouse: Implications for management
The newly described Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) is a species of concern for management because of marked declines in distribution and abundance due to the loss and fragmentation of sagebrush habitat. This has caused remaining populations to be unusually small and isolated. We utilized mitochondrial DNA sequence data and data from 8...Oyler-McCance, S.J.; St. John, J.; Taylor, S.E.; Apa, A.D.; Quinn, T.W.
Rocky Mountain Center for Conservation Genetics and Systematics
The use of molecular genetic tools has become increasingly important in addressing conservation issues pertaining to plants and animals. Genetic information can be used to augment studies of population dynamics and population viability, investigate systematic, refine taxonomic definitions, investigate population structure and gene flow, and...Oyler-McCance, S.J.; Quinn, T.W.
Evaluation of the eastern (Centrocercus urophasianus urophasianus) and western (Centrocercus urophasianus phaios) subspecies of Sage-grouse using mitochondrial control-region sequence data
The status of Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is of increasing concern, as populations throughout its range have contracted as a result of habitat loss and degradation. Historically, Sage-grouse were classified into two subspecies: eastern(C. u. urophasianus) and western Sage-grouse (C. u. phaios) based on slight differences in coloration...Benedict, N.G.; Oyler-McCance, S.J.; Taylor, S.E.; Braun, C.E.
Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci in Greater Sage-Grouse (Centlocerus urophasianus)
Primers for five polymorphic microsatellite loci were developed for Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) using an enrichment/detection protocol. The high level of polymorphism (nine to 33 alleles) suggests that these loci will be applicable for investigating mating systems and paternity analysis as well as population genetics. Cross-...Taylor, S.E.; Oyler-McCance, S.J.; Quinn, T.W.
Influence of changes in sagebrush on Gunnison sage grouse in Southwestern Colorado
The decline in abundance of the newly recognized Gunnison sage grouse (Centrocercus minimus) in southwestern Colorado is thought to be linked to loss and fragmentation of its habitat, sagebrush (Artemisia) vegetation. We documented changes in sagebrush-dominated areas between the 1950s and 1990s by comparing low level aerial photographs taken in...Oyler-McCance, S.J.; Burnham, K.P.; Braun, C.E.