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


Dec. 2020:  Congratulations to both Bryson and Danielle for passing their PhD proposal defenses with flying colors.

Nov. 2020:  A new paper published in PLOS ONE provides the first reference assembly of the sockeye salmon genome and uses transciptome data and whole genome re-sequencing to better annotate features of the assembly, characterize population structure, and investigate the genetic basis of ecotype variation.

Oct. 2020:  A new paper published in Biological Invasions employs population genomics to infer geographic origins and timing of brown rat invasions of the Haida Gwaii archipelago to inform

Aug. 2020: A new paper published in Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution employs phylogenomics to reveal novel relationships among Neotropical crocodiles.

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.    

Lab people (from left to right): (top row) Bryson Sjodin, Michael Russello, Sarah Lu Chang; (middle row) Brock Burgess, Chris Setzke, Danielle Schmidt; (bottom row) Farida Samad-zada.