Dr Simon Goodman

BSc, Sheffield, PhD 1996, Cambridge
School of Biology

Background: 2000-2004 Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London

1996-2000 Post-doc, Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology, University of Edinburgh

1995-1996 Research Assistant, Dept. Genetics, University of Cambridge

1991-1995 PhD, Dept. Genetics, University of Cambridge

1988-1991 Honours degree, Dept. Genetics, University of Sheffield

Contact: Manton 8.10, +44(0) 113 34 32561, email address for  

You can read more about Dr Goodman's interests here:

Research Interests

Population and conservation genetics, molecular ecology, disease ecology

Caspian seal (photo courtesy of Agip KCO)

My research focuses on investigating how patterns of genetic variation relate to disease susceptibility, and the mechanisms by which disease acts as major conservation threat. Pathogens are a major driving force in evolution and are intimately linked with much of the biological diversity we see around us. However, disease is now also a major global conservation threat, comparable in importance to other major factors such as habitat destruction, climate change, over exploitation and invasive species. Work in my group deals with investigating both the underlying evolutionary genetic interactions between hosts and pathogens, and developing ways to manage real world conservation disease threats.

We use a combination of theoretical and empirical approaches in our research, for example by using theoretical models to test hypotheses about the evolution of disease resistance, and comparative genomic techniques to examine genetic variation in host candidate genes in relation to specific wildlife diseases, e.g. Phocine distemper virus in seals, or links between the population genetics of vector populations and their ability to act as vectors for different diseases (e.g. mosquitoes in Galapagos). In recent work we showed that evolutionary feedback due to acquired immunity and stochasticity in epidemic intervals can impede the evolution of disease resistance, a finding that may have important implications for epidemiological models of human, agricultural and wildlife diseases (Harding et al. 2005).

Assessing the health of Galapagos giant tortoises
Assessing the health of Galapagos giant tortoises

In other work, together with Ecuadorian partners we recently established the first ever molecular genetic and pathology laboratory in the Galapagos islands (see http://www.galapagoslab.org). Galapagos is one of the most iconic places in the world for evolution and biodiversity, but many of the endemic species in the archipelago are now vulnerable to introduced diseases, or changes to the ecology of native diseases. We are using a range of genetic and pathology methods to determine what the current and future disease threats are, and to develop disease mitigation strategies for the Galapagos National Park Service. Our research here has already guided plans to reduce the risk of introduction of West Nile Virus to the archipelago (Kilpatrick et al. 2006).

We are also working with Institutions in the 5 Caspian states to develop solutions for conservation of the Caspian seal, which we recently demonstrated to have declined by more than 90% since the start of the 20th century.


Current funding for these projects comes from the Darwin Initiative (Galapagos disease threats, grant no: 162-12-17), The Caspian Environment Programme and Agip KCO (Caspian seal conservation), BBSRC and Marie Curie PhD studentships.


Faculty Research and Innovation

Studentship information

Undergraduate project topics:

  • Population genetics & genomics, Evolutionary biology, Disease ecology & parasitology, Conservation Biology, Marine mammals

Postgraduate studentship areas:

  • Population genetics & genomics, Evolutionary biology, Disease ecology & parasitology, Conservation Biology, Marine mammals

See also:

Modules managed

BLGY3246 - Evolution and Population Genetics
BLGY5104M - Conservation Genetics
BLGY5191M - Biodiversity and Conservation MSc and MRes Summer Project

Modules taught

BIOL5294M - MSc Bioscience Research Project Proposal
BIOL5392M - Bioscience MSc Research Project
BLGY1303 - Tutorials for Biology and Genetics
BLGY2100 - Enhanced Study Skills for Biologists
BLGY2175 - Human Populations
BLGY2223 - Organismal Evolution
BLGY3246 - Evolution and Population Genetics
BLGY3345 - Biology Integrated Research Projects
BLGY5104M - Conservation Genetics
BLGY5191M - Biodiversity and Conservation MSc and MRes Summer Project
BLGY5198M - Biodiversity and Conservation MRes Research Project 1

Dr Lilia Dmitrieva  (Research Fellow)

Dr Jenny Dunn  (Visiting Research Fellow)

Farmland bird ecology and conservation 


Laura Najera Cortazar (Primary supervisor) 85% FTE
David Orr (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
Jude Lane (Co-supervisor) 10% FTE
Linas Svolkinas (Co-supervisor) 50% FTE
Sonja Wild (Co-supervisor) 10% FTE

van der Zande AN, van Alphen JJM, Goodman SJ, Meijboom FLB, Thompson D, Kuindersma W, Latour JB Advice of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Seal Rehabilitation in the Netherlands In Advice of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Seal Rehabilitation in the Netherlands, 2018

Karamendin K, Kydyrmanov A, Kasymbekov Y, Asanova S, Daulbayeva K, Seidalina A, Khan E, Harrison SM, Carr IM, Goodman SJ, Moldakozhayev A, Sayatov M Novel avian paramyxovirus isolated from gulls in Caspian seashore in Kazakhstan. PLoS ONE 12, 2017
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Parker PG, Miller RE, Goodman SJ Chapter 12, Collaboration and the Politics of Conservation In Disease Ecology: Galapagos Birds and their Parasites, 2017
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Goodman SJ Caspian seal In Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, 2017
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Wilson SC, Trukhanova I, Dmitrieva L, Dolgova E, Crawford I, Baimukanov M, Baimukanov T, Ismagambetov B, Pazylbekov M, Jüssi M, Goodman SJ Assessment of impacts and potential mitigation for icebreaking vessels transiting pupping areas of an ice-breeding seal Biological Conservation 214 213-222, 2017
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Marx M, Reiner G, Willems H, Rocha G, Hillerich K, Masello JF, Mayr SL, Moussa S, Dunn JC, Thomas RC, Goodman SJ, Hamer KC, Metzger B, Cecere JG, Spina F, Koschkar S, Calderón L, Romeike T, Quillfeldt P High prevalence of Trichomonas gallinae in wild columbids across western and southern Europe Parasites and Vectors 10 1-11, 2017
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Dunn JC, Stockdale JE, Bradford EL, McCubbin A, Morris AJ, Grice PV, Goodman SJ, Hamer KC High rates of infection by blood parasites during the nestling phase in UK Columbids with notes on ecological associations Parasitology 144 622-628, 2017
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Fontaine MC, Thatcher O, Ray N, Piry S, Brownlow A, Davison NJ, Jepson P, Deaville R, Goodman SJ Mixing of porpoise ecotypes in southwestern UK waters revealed by genetic profiling Royal Society Open Science 4, 2017
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Wilson SC, Dolgova E, Trukhanova I, Dmitrieva L, Crawford I, Baimukanov M, Goodman SJ Breeding behavior and pup development of the Caspian seal, Pusa caspica JOURNAL OF MAMMALOGY 98 143-153, 2017

Dmitrieva L, Jüssi M, Jüssi I, Kasymbekov Y, Verevkin M, Baimukanov M, Wilson S, Goodman SJ Individual variation in seasonal movements and foraging strategies of a land-locked, ice-breeding pinniped Marine Ecology Progress Series 554 241-256, 2016
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Goodman SJ Pusa sibirica In The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016, 2016

Goodman SJ, Dmitrieva L Pusa caspica In The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016, 2016

Dunn JC, Stockdale JE, McCubbin A, Thomas RC, Goodman SJ, Grice PV, Morris AJ, Hamer KC, Symondson WOC Non-cultured faecal and gastrointestinal seed samples fail to detect Trichomonad infection in clinically and sub-clinically infected columbid birds Conservation Genetics Resources 8 97-99, 2016
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Karamendin K, Kydyrmanov A, Seidalina A, Asanova S, Sayatov M, Kasymbekov E, Khan E, Daulbayeva K, Harrison SM, Carr IM, Goodman SJ, Zhumatov K Complete Genome Sequence of a Novel Avian Paramyxovirus (APMV-13) Isolated from a Wild Bird in Kazakhstan. Genome Announcements 4, 2016
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Brock PM, Goodman SJ, Hall AJ, Cruz M, Acevedo-Whitehouse K Context-dependent associations between heterozygosity and immune variation in a wild carnivore Evolutionary ecology and behaviour BMC Evolutionary Biology 15, 2015
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Fournié G, Goodman SJ, Cruz M, Cedeño V, Vélez A, Patiño L, Millins C, Gibbons LM, Fox MT, Cunningham AA Biogeography of parasitic nematode communities in the Galápagos giant tortoise: Implications for conservation management PLoS ONE 10, 2015
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Dmitrieva L, Härkönen T, Baimukanov M, Bignert A, Jüssi I, Jüssi M, Kasimbekov Y, Verevkin M, Vysotskiy V, Wilson S, Goodman SJ Inter-year variation in pup production of Caspian seals Pusa caspica 2005-2012 determined from aerial surveys Endangered Species Research 28 209-223, 2015
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Duignan PJ, Van Bressem M-F, Baker JD, Barbieri M, Colegrove KM, De Guise S, de Swart RL, Di Guardo G, Dobson A, Duprex WP, Early G, Fauquier D, Goldstein T, Goodman SJ, Grenfell B, Groch KR, Gulland F, Hall A, Jensen BA, Lamy K, Matassa K, Mazzariol S, Morris SE, Nielsen O, Rotstein D, Rowles TK, Saliki JT, Siebert U, Waltzek T, Wellehan JFX Phocine distemper virus: current knowledge and future directions. Viruses 6 5093-5134, 2014
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Stockdale JE, Dunn JC, Goodman SJ, Morris AJ, Sheehan DK, Grice PV, Hamer KC The protozoan parasite Trichomonas gallinae causes adult and nestling mortality in a declining population of European Turtle Doves, Streptopelia turtur Parasitology 760, 2014
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Dunn JC, Goodman SJ, Benton TG, Hamer KC Active blood parasite infection is not limited to the breeding season in a declining farmland bird. J Parasitol 100 260-266, 2014
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Eastwood G, Goodman SJ, Hilgert N, Cruz M, Kramer LD, Cunningham AA Using avian surveillance in Ecuador to assess the imminence of West Nile virus incursion to Galápagos. Ecohealth 11 53-62, 2014
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Wilson SC, Eybatov TM, Amano M, Jepson PD, Goodman SJ The role of canine distemper virus and persistent organic pollutants in mortality patterns of Caspian seals (Pusa caspica). PLoS One 9 e99265-, 2014
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Goodman SJ Phocine Distemper Virus In Mononegaviruses of Veterinary Importance, Volume 1: Pathobiology and Molecular Diagnosis, 2013

Dunn JC, Goodman SJ, Benton TG, Hamer KC Avian blood parasite infection during the non-breeding season: an overlooked issue in declining populations? BMC ECOLOGY 13, 2013

Lennon RJ, Dunn JC, Stockdale JE, Goodman SJ, Morris AJ, Hamer KC Trichomonad parasite infection in four species of Columbidae in the UK. Parasitology 140 1368-1376, 2013
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Whitlock R, Stewart GB, Goodman SJ, Piertney SB, Butlin RK, Pullin AS, Burke T A systematic review of phenotypic responses to between-population outbreeding Environmental Evidence 2, 2013
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Cairns R, Sallu SM, Goodman S Questioning calls to consensus in conservation: a Q study of conservation discourses on Galápagos Environmental Conservation: an international journal of environmental science 41 13-26, 2013
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Brock PM, Hall AJ, Goodman SJ, Cruz M, Acevedo-Whitehouse K Applying the tools of ecological immunology to conservation: A test case in the Galapagos sea lion Animal Conservation 16 19-31, 2013
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Goodman S Phocine Distemper Virus, 2013

Dmitrieva L, Kondakov AA, Oleynikov E, Kydyrmanov A, Karamendin K, Kasimbekov Y, Baimukanov M, Wilson S, Goodman SJ Assessment of Caspian Seal By-Catch in an Illegal Fishery Using an Interview-Based Approach. PLoS One 8 e67074-, 2013
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Brock PM, Hall AJ, Goodman SJ, Cruz M, Acevedo-Whitehouse K Immune activity, body condition and human-associated environmental impacts in a wild marine mammal. PLoS One 8 e67132-, 2013
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Eastwood G, Goodman SJ, Cunningham AA, Kramer LD Aedes taeniorhynchus vectorial capacity informs a pre-emptive assessment of West Nile virus establishment in Galápagos. Sci Rep 3 1519-, 2013
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Bataille A, Fournié G, Cruz M, Cedeño V, Parker PG, Cunningham AA, Goodman SJ Host selection and parasite infection in Aedes taeniorhynchus, endemic disease vector in the Galápagos Islands. Infect Genet Evol 12 1831-1841, 2012
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Harkonen T, Harding KC, Wilson S, Baimukanov M, Dmitrieva L, Svensson CJ, Goodman SJ Collapse of a Marine Mammal Species Driven by Human Impacts PLoS ONE 7, 2012
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Niedziałkowska M, Jȩdrzejewska B, Wójcik JM, Goodman SJ Genetic structure of red deer population in northeastern poland in relation to the history of human interventions Journal of Wildlife Management 76 1264-1276, 2012
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Kovacs KM, Aguilar A, Aurioles D, Burkanov V, Campagna C, Gales N, Gelatt T, Goldsworthy SD, Goodman SJ, Hofmeyr GJG, Härkönen T, Lowry L, Lydersen C, Schipper J, Sipilä T, Southwell C, Stuart S, Thompson D, Trillmich F Global threats to pinnipeds Marine Mammal Science 28 414-436, 2012

Cruz LL, McGill RAR, Goodman SJ, Hamer KC Stable isotope ratios of a tropical marine predator: Confounding effects of nutritional status during growth Marine Biology 159 873-880, 2012
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Taype CA, Agapito JC, Accinelli RA, Espinoza JR, Godreuil S, Goodman SJ, Bañuls AL, Shaw MA Genetic diversity, population structure and drug resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Peru. Infect Genet Evol 12 577-585, 2012
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De Luna CJ, Goodman SJ, Thatcher O, Jepson PD, Andersen L, Tolley K, Hoelzel AR Phenotypic and genetic divergence among harbour porpoise populations associated with habitat regions in the North Sea and adjacent seas. J Evol Biol 25 674-681, 2012
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Bataille A, Cunningham AA, Cruz M, Cedeño V, Goodman SJ Adaptation, isolation by distance and human-mediated transport determine patterns of gene flow among populations of the disease vector Aedes taeniorhynchus in the Galapagos Islands. Infect Genet Evol 11 1996-2003, 2011
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McCarthy AJ, Shaw M-A, Jepson PD, Brasseur SMJM, Reijnders PJH, Goodman SJ Variation in European harbour seal immune response genes and susceptibility to phocine distemper virus (PDV). Infect Genet Evol 11 1616-1623, 2011
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Eastwood G, Kramer LD, Goodman SJ, Cunningham AA West Nile Virus Vector Competency of Culex quinquefasciatus Mosquitoes in the Galapagos Islands AM J TROP MED HYG 85 426-433, 2011

Bataille A, Cunningham AA, Cruz M, Cedeno V, Goodman SJ Seasonal effects and fine-scale population dynamics of Aedes taeniorhynchus, a major disease vector in the Galapagos Islands MOL ECOL 19 4491-4504, 2010

Senn HV, Barton NH, Goodman SJ, Swanson GM, Abernethy KA, Pemberton JM Investigating temporal changes in hybridization and introgression in a predominantly bimodal hybridizing population of invasive sika (Cervus nippon) and native red deer (C-elaphus) on the Kintyre Peninsula, Scotland MOL ECOL 19 910-924, 2010

Senn HV, Swanson GM, Goodman SJ, Barton NH, Pemberton JM Phenotypic correlates of hybridisation between red and sika deer (genus Cervus) J ANIM ECOL 79 414-425, 2010

McCarthy AJ, Goodman SJ Reassessing conflicting evolutionary histories of the Paramyxoviridae and the origins of respiroviruses with Bayesian multigene phylogenies INFECT GENET EVOL 10 97-107, 2010

Bataille A, Cunningham AA, Cedeno V, Cruz M, Eastwood G, Fonseca DM, Causton CE, Azuero R, Loayza J, Martinez JDC, Goodman SJ Evidence for regular ongoing introductions of mosquito disease vectors into the Galapagos Islands P R SOC B 276 3769-3775, 2009

Ruiz-Garcia M, Martinez-Aguero M, Alvarez D, Goodman S Genetic variability in Neotropical deer genera (Mammalia: Cervidae) according to DNA microsatellite loci REV BIOL TROP 57 879-904, 2009

Bataille A, Horsburgh GJ, Dawson DA, Cunningham AA, Goodman SJ Microsatellite markers characterized in the mosquito Aedes taeniorhynchus (Diptera, Culicidae), a disease vector and major pest on the American coast and the Galapagos Islands INFECT GENET EVOL 9 971-975, 2009

Bataille A, Cunningham AA, Cedeno V, Patino L, Constantinou A, Kramer LD, Goodman SJ Natural colonization and adaptation of a mosquito species in Galapagos and its implications for disease threats to endemic wildlife P NATL ACAD SCI USA 106 10230-10235, 2009

Harkonen T, Jussi M, Baimukanov M, Bignert A, Dmitrieva L, Kasimbekov Y, Verevkin M, Wilson S, Goodman S Pup production and breeding distribution of the Caspian seal (Phoca caspica) in relation to human impacts AMBIO 37 356-361, 2008

McCarthy AJ, Shaw MA, Goodman SJ Pathogen evolution and disease emergence in carnivores P R SOC B 274 3165-3174, 2007

Schaschl H, Wandeler P, Suchentrunk F, Obexer-Ruff G, Goodman SJ Selection and recombination drive the evolution of MHC class II DRB diversity in ungulates HEREDITY 97 427-437, 2006

Kilpatrick AM, Daszak P, Goodman SJ, Rogg H, Kramer LD, Cedeno V, Cunningham AA Predicting pathogen introduction: West Nile virus spread to Galapagos CONSERV BIOL 20 1224-1231, 2006

Hall AJ, Jepson PD, Goodman SJ, Harkonen T Phocine distemper virus in the North and European Seas - Data and models, nature and nurture BIOL CONSERV 131 221-229, 2006

Lopez-Vaamonde C, Wikstrom N, Labandeira C, Godfray HCJ, Goodman SJ, Cook JM Fossil-calibrated molecular phylogenies reveal that leaf-mining moths radiated millions of years after their host plants J EVOLUTION BIOL 19 1314-1326, 2006

Harkonen T, Dietz R, Reijnders P, Teilmann J, Harding K, Hall A, Brasseur S, Siebert U, Goodman SJ, Jepson PD, Rasmussen TD, Thompson P The 1988 and 2002 phocine distemper virus epidemics in European harbour seals DIS AQUAT ORGAN 68 115-130, 2006

Harding KC, Hansen BJL, Goodman SJ Acquired immunity and stochasticity in epidemic intervals impede the evolution of host disease resistance AM NAT 166 722-730, 2005

Whiteman NK, Goodman SJ, Sinclair BJ, Walsh T, Cunningham AA, Kramer LD, Parker PG Establishment of the avian disease vector Culex quinquefasciatus Say, 1823 (Diptera : Culicidae) on the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador Ibis 147 844-847, 2005

Harkonen T, Harding KC, Goodman SJ, Johannesson K Colonization history of the baltic harbor seals: Integrating archaeological, behavioral, and genetic data Marine Mammal Science 21 695-716, 2005
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Schaschl H, Suchentrunk F, Hammer S, Goodman SJ Recombination and the origin of sequence diversity in the DRB MHC class II locus in chamois (Rupicapra spp.) Immunogenetics 57 108-115, 2005
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Schaschl H, Goodman SJ, Suchentrunk F Sequence analysis of the MHC class II DRB alleles in Alpine chamois (Rupicapra r. rupicapra) Developmental and Comparative Immunology 28 265-277, 2004
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Goodman SJ Linkage In Encyclopedia of Evolution, 2002

Lowden S, Finlayson HA, MacDonald AA, Downing AC, Goodman SJ, Leus K, Kaspe L, Wahyuni E, Archibald AL Application of Sus scrofa microsatellite markers to wild suiformes Conservation Genetics 3 347-350, 2002

Coltman DW, Goodman SJ, Bowen WD Molecular ecology of Atlantic harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) In Cellular and Molecular Biology of Marine Mammals, 2002

Goodman SJ Genetic Polymorphism In Encyclopedia of Evolution, 2002

Goodman SJ, Tamate HB, Wilson R, Nagata J, Tatsuzawa S, Swanson GM, Pemberton JM, McCullough DR Bottlenecks, drift and differentiation: the population structure and demographic history of sika deer (Cervus nippon) in the Japanese archipelago Molecular Ecology 10 1357-1370, 2001
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Goodman SJ, Barton NH, Swanson G, Abernethey K, Pemberton JM Introgression through rare hybridization: A genetic study of a hybrid zone between red and sika deer (genus Cervus) in Argyll, Scotland. Genetics 152 355-371, 1999
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Slate J, Coltman DW, Goodman SJ, MacLean I, Pemberton JM, Williams JL Bovine microsatellite loci are highly conserved in red deer (Cervus elaphus), sika deer (Cervus nippon) and Soay sheep (Ovis aries). Animal Genetics 29 307-315, 1998
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Goodman SJ Patterns of extensive genetic differentiation and variation among European harbor seals (Phoca vitulina vitulina) revealed using microsatellite DNA polymorphisms. Molecular Biology and Evolution 15 104-118, 1998
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Goodman SJ R-ST Calc: a collection of computer programs for calculating estimates of genetic differentiation from microsatellite data and determining their significance MOLECULAR ECOLOGY 6 881-885, 1997

Thompson PM, Goodman S Direct and indirect estimates of dispersal distances TRENDS IN ECOLOGY&EVOLUTION 12 195-196, 1997

Goodman SJ Dinucleotide repeat polymorphisms at seven anonymous microsatellite loci cloned from the European harbour seal (Phoca vitulina vitulina). Animal Genetics 28 310-311, 1997

Gemmell NJ, Allen P, Goodman SJ, Reed JZ Interspecific microsatellite markers for the study of pinniped populations. Molecular Ecology 6 661-666, 1997
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Stanley HF, Casey S, Carnahan JM, Goodman S, Harwood J, Wayne RK Worldwide patterns of mitochondrial DNA differentiation in the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) MOL BIOL EVOL 13 368-382, 1996