New approaches to ancient DNA: using novel substrates to characterise DNA preservation and past biodiversity in warm-climate ecosystems
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Retrieving ancient DNA (aDNA) from fossils in warm, tropical environments remains a challenge. This thesis describes the development and application of next generation sequencing technologies in the search for warm-climate aDNA. Methods to extract, enrich and sequence aDNA from fossil ‘bulk bone’ and avian eggshell are successfully explored from sites in Australia and Madagascar. Collectively, the research provides new insights into past biodiversity and evolutionary processes in climates not previously considered conducive to DNA preservation.