Researchers at UCD


Allan McDevitt

Postdoc Research Fellow Lvl Ii

School Of Biology & Environment Science

Tel: +353 1 7162262


Postdoctoral Employment:
IRCSET Fellow on project 'Modelling the evolutionary consequences of a recent invader in Ireland' in University College Dublin, Ireland

BIOCONSUS Fellow on project 'Phylogeography and landscape genetics of small mammals and mustelids in Poland' in the Mammal Research Institute, Poland

NSERC Postdoctoral researcher on project 'Landscape genetics and spatial ecology of Canadian ungulates' in the University of Calgary, Canada

Postdoctoral researcher on project 'Genetic heritage of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in Ireland and hybridization with sika (Cervus nippon)' in Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland

PhD in Zoology in University College Dublin, Ireland 'The Book of Invasions: Genetic diversity and phylogeography of pygmy shrews (Sorex minutus) in Ireland and Europe'

BSc (Hons) in Zoology in University College Dublin, Ireland



Book Chapters

McDevitt AD, Yannic G, Rambau RV, Hayden TJ, Searle JB; (2010) 'Postglacial recolonization of continental Europe by the pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus) inferred from mitochondrial and Y chromosomal DNA sequences' In: Habel JC, Assmann T (eds). Relict Species ¿ Phylogeography and Conservation Biology. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. , pp.217-236 [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Coscia I, McDevitt AD, King JJ, Roche WK, McLoughlin C, Mariani S (2013) 'A species-to-be? The genetic status and colonization history of the critically endangered Killarney shad'. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 69 :1190-1195. [DOI] [Details]
Weckworth BV, Musiani M, DeCesare NJ, McDevitt AD, Hebblewhite M, Mariani S (2013) 'Preferred habitat and effective population size drive landscape genetic patterns in an endangered species'. Proceedings of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences, 280 :20131756-20131756. [Details]
McDevitt, A.D., Oliver, M.K., Piertney, S.B., Szafrańska, P.A., Konarzewski, M. and Zub, K. (2013) 'Individual variation in dispersal associated with phenotype influences fine-scale genetic structure in weasels'. Conservation Genetics, 14 :499-509. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Zachos, F.E., Apollonio, M., Barmann, E.V., Festa-Bianchet, M., Gohlich, U., Habel, J.C., Haring, E., Kruckenhauser, L., Lovari, S., McDevitt, A.D., Pertoldi, C., Rossner, G.E., Sanchez-Villagra, M.R., Scandura, M. and Suchentrunk, F. (2013) 'Species inflation and taxanomic artefacts - a critical comment on recent trends in mammalian classification'. Mammalian Biology, 78 :1-6. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
McDevitt AD, Carden RF, Coscia I, Frantz AC (2013) 'Are wild boars roaming Ireland once more?'. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 59 :761-764. [DOI] [Details]
Sommer S, McDevitt AD, Balkenhol N (2013) 'Landscape genetic approaches in conservation biology and management'. Conservation Genetics, 14 :249-251. [Details]
Carden, R.F., McDevitt, A.D., Zachos, F.E., Woodman, P.C., O'Toole, P., Rose, H., Monaghan, N.T., Campana, M.G., Bradley, D.G. and Edwards, C.J. (2012) 'Phylogeographic, ancient DNA, fossil and morphometric analyses reveal ancient and modern introductions of a large mammal: the complex case of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in Ireland'. Quaternary Science Reviews, 42:74-84 . Available Online [DOI] [Details]
McDevitt, A.D., Zub, K., Kawałko, A., Oliver, M.K., Herman, J.S. and Wojcik, J.M. (2012) 'Climate and refugial origin influence the mitochondrial lineage distribution of weasels (Mustela nivalis) in a phylogeographic suture zone'. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 106 (1):57-69. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Ciuti, S., Muhly, T.B., Patton, D.G., McDevitt, A.D., Musiani, M. and Boyce, M.S. (2012) 'Human selection of elk behavioural traits in a landscape of fear'. Proceedings of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences, 279 (1746):4407-4416. [DOI] [Details]
Weckworth, B.V., Musiani, M., McDevitt, A.D., Hebblewhite, M. and Mariani, S. (2012) 'Reconstruction of caribou evolutionary history in Western North America and its implications for conservation'. Molecular Ecology, 21 (14):3610-3624. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
McDevitt AD, Katjoch L, Mazgajski TD, Carden RF, Coscia I, Osthoff C, Coombes RH, Wilson F; (2011) 'The origins of Great Spotted Woodpeckers Dendrocopos major colonizing Ireland revealed by mitochondrial DNA'. Bird Study, 58 :361-364. [Details]
McDevitt AD, Vega R, Rambau RV, Yannic G, Herman JS, Hayden TJ, Searle JB; (2011) 'Colonization of Ireland: revisiting ¿the pygmy shrew syndrome¿ using mitochondrial, Y chromosomal and microsatellite markers'. Heredity, 107 :548-557. [Details]
McDevitt, A., Mariani, S., Hebblewhite, M., Decesare, N.J., Morgantini, L., Seip, D., Weckworth, B.V. and Musiani, M.; (2009) 'Survival in the Rockies of an endangered hybrid swarm from diverged caribou (Rangifer tarandus) lineages'. Molecular Ecology, 18 (4):665-679. [DOI] [Details]
McDevitt AD, Edwards CJ, O¿Toole P, O¿Sullivan P, O¿Reilly C, Carden RF; (2009) 'Genetic structure of, and hybridisation between, red (Cervus elaphus) and sika (Cervus nippon) deer in Ireland'. Mammalian Biology, 74 :263-273. [Details]
Searle, JB,Kotlik, P,Rambau, RV,Markova, S,Herman, JS,McDevitt, AD; (2009) 'The Celtic fringe of Britain: insights from small mammal phylogeography'. Proceedings of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences, 276 :4287-4294. [DOI] [Details]
McDevitt, AD,Rambau, RV,O'Brien, J,McDevitt, CD,Hayden, TJ,Searle, JB; (2009) 'Genetic variation in Irish pygmy shrews Sorex minutus (Soricomorpha: Soricidae): implications for colonization history'. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 97 :918-927. [Details]

Other Journals

McDevitt AD (2013) 'Invasions and Expansions: the greater white-toothed shrew in Ireland' Genetics Society News 68 :51-52. [Details]
McDevitt, A.D., O'Toole, P., Edwards, C.J. and Carden, R.F. (2012) 'Landscape genetics of red deer (Cervus elaphus, Linnaeus 1758) in Killarney National Park, County Kerry' Irish Naturalists' Journal :23-30. [Details]
McDevitt AD, Carden RF (2012) 'Ireland's ancient deer' Deer 16 :23-26. [Details]
McDevitt AD, Carden RF (2012) 'Squatters' Rights - The Native Problem' Irish Wildlife Winter :22-25. [Details]


Research Interests

I'm primarily interested in using molecular techniques to study colonization and micro/macro-evolutionary processes, essentially trying to understand how populations and species are structured both spatially and temporally.

Genomics of invasive/expanding species:
Species that have been introduced recently represent ideal models to study and understand the genetics of invasive and/or expanding populations and how these species become adapted to new environments over relatively short periods of time in terms of both genotype and phenotype. We are working with collaborators on genomic and phenotypic changes at different points of the greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula) invasion in Ireland.

Colonization history of Irish fauna:
As an island, Ireland is composed of a fascinating mixture of natural and introduced species. To understand the roles of the ice ages and ancient peoples in the history of Irish fauna and flora, we utilize molecular markers on modern and ancient specimens in phylogeographic analyses, in combination with data from fossil material and archaeology. Our work has focused on iconic species which tell us most about the Irish colonization process (e.g. the pygmy shrew Sorex minutus and red deer Cervus elaphus). We are also conducting work on unique Irish species, such as the Killarney shad (Alosa fallax killarnensis) to understand non-terrestrial systems. Finally, we are establishing the origins of our 21st century arrivals, including the greater white-toothed shrew and the great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major).

Landscape genetics and spatial ecology:
Landscape genetics has changed the way we think about how gene flow occurs in complex landscape and environments. We are investigating how habitat selection and dispersal behaviour in large herbivores in the Rocky Mountains of western Canada (elk Cervus elaphus and caribou Rangifer tarandus) and small mammals in Poland (weasels Mustela nivalis and voles Microtus sp.) influences gene flow.

Phylogeography has revealed much of how species responded to past environments over the millenia. While we certainly know a lot about the effects of past climate fluctuations, what is less certain is what effects these have had in determining the current distribution of species and genetic lineages. We are investigating the roles of more northern refugia and potential adaptation stemming from isolation in certain refugia in multiple European and North American mammals.



Internal Collaborators

Dr Jon Yearsley, University College Dublin

External Collaborators

  • Prof. Jeremy Searle, Cornell University
  • Dr Tom White, Cornell University
  • Dr Stefano Mariani, University of Salford
  • Dr Ruth Carden, National Museum of Ireland
  • Prof. Ian Montgomery, Queens University Belfast
  • Dr Marco Musiani, University of Calgary
  • Dr Ilaria Coscia, Aberystwyth University
  • Dr Ceiridwen Edwards, University of Oxford
  • Dr Mark Hebblewhite, University of Montana
  • Dr Tyler Muhly, University of Calgary
  • Byron Weckworth, University of Calgary
  • Dr Simone Ciuti, University of Alberta
  • Dr Karol Zub, Mammal Research Institute
  • Prof. Jan Wojcik, Mammal Research Institute
  • Dr Jerry Herman, National Museums of Scotland
  • Dr Alain Frantz, University of Greifswald
  • Dr Anne Tresset, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle