Human modification of the environment, including large-scale habitat conversion and soaring greenhouse gas emissions, pose major threats to global biological diversity. Maintaining species’ ability to persist in changing environments ultimately means preserving genetic variation underlying ecologically important traits. Work in our lab is at the interface of ecology and evolution, employing genetic and genomic approaches to reconstruct population-level patterns and infer process to study questions associated with local adaptation, life history evolution, taxonomic status, wildlife conservation and fisheries management. Projects feature organisms spanning a wide taxonomic breadth, including freshwater fish and wildlife species of varying conservation status, and are geared towards addressing issues of immediate local, regional and global concern.

Lab people


Nov. 2017: Welcome to visiting Professor, Dr. Milian-Garcia, and visiting PhD student, Jessica Castellanos-Labarcena, both of the of the Universidad de la Habana. Jessica is supported by an Emerging Leaders of the Americas scholarship.

Oct. 2017: New paper reporting genomic changes associated with reproductive and migratory ecotypes in sockeye salmon published in Genome Biology & Evolution.

Sept. 2017: Congratulations to Matt Waterhouse on the successful defense of his PhD thesis. Congratulations to Brett Ford on the successful defense of his MSc thesis.

Sept. 2017: Two new Galapagos tortoise papers published. The first, published in Evolutionary Applications, investigates the impact of sampling design on estimating genetic differentiation among populations using genome-wide data, including potential biases when theory is not considered. The second, published in Scientific Reports, identifies genetically important individuals to support a species restoration program.

Aug. 2017: The American pika wins Dovetail Genomic’s 2017 Research Impact Award to fund a high-quality genome assembly. Full story here.

Lab people (from left to right): Brett Ford, Danielle Schmidt, Lucas Elliott, Evelyn Jensen, Bryson Sjodin, Mike Russello (PI), Matthew Waterhouse.