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


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

June 2017: Congratulations to Evelyn Jensen on the successful defense of her PhD thesis entitled "Learning from the past, examining the present and planning for the future: Genetic approaches to the conservation of giant Galápagos tortoises".

May 2017: New paper published in Scientific Reports demonstrates evidence for an ancient selective sweep linked to reproductive life history evolution in sockeye salmon.

Apr. 2017: Welcome to new PhD student, Jen Rippert. New paper on climate-mediated chronic stress in America pikas published in Ecology and Evolution.

Jan. 2017: New paper published in Conservation Genetics reports genetic variation and fine-scale population structure in American pikas across a human-modified landscape.

Dec 2016: Congratulations to Matt Waterhouse and Brett Ford, recipients of the Graduate Dean’s Thesis Fellowship & UBCO Graduate Scholarship, respectively..

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