Dr Oliver Manlik
PhD (UNSW), MSc (ETH Zurich), BA (University of Hawaii)
Conjoint Associate Lecturer
Field of Research: 
Evolutionary ecology, population genetics, demography, wildlife conservation
Contact details:
Oliver Manlik

Research Interests

My broad research interest is in evolutionary ecology, behavior and conservation genetics. I am fascinated by the interplay between genetics, fitness and population dynamics in animals. My PhD research has been on the relationship between fitness, population viability and major histocompatibility complex variation in two bottlenose dolphin populations. Aside from my current research, I am also fascinated by cell biology, and I have a passion for teaching.

ResearchGate Profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Oliver_Manlik


Research Projects

Meta-analysis: Reproductive strategies and major histocompatibility complex variation in vertebrate taxa.

In collaboration with the Taronga Conservation Society, we are conducting a meta-analysis on reproductive strategies and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) variation in several animal taxa. Mate choice has been shown to be MHC-dependent in various vertebrate species, and we want to know whether choosier animal species display more MHC diversity than less choosy ones.

Collaborators/Supervisors: Dr. Rebecca Spindler, Prof. William Sherwin, A/Prof. Shiniji Nakagawa

Population genetics of dolphins.

In collaboration with the Murdoch Cetacean Research Unit (MUCRU) of Murdoch University we are investigating population structure, gene flow and dispersal of bottlenose dolphins along the southwestern Australian coastline. The overall aim of this project is to provide important parameters to guide wildlife management of these populations: http://mucru.org/our-research/research-projects/south-west-marine-research-program/dolphin-population-genetics/

Collaborators/Supervisors: Prof. Lars Bejder, Delphine Chabanne, Dr. Simon Allen, Dr. Celine Frère, Claire DanielProf. William Sherwin.

Genetic basis of fitness in bottlenose dolphins.

This is an extension of my PhD research which assessed the relationship between fitness and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) variation in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). We are investigating the genetic/genomic basis of fitness traits, such as reproductive success, survival and offspring viability of bottlenose dolphins (primarily) in Shark Bay: http://www.monkeymiadolphins.org/; http://www.sharkbaydolphins.org/

Collaborators: Prof. Janet Mann, Prof. Richard Connor, Dr. Michael Krützen, Dr. Celine Frère, Dr. Anna Kopps, Prof. William Sherwin, Prof. Lars Bejder.

 Population dynamics and population viability of dolphin populations.

We use population modeling to assess population trajectories and viability of dolphin populations. See for example:

Manlik O., McDonald J.A., Mann J., Raudino H.C., Bejder L., Krützen K., Connor R., Heithaus M.R., Lacy R.C. and Sherwin W.B. (2016). The relative importance of reproduction and survival for the conservation of two dolphin populations. Ecology and Evolution 6: 3496-3512. doi: 10.1002/ece3.2130.

Sprogis K., Pollock K.H., Raudino H.R., Allen S.J., Kopps A.M., Manlik O., Tyne J.A. and Bejder L. (2016). Sex-specific patterns in abundance, temporary emigration and survival of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in coastal and estuarine waters. Frontiers in Marine Science 3:12. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00012.

Effect of fishery bycatch on dolphin populations: https://www.researchgate.net/project/Effect-of-fishery-bycatch-on-the-viability-of-bottlenose-dolphins

 Other projects that I have been involved in the School of BEES include:


Professional Affiliations

I was a cofounder and past president (2012-2013) of the Sydney Society for Conservation Biology, a local chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB). I also served as a board member of the Society for Conservation Biology Oceania section.