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


June 2019: Danielle Schmidt successfully defended her MSc thesis demonstrating application of GT-seq to minimally-invasive DNA samples to investigate patterns of population structure & genetic diversity in the listed Western rattlesnake. She also received an International Doctoral Fellowship to pursue PhD research in the ECGL. Congratulations!

June 2019: A new paper published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences reveals the biological and genetic consequences of a sockeye salmon stocking program.

May 2019: Bryson Sjodin successfully defended his MSc thesis on invasive rat colonization history and movement dynamics in the Haida Gwaii archipelago. He also received an NSERC Doctoral fellowship to pursue PhD research in the ECGL. Congratulations!

May 2019: A new paper published in Conservation Genetics investigates fine-scale population structure and conservation status of American badgers at their northwestern periphery.

Apr. 2019: A new paper published in Conservation Biology demonstrates how hybrid individuals can provide invaluable genomic resources for captive breeding and restoration of an extinct Galapagos giant tortoise.

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 (not shown).