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Muhammad Mahmood

Doctor of Philosophy, (Genetics)
Study Completed: 2015
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Avian Raptor Evolution

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Often used as national and cultural mascots, the raptors are also noted for their capture and consumption of live prey giving them the title ''Birds of prey''. Raptors are of great interest to the community, but the evolution and inter-relationship of different families of these birds with each other and other bird species is poorly understood. Based on the fact that all organisms carry their history in their genes, the evolution of these birds was studied through DNA sequence information. Firstly, an online database of raptors'' DNA sequence information was created making this information readily available to researchers. Secondly, complete mitochondrial genome sequence information was generated in lab and analysed to infer that four different groups of raptors had separate origins, although their shapes and lifestyles may look strikingly similar. Lastly, Mr Mahmood reported some novel information on the population diversity of an owl species, which will benefit conservation programmes. 

Distinguished Professor David Penny
Professor Michael Wink
Dr Barbara Holland
Dr Gillian Gibb

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