Dr Gavin Horsburgh
School of Biosciences
+44 114 222 0115
Full contact details
School of Biosciences
Alfred Denny Building
My role involves knowledge exchange. I provide in-lab training and support of visitors funded by the NERC Environmental Omics Facility (NEOF).
Teaching a wide range of techniques including metabarcoding, ddRAD, SNP typing, microsatellite genotyping and sex typing.
I support many studies involving next-generation sequencing. Examples of the projects supported including studying diet using DNA extracted from faecal samples and investigating species diversity present in environmental DNA samples, such as soil and water. I also support the application of sets of genetic markers for use in studies of population genetics and behavioural ecology.
We are continually developing methodologies to keep our support and training and the facility at the cutting edge.
- 2005 to present: Research Associate, NERC Environmental Omics Visitor Facility (formerly the NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility - Sheffield, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield.)
- 2001 to 2005: Research Associate, Division of Genomic Medicine, Medical School, University of Sheffield.
- 1997 to 2001: PhD, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield.
- 1993 to 1997: BSc Hons. Medical Microbiology, University of Edinburgh.
- Research interests
I support many different types of studies and these require a wide range of techniques:
Metabarcoding - Many of the projects I support involve next generation sequencing including studies of diet, biodiversity in environmental DNA, studies of bacterial communities and parasites.
Diet Studies - During 2019-20, I will support studies of the nightjar, pygmy shrew and comparing the hedgehog and the badger diet.
Pollination Studies - During 2020, several pollination studies will be supported involving pollen transferred by bats and hoverflies.
Biodiversity, health and agriculture - During 2019, I supported a project to study fish communities from water samples taken from Lake Tanganyika in Africa. We are supporting a project studying the composition of bacterial communities in drinking water, a study of earthworm diversity investigating worm importance in agriculture and a study investigating the communities found in the pouches of carnivorous pitcher plants.
Genotyping - I support studies using SNPs, ddRAD and multiplex microsatellite marker sets to study mating systems, genetic diversity and population structure. I am currently supporting studies of the pine marten, monk parakeet, red mason bee and Eastern black rhino.
Sequencing - Studies of MHC variation and meiotic drive are also being supported in the Facility involving Asian elephants and Stalk-eyed flies.
Development of new markers - In 2019, microsatellite-enriched libraries will be constructed for species of Hylid frog, golden wolf and snow leopard. We have isolated microsatellite and SNP markers for over 70 species. We use high-throughput sequencing on a MiSeq sequencer which enables us to isolate high numbers of microsatellite sequences that then allows the selection of optimal sequences for marker design. It is also possible to mine microsatellites from genome assemblies and other sequence resources. For high-throughput, when required microsatellites can be analysed on the MiSeq.
Genetic sex-typing of birds - 50% of birds are sexually monomorphic so sexing would require using genetic markers. Several projects involving genetic bird sex-typing are supported throughout the year. For more information go to the bird sex-typing webpage.
Research & Development - We have optimised the metabarcoding, DNA typing and sequencing methods used at the Facility (see Publications).
- Subspecies hybridization as a potential conservation tool in species reintroductions. Evolutionary Applications.
- Population genetics and geometric morphometrics of the freshwater snail Segmentina nitida reveal cryptic sympatric species of conservation value in Europe. Conservation Genetics.
- Landscape resistance affects individual habitat selection but not genetic relatedness in a reintroduced desert ungulate. Biological Conservation, 252, 108845-108845.
- Microsatellite characterisation and sex-typing in two invasive parakeet species, the monk parakeet Myiopsitta monachus and ring-necked parakeet Psittacula krameri. Molecular Biology Reports, 47(2), 1543-1550. View this article in WRRO
- Testing the performance of environmental DNA metabarcoding for surveying highly diverse tropical fish communities: A case study from Lake Tanganyika. Environmental DNA, 2(1), 24-41.
- Similar yet different: co-analysis of the genetic diversity and structure of an invasive nematode parasite and its invasive mammalian host. International Journal for Parasitology, 48(3-4), 233-243. View this article in WRRO
- Genomic associations with bill length and disease reveal drift and selection across island bird populations. Evolution Letters, 2(1), 22-36. View this article in WRRO
- Correction to: A multiplex marker set for microsatellite typing and sexing of sooty terns Onychoprion fuscatus. BMC Research Notes, 11(1). View this article in WRRO
- A multiplex marker set for microsatellite typing and sexing of sooty terns Onychoprion fuscatus. BMC Research Notes, 10(1). View this article in WRRO
- Identification of 24 new microsatellite loci in the sweat bee Lasioglossum malachurum (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). BMC Research Notes, 10(1). View this article in WRRO
- Widespread gene flow between oceans in a pelagic seabird species complex. Molecular Ecology, 26(20), 5716-5728. View this article in WRRO
- Blood transcriptomes and de novo identification of candidate loci for mating success in lekking great snipe (Gallinago media). Molecular Ecology, 26(13), 3458-3471. View this article in WRRO
- The characterisation of microsatellite markers reveals tetraploidy in the Greater Water Parsnip, Sium latifolium (Apiaceae). BMC Research Notes, 10. View this article in WRRO
- A new marker based on the avian spindlin gene that is able to sex most birds, including species problematic to sex with CHD markers. Zoo Biology. View this article in WRRO
- Quantitative Trait Locus Analysis of Mating Behavior and Male Sex Pheromones in Nasonia Wasps.. G3 (Bethesda), 6(6), 1549-1562. View this article in WRRO
- Erratum to: Microsatellite records for volume 7, issue 4 (Conservation Genet Resour, (2015), (7), 917-944, DOI: 10.1007/s12686-015-0493-8). Conservation Genetics Resources, 8(1), 85-87.
- Autosomal and Z-linked microsatellite markers enhanced for cross-species utility and assessed in a range of birds, including species of conservation concern. Conservation Genetics Resources, 7(4), 881-886. View this article in WRRO
- A multiplex microsatellite set for non-invasive genotyping and sexing of the osprey (Pandion haliaetus). Conservation Genetics Resources, 7(4), 887-894. View this article in WRRO
- Microsatellite records for volume 7, issue 4. Conservation Genetics Resources, 7(4), 917-944.
- Conserved microsatellite markers of high cross-species utility for flying, ground and tree squirrels. Conservation Genetics Resources, 7(2), 599-603. View this article in WRRO
- A marker suitable for sex-typing birds from degraded samples. Conservation Genetics Resources, 7(2), 337-343. View this article in WRRO
- Oceanography and life history predict contrasting genetic population structure in two Antarctic fish species. Evolutionary Applications, 8(5), 486-509. View this article in WRRO
- Female transcriptomic response to male genetic and nongenetic ejaculate variation. Behavioral Ecology, 26(3), 681-688.
- Four-way development of microsatellite markers for the Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae). Conservation Genetics Resources, 7(4), 899-907.
- Isolation and characterisation of microsatellite loci for the ancient cephalopod, Nautilus pompilius. Conservation Genetics Resources, 7(1), 107-111.
- Characterization of microsatellite markers for Saxicola species. Conservation Genetics Resources, 7(1), 273-278.
- Characterisation of microsatellite markers in the stone curlew Burhinus oedicnemus. Conservation Genetics Resources, 6(3), 751-754.
- Human-facilitated metapopulation dynamics in an emerging pest species, Cimex lectularius.. Mol Ecol, 23(5), 1071-1084. View this article in WRRO
- Characterization of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) transcriptome: a resource for molecular ecology and immunogenetics.. Mol Ecol Resour, 14(3), 636-646.
- Isolation and characterisation of Mauritius lowland day gecko Phelsuma guimbeaui microsatellite loci. CONSERVATION GENETICS RESOURCES, 5(4), 1013-1018.
- Microsatellite loci characterised in a megapode, the Australian brush-turkey Alectura lathami. CONSERVATION GENETICS RESOURCES, 5(4), 1179-1184.
- Isolation and characterisation of hazel dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) microsatellite loci. Conservation Genetics Resources, 5(3), 687-692.
- Isolation and characterization of 11 microsatellite loci from the ubiquitous temperate octocoral Alcyonium digitatum (Linnaeus, 1758). Conservation Genetics Resources, 5(3), 767-770.
- Isolation, characterization and predicted genome locations of Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) microsatellite loci. Conservation Genetics Resources, 5(3), 723-727.
- Isolation and characterization of fourteen microsatellite loci from the endangered octocoral Eunicella verrucosa (Pallas 1766). Conservation Genetics Resources, 5(3), 825-829.
- Comparison of historical bottleneck effects and genetic consequences of re-introduction in a critically endangered island passerine.. Mol Ecol, 22(18), 4644-4662.
- High-utility conserved avian microsatellite markers enable parentage and population studies across a wide range of species.. BMC Genomics, 14, 176. View this article in WRRO
- Characterisation of microsatellite loci in the rifleman (Acanthisitta chloris, Acanthisittidae, AVES) and their predicted genome locations. Conservation Genetics Resources, 5(2), 555-560.
- Limited mitochondrial DNA diversity is indicative of a small number of founders of the German raccoon (Procyon lotor) population. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 1-10.
- Large-scale isolation of Eastern spiny mouse Acomys dimidiatus microsatellite loci through GS-FLX 454 titanium sequencing. Conservation Genetics Resources, 5(2), 519-524.
- Characterization of blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus microsatellite loci, and assessment of sequence homology among species to predict cross-species utility and chromosome locations. CONSERVATION GENETICS RESOURCES, 4(3), 605-612.
- Isolation, characterization and predicted genome locations of ruff (Philomachus pugnax, AVES) microsatellite loci. CONSERVATION GENETICS RESOURCES, 4(3), 763-771.
- Characterisation of nine microsatellite loci in the caecilian amphibian Boulengerula uluguruensis (Gymnophiona), and their cross-species utility in three congeneric species. CONSERVATION GENETICS RESOURCES, 4(2), 225-229.
- Microsatellite resources for Passeridae species: a predicted microsatellite map of the house sparrow Passer domesticus.. Mol Ecol Resour, 12(3), 501-523.
- Hybridization but no evidence for backcrossing and introgression in a sympatric population of great reed warblers and clamorous reed warblers.. PLoS One, 7(2), e31667. View this article in WRRO
- Postcopulatory mechanisms of inbreeding avoidance in the island endemic hihi (Notiomystis cincta). Behavioral Ecology, 23(2), 278-284.
- Postcopulatory mechanisms of inbreeding avoidance in the island endemic hihi (Notiomystis cincta). Behavioral Ecology, 23(2), 278-284.
- Comparison between Normalised and Unnormalised 454-Sequencing Libraries for Small-Scale RNA-Seq Studies.. Comp Funct Genomics, 2012, 281693. View this article in WRRO
- Characterisation and predicted genome locations of Leach's storm-petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) microsatellite loci (Procellariidae, Aves). CONSERV GENET RESOUR, 3(4), 711-716.
- Characterisation of twenty-one European badger (Meles meles) microsatellite loci facilitates the discrimination of second-order relatives. CONSERV GENET RESOUR, 3(3), 515-518.
- Cultural inheritance drives site fidelity and migratory connectivity in a long-distance migrant.. Mol Ecol, 19(24), 5484-5496.
- Isolation, characterisation and predicted genome locations of Light-bellied Brent goose (Branta bernicla hrota) microsatellite loci (Anatidae, AVES). CONSERV GENET RESOUR, 2, 365-371.
- New methods to identify conserved microsatellite loci and develop primer sets of high cross-species utility - as demonstrated for birds. MOL ECOL RESOUR, 10(3), 475-494.
- Twenty-two polymorphic microsatellite loci aimed at detecting illegal trade in the Cape parrot, Poicephalus robustus (Psittacidae, AVES). MOL ECOL RESOUR, 10(1), 142-149.
- Isolation, characterisation and predicted genome locations of Light-bellied Brent goose (Branta bernicla hrota) microsatellite loci (Anatidae, AVES). Conservation Genetics Resources, 1-7.
- Isolation, characterization and chromosome locations of polymorphic black-billed magpie Pica pica (Corvidae, AVES) microsatellite loci. MOL ECOL RESOUR, 9(6), 1506-1512.
- Microsatellite markers characterized in the barn owl (Tyto alba) and of high utility in other owls (Strigiformes: AVES). MOL ECOL RESOUR, 9(6), 1513-1519.
- Isolation and characterization of macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus) microsatellite loci and their utility in other penguin species (Spheniscidae, AVES). MOL ECOL RESOUR, 9(6), 1530-1535.
- Characterization of microsatellite loci isolated from the wasp, Microstigmus nigrophthalmus (Hymenoptera). MOL ECOL RESOUR, 9(6), 1493-1497.
- Microsatellite markers characterized in the mosquito Aedes taeniorhynchus (Diptera, Culicidae), a disease vector and major pest on the American coast and the Galápagos Islands.. Infect Genet Evol, 9(5), 971-975.
- Characterization of microsatellite loci In The hihi Notiomystis cincta (Notiomystidae, Aves). MOL ECOL RESOUR, 9(4), 1255-1258.
- An Aeromonas caviae genomic island is required for both O-antigen lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis and flagellin glycosylation.. J Bacteriol, 191(8), 2851-2863.
- Microsatellite loci characterized in three African crane species (Gruidae, Aves). MOL ECOL RESOUR, 9(1), 308-311.
- New microsatellite loci isolated from the field cricket Gryllus bimaculatus characterized in two cricket species, Gryllus bimaculatus and Gryllus campestris. MOL ECOL RESOUR, 8(5), 1015-1019.
- Isolation and characterisation of microsatellite loci in the papillose woolly bat, Kerivoula papillosa (Chiroptera : Vespertilionidae). CONSERV GENET, 9(3), 751-756.
- Characterisation of 14 blue crane Grus paradisea (Gruidae, AVES) microsatellite loci for use in detecting illegal trade. CONSERV GENET, 9(5), 1363-1367.
- A method for genotype validation and primer assessment in heterozygote-deficient species, as demonstrated in the prosobranch mollusc Hydrobia ulvae.. BMC Genet, 9, 55. View this article in WRRO
- Characterization of 36 polymorphic microsatellite loci in the Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) including two sex-linked loci and their amplification in four other Charadrius species. MOL ECOL NOTES, 7(1), 35-39.
- Polar flagellum biogenesis in Aeromonas hydrophila (vol 188, pg 542, 2006). J BACTERIOL, 188(8), 3166-3166.
- Analysis of the lateral flagellar gene system of Aeromonas hydrophila AH-3 (vol 188, pg 852, 2006). J BACTERIOL, 188(8), 3167-3167.
- Analysis of the lateral flagellar gene system of Aeromonas hydrophila AH-3. J BACTERIOL, 188(3), 852-862.
- Polar flagellum biogenesis in Aeromonas hydrophila. J BACTERIOL, 188(2), 542-555.
- AcmA of Lactococcus lactis is an N-acetylglucosaminidase with an optimal number of LysM domains for proper functioning.. FEBS J, 272(11), 2854-2868.
- Characterization of LytH, a differentiation-associated peptidoglycan hydrolase of Bacillus subtilis involved in endospore cortex maturation.. J Bacteriol, 185(13), 3813-3820.
- LytG of Bacillus subtilis is a novel peptidoglycan hydrolase: the major active glucosaminidase.. Biochemistry, 42(2), 257-264.
- The effect of UVB irradiation on antibody responses during herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infections of mice.. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed, 14(1), 17-25.
- Assessing rates of parasite coinfection and spatiotemporal strain variation via metabarcoding: insights for the conservation of European Turtle Doves Streptopelia turtur. Molecular Ecology.
- Conservation by trans-border cooperation: population genetic structure and diversity of geoffroy’s bat (Myotis emarginatus) at its north-western european range edge. Biodiversity and Conservation.
- Development of a multiplex microsatellite marker set for the study of the solitary red mason bee, Osmia bicornis (Megachilidae). Molecular Biology Reports.
- Metabarcoding reveals selective dietary responses to environmental availability in the diet of a nocturnal, aerial insectivore, the European Nightjar ( Caprimulgus europaeus ). Ibis.