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Episode from the podcastFull Curl Podcast with Rachel Ahtila

FCP- Ep. 004- Interview with PhD Student and Forensic Scientist Zijian Sim

Released Friday, 26th May 2017
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Hello everyone, and welcome back to the show!
This weeks guest is someone I first had the opportunity to meet back in April at the Thinhorn Summit and Symposium host in Anchorage, Alaska, by the Wild Sheep Foundation.
Riddled with humour, and Ice Age cartoon ‘ice breakers’, we had the pleasure of listening to Zijian Sim. Sim is a Ph. D student at the University of Alberta and now a Forensic Scientist with the Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch. In this episode, Sim walks us through the natural history of thinhorn sheep, and the on going conservation research related to conservation sciences. He shares with us that he came into this genre from an ‘anti-hunter’ background, and what his personal journey has become while he grew his understanding and developed his awareness and education on hunting and the role we play. His articulate and fun nature takes us through cartoon and blonde hair analogies as he explains what he thinks are some of the major causes of inconsistent communication between the stakeholders, and what his hopes for the future are. Jokes and fun times aside, Sim shares with us the paper that he and a team of biologists and agencies discovered surround the very make up of our thinhorn species as we ‘thought’ we understood them.
Whether you are a devout sheep hunter, a first time enthusiast, or someone who enjoys learning a bit more about the history of our wildlife, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss!

To contact Zijian Sim, please feel free to send him an email at: [email protected]
Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch
University of Alberta
Molecular Ecology of Thinhorn Sheep

SHOW NOTES: 
3:18 Podcast starts
4:28 History of Thinhorn Sheep Species
4:50 Crash course in getting familiar with sheep
5:20 Natural history of Thinhorn sheep & evolutionary history of Thinhorns subspecies, Ovis dalli dalli and Ovis dalli stonei ()
6:10 Where did Thinhorn sheep originate from? Ice Age, and North American Pleistecene Era
7:30 Refugia- Prevailing ideas, Beringa, and the Southern Refugia. Minor Refugia possibilty of a group of Thinhorns, ie Stone Sheep
10:00 Main thought hypothesis of Thinhorns surviving in Beringa. but studies show otherwise. Division between Stone Sheep and Dall Sheep is more Ancient than that.
11:45 Hybrid Called the Fannin; Subspecies definition based on colour based colour system. And does that predict the origin of the sheep species…
15:45 Reclassification of Sheep Species, and that political Storm
16:55 Working groups, and how can people understand the realm of their compulsory inspections and where that science goes.
17:48 Sim has the biggest horn collection, sorry SCI
19:35 Genetic makeup, and what sheep are you harvesting?!
22:25 3,000 Samples of Sheep, Sky Islands, and habitat restraints… How solid lines on maps are unrealistic
25:45 The mysterious Fannin Sheep, fossil records, and glacial interference
30:20 Hybrid Vigor in Sheep? Or just natural selection
34:18 Life as a Forensic Biologist and DNA Analysis for wildlife crimes
46:00 Sim’s background, and his new initiation into the hunting world.
49:30 Utilizing the new age communication to expand understanding between Sciencists, and various stakeholders.
56:00 Getting more information on the topic, follow up remarks, Sim’s contact information.
50:17 Show Ends