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Department of Genetics


Research by Senior Author, Professor Frank Jiggins, details how DNA analysis of wild rabbits has uncovered that a single introduction of rabbits triggered the Australian rabbit plague. The recent study proves that the introduction of 24 rabbits shipped from England in 1859 caused the infamous invasion and argues that wild genetic traits gave these animals a devastating advantage over earlier arrivals.

In the Press Release by Cambridge University, Dr Joel Alves, explains that "these findings matter because biological invasions are a major threat to global biodiversity and if you want to prevent them you need to understand what makes them succeed.

The paper, published in PNAS, demonstrates how the genetic composition of invasive individuals can determine the success of an introduction and provide a mechanism by which multiple introductions can be required for a biological invasion