MSc thesis

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, investigating the genetics of adaptation, life history variation, speciation, population history and phylogeography. 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


July 2020: Congratulations to Brock Burgess for advancing to candidacy. A new paper published in Ecology & Evolution investigates the role of glacial history in shaping patterns of population genetic variation in American badgers, with implications for conservation.         

June 2020: A new paper published in PLOS ONE demonstrates the utility of GT-seq as a rapid response tool for informing invasive species management.    

May 2020: A new paper featured on the cover of Ecology & Evolution finds marked population structure in Western Rattlesnakes and recommends a reassessment of conservation status at the species' northern range margin.

Feb. 2020: A new paper published in CJFAS combines population genomics and otolith microchemistry analyses to reveal kokanee–sockeye salmon hybridization leads to intermediate morphology and resident life history, with important implications for fisheries management.

Jan. 2020: A new paper published in Molecular Ecology Resources demonstrates the application of GT‐seq to minimally‐invasive DNA samples to support studies in molecular ecology and conservation and is also the subject of a Molecular Ecology Spotlight blog post.

Lab people (from left to right): Danielle Schmidt, Lucas Elliott, Megan Walwyn, Lucas Milian Castellanos, Jessice Castellanos Milian, Yoamel Milian Garcia, Brock Burgess, Sarah Lu Chang, Farida Samad-zada, Mike Russello (PI), Bryson Sjodin and Chris Setzke (not shown).