Dr Selina Brace

Dr Selina Brace

Researcher Co-investigator-Wellcome

Department: Earth Sciences
Division: ES Vertebrates and Anthropology Palaeobiology
http://scholar.google.co.uk

Specialisms

Ancient DNA

Summary

I’m a biologist who works with ancient and degraded DNA to investigate species-level and evolutionary processes. I am interested in late Quaternary environmental changes and how these impact on species. Exploring genetic variation and population structure through time. Also island colonization events and the evolutionary processes involved in adaptive radiation. I am currently employed on a Wellcome Trust funded project: Human adaptation to changing diet and infectious disease loads, from the origins of agriculture to the present. A link between urban living, and an increase in the number of deaths due to transmissible disease and poor diet has often been suggested. This project aims to establish the extent to which humans have evolved to fit the demands of these fundamental changes in living. The team will be examining genetic data from both modern and archaeological individuals, and developing mathematical models to examine how changes in gene frequencies indicate human adaptation.

Qualifications

Degrees

Ph.D, Royal Holloway University of London, United Kingdom, 2007 - 2010

B.Sc. (Hons), University College London, United Kingdom, 2000 - 2004

Employment history

Academic

Researcher/co-investigator-Wellcome, The Natural History Museum, Earth Sciences, United Kingdom, 2013 - ongoing

Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Royal Holloway University of London, Biological Sciences, United Kingdom, 2010 - 2013

Research/Laboratory Technican, University College London, United Kingdom, 2006 - 2007

Honorary Researcher, University College London, United Kingdom, 2005 - 2005

Field Research Site Manager in Kenya, Columbia University, United States, 2004 - 2005

Highlighted publications

Brace S, Turvey ST, Weksler M, Hoogland MLP, Barnes I (2015) Unexpected evolutionary diversity in a recently extinct Caribbean mammal radiation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282 (1807) : 20142371 - 20142371. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2371

Welker F, Collins MJ, Thomas JA, Wadsley M, Brace S, et al. (2015) Ancient proteins resolve the evolutionary history of Darwin’s South American ungulates. Nature, 522 (7554) : 81 - 84. doi: 10.1038/nature14249

Martínková N, Barnett R, Cucchi T, Struchen R, Pascal M, et al. (2013) Divergent evolutionary processes associated with colonization of offshore islands. Molecular ecology, 22 : 5205 - 5220.

Brace S, Palkopoulou E, Dalen L, Lister AM, Miller R, et al. (2012) Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109 (50) : 20532 - 20536. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1213322109

Brace SELINA, Barnes IAN, Powell ADAM, Pearson REBECCA, Woolaver LANCEG, et al. (2012) Population history of the Hispaniolan hutia Plagiodontia aedium (Rodentia: Capromyidae): testing the model of ancient differentiation on a geotectonically complex Caribbean island. Molecular Ecology, 21 (9) : 2239 - 2253. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05514.x

Grants

EOS training in Keystone Skills in Bioinformatics
Funding: NERC
Dates: 2014 - 2014

Rodents of the Caribbean – an ancient DNA approach
Funding: Helen Shackleton Fund
Dates: 2010 - 2010

Investigating the impact of late Quaternary environmental changes using ancient DNA from small mammals
Funding: NERC

Publications

Turvey ST, Peters S, Brace S, Young RP, Crumpton N, Hansford J, Nuñez-miño JM, King G, Tsalikidis K, Ottenwalder JA, Timpson A, Funk SM, Brocca JL, Thomas MG, Barnes I (2016) Independent evolutionary histories in allopatric populations of a threatened Caribbean land mammal. Diversity and Distributions, 22 (5) : 589 - 602. doi: 10.1111/ddi.12420

Field J, Shreeves G, Kennedy M, Brace S, Gilbert JDJ (2015) Sex-biased parental care and sexual size dimorphism in a provisioning arthropod. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 69 (12) : 1897 - 1906. doi: 10.1007/s00265-015-2002-1

Brace S, Turvey ST, Weksler M, Hoogland MLP, Barnes I (2015) Unexpected evolutionary diversity in a recently extinct Caribbean mammal radiation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282 (1807) : 20142371 - 20142371. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2371

Welker F, Collins MJ, Thomas JA, Wadsley M, Brace S, Cappellini E, Turvey ST, Reguero M, Gelfo JN, Kramarz A, Burger J, Thomas-oates J, Ashford DA, Ashton PD, Rowsell K, Porter DM, Kessler B, Fischer R, Baessmann C, Kaspar S, Olsen JV, Kiley P, Elliott JA, Kelstrup CD, Mullin V, Hofreiter M, Willerslev E, Hublin J-J, Orlando L, Barnes I, Macphee RDE (2015) Ancient proteins resolve the evolutionary history of Darwin’s South American ungulates. Nature, 522 (7554) : 81 - 84. doi: 10.1038/nature14249

Brace S, Barnes I, Kitchener AC, Serjeantson D, Turvey ST (2014) Late Holocene range collapse in a former British seabird species. Journal of Biogeography, 41 (8) : 1583 - 1589. doi: 10.1111/jbi.12305

Ludtmann MHR, Otto GP, Schilde C, Chen Z-H, Allan CY, Brace S, Beesley PW, Kimmel AR, Fisher P, Killick R, Others (2014) An ancestral non-proteolytic role for presenilin proteins in multicellular development of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Journal of cell science, 127 : 1576 - 1584.

Martínková N, Barnett R, Cucchi T, Struchen R, Pascal M, Pascal M, Fischer MC, Higham T, Brace S, Ho SYW, Others (2013) Divergent evolutionary processes associated with colonization of offshore islands. Molecular ecology, 22 : 5205 - 5220.

Brace S, Palkopoulou E, Dalen L, Lister AM, Miller R, Otte M, Germonpre M, Blockley SPE, Stewart JR, Barnes I (2012) Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109 (50) : 20532 - 20536. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1213322109

Brace SELINA, Barnes IAN, Powell ADAM, Pearson REBECCA, Woolaver LANCEG, Thomas MARKG, Turvey SAMUELT (2012) Population history of the Hispaniolan hutia Plagiodontia aedium (Rodentia: Capromyidae): testing the model of ancient differentiation on a geotectonically complex Caribbean island. Molecular Ecology, 21 (9) : 2239 - 2253. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05514.x

Hansford J, Nu nez-MinoJM, Young RP, Brace S, Brocca JL, Turvey ST (2012) Taxonomy-testing and the ‘Goldilocks Hypothesis’: morphometric analysis of species diversity in living and extinct Hispaniolan hutias. Systematics and Biodiversity, 10 : 491 - 507.

Turvey ST, Brace S, Weksler M (2012) A new species of recently extinct rice rat (< i> Megalomys) from Barbados. Mammalian Biology-Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, 77 : 404 - 413.

Field J, Brace S (2004) Pre-social benefits of extended parental care. Nature, 428 : 650 - 652.

Invited and keynote speaker

Genomic Analyses of the Caribbean Mammal Fauna, ISBA 6 (International Symposium on Biomolecular Archeology): 28/8/2014.

Ancient DNA in the museum, SPNHC (Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections): 25/6/2014.

Invited speaker, Genomic Analyses of the Caribbean Mammal Fauna, Life Sciences Seminar NHM: 21/2/2014.

Invited speaker, Rodents of the Caribbean – an ancient DNA approach, McDonald Institute of Archaeological Research: 24/1/2014.

Invited speaker, Methods for the Optimal Recovery of DNA in Osteological Remains, SYNTHESYS Symposium: 1/8/2013.

Rice rats of the Caribbean: human impact on rice rat colonization in the Lesser Antilles, UKAS (UK Archaeological Sciences Conference): 13/4/2013.

Keynote speaker, Reconstructing the population history of the Hispaniolan hutia (Plagiodontia aedium), International Symposium of Ecology and Conservation: 11/4/2012.

Introduction

Summary

I’m a biologist who works with ancient and degraded DNA to investigate species-level and evolutionary processes. I am interested in late Quaternary environmental changes and how these impact on species. Exploring genetic variation and population structure through time. Also island colonization events and the evolutionary processes involved in adaptive radiation. I am currently employed on a Wellcome Trust funded project: Human adaptation to changing diet and infectious disease loads, from the origins of agriculture to the present. A link between urban living, and an increase in the number of deaths due to transmissible disease and poor diet has often been suggested. This project aims to establish the extent to which humans have evolved to fit the demands of these fundamental changes in living. The team will be examining genetic data from both modern and archaeological individuals, and developing mathematical models to examine how changes in gene frequencies indicate human adaptation.

Qualifications

Degrees

Ph.D, Royal Holloway University of London, United Kingdom, 2007 - 2010

B.Sc. (Hons), University College London, United Kingdom, 2000 - 2004

Employment history

Academic

Researcher/co-investigator-Wellcome, The Natural History Museum, Earth Sciences, United Kingdom, 2013 - ongoing

Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Royal Holloway University of London, Biological Sciences, United Kingdom, 2010 - 2013

Research/Laboratory Technican, University College London, United Kingdom, 2006 - 2007

Honorary Researcher, University College London, United Kingdom, 2005 - 2005

Field Research Site Manager in Kenya, Columbia University, United States, 2004 - 2005

Highlighted publications

Brace S, Turvey ST, Weksler M, Hoogland MLP, Barnes I (2015) Unexpected evolutionary diversity in a recently extinct Caribbean mammal radiation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282 (1807) : 20142371 - 20142371. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2371

Welker F, Collins MJ, Thomas JA, Wadsley M, Brace S, et al. (2015) Ancient proteins resolve the evolutionary history of Darwin’s South American ungulates. Nature, 522 (7554) : 81 - 84. doi: 10.1038/nature14249

Martínková N, Barnett R, Cucchi T, Struchen R, Pascal M, et al. (2013) Divergent evolutionary processes associated with colonization of offshore islands. Molecular ecology, 22 : 5205 - 5220.

Brace S, Palkopoulou E, Dalen L, Lister AM, Miller R, et al. (2012) Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109 (50) : 20532 - 20536. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1213322109

Brace SELINA, Barnes IAN, Powell ADAM, Pearson REBECCA, Woolaver LANCEG, et al. (2012) Population history of the Hispaniolan hutia Plagiodontia aedium (Rodentia: Capromyidae): testing the model of ancient differentiation on a geotectonically complex Caribbean island. Molecular Ecology, 21 (9) : 2239 - 2253. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05514.x

Projects

Grants

EOS training in Keystone Skills in Bioinformatics
Funding: NERC
Dates: 2014 - 2014

Rodents of the Caribbean – an ancient DNA approach
Funding: Helen Shackleton Fund
Dates: 2010 - 2010

Investigating the impact of late Quaternary environmental changes using ancient DNA from small mammals
Funding: NERC

Publications

Publications

Turvey ST, Peters S, Brace S, Young RP, Crumpton N, Hansford J, Nuñez-miño JM, King G, Tsalikidis K, Ottenwalder JA, Timpson A, Funk SM, Brocca JL, Thomas MG, Barnes I (2016) Independent evolutionary histories in allopatric populations of a threatened Caribbean land mammal. Diversity and Distributions, 22 (5) : 589 - 602. doi: 10.1111/ddi.12420

Field J, Shreeves G, Kennedy M, Brace S, Gilbert JDJ (2015) Sex-biased parental care and sexual size dimorphism in a provisioning arthropod. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 69 (12) : 1897 - 1906. doi: 10.1007/s00265-015-2002-1

Brace S, Turvey ST, Weksler M, Hoogland MLP, Barnes I (2015) Unexpected evolutionary diversity in a recently extinct Caribbean mammal radiation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282 (1807) : 20142371 - 20142371. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2371

Welker F, Collins MJ, Thomas JA, Wadsley M, Brace S, Cappellini E, Turvey ST, Reguero M, Gelfo JN, Kramarz A, Burger J, Thomas-oates J, Ashford DA, Ashton PD, Rowsell K, Porter DM, Kessler B, Fischer R, Baessmann C, Kaspar S, Olsen JV, Kiley P, Elliott JA, Kelstrup CD, Mullin V, Hofreiter M, Willerslev E, Hublin J-J, Orlando L, Barnes I, Macphee RDE (2015) Ancient proteins resolve the evolutionary history of Darwin’s South American ungulates. Nature, 522 (7554) : 81 - 84. doi: 10.1038/nature14249

Brace S, Barnes I, Kitchener AC, Serjeantson D, Turvey ST (2014) Late Holocene range collapse in a former British seabird species. Journal of Biogeography, 41 (8) : 1583 - 1589. doi: 10.1111/jbi.12305

Ludtmann MHR, Otto GP, Schilde C, Chen Z-H, Allan CY, Brace S, Beesley PW, Kimmel AR, Fisher P, Killick R, Others (2014) An ancestral non-proteolytic role for presenilin proteins in multicellular development of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Journal of cell science, 127 : 1576 - 1584.

Martínková N, Barnett R, Cucchi T, Struchen R, Pascal M, Pascal M, Fischer MC, Higham T, Brace S, Ho SYW, Others (2013) Divergent evolutionary processes associated with colonization of offshore islands. Molecular ecology, 22 : 5205 - 5220.

Brace S, Palkopoulou E, Dalen L, Lister AM, Miller R, Otte M, Germonpre M, Blockley SPE, Stewart JR, Barnes I (2012) Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109 (50) : 20532 - 20536. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1213322109

Brace SELINA, Barnes IAN, Powell ADAM, Pearson REBECCA, Woolaver LANCEG, Thomas MARKG, Turvey SAMUELT (2012) Population history of the Hispaniolan hutia Plagiodontia aedium (Rodentia: Capromyidae): testing the model of ancient differentiation on a geotectonically complex Caribbean island. Molecular Ecology, 21 (9) : 2239 - 2253. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05514.x

Hansford J, Nu nez-MinoJM, Young RP, Brace S, Brocca JL, Turvey ST (2012) Taxonomy-testing and the ‘Goldilocks Hypothesis’: morphometric analysis of species diversity in living and extinct Hispaniolan hutias. Systematics and Biodiversity, 10 : 491 - 507.

Turvey ST, Brace S, Weksler M (2012) A new species of recently extinct rice rat (< i> Megalomys) from Barbados. Mammalian Biology-Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, 77 : 404 - 413.

Field J, Brace S (2004) Pre-social benefits of extended parental care. Nature, 428 : 650 - 652.

Impact and outreach

Invited and keynote speaker

Genomic Analyses of the Caribbean Mammal Fauna, ISBA 6 (International Symposium on Biomolecular Archeology): 28/8/2014.

Ancient DNA in the museum, SPNHC (Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections): 25/6/2014.

Invited speaker, Genomic Analyses of the Caribbean Mammal Fauna, Life Sciences Seminar NHM: 21/2/2014.

Invited speaker, Rodents of the Caribbean – an ancient DNA approach, McDonald Institute of Archaeological Research: 24/1/2014.

Invited speaker, Methods for the Optimal Recovery of DNA in Osteological Remains, SYNTHESYS Symposium: 1/8/2013.

Rice rats of the Caribbean: human impact on rice rat colonization in the Lesser Antilles, UKAS (UK Archaeological Sciences Conference): 13/4/2013.

Keynote speaker, Reconstructing the population history of the Hispaniolan hutia (Plagiodontia aedium), International Symposium of Ecology and Conservation: 11/4/2012.