Telephone: (418) 656-2131 #412404
Linking population genomics, adaptive variation and life history traits in the capelin (Mallotus villosus)
Louis Bernatchez (Supervisor)
I am broadly interested in population dynamics and genetics. My research focus is on three main research axes: (i) In first research axis, I focus on the demographic processes that underlie population dynamics and life history evolution. I especially examine how intrinsic (i.e. density dependence) and extrinsic factors (e.g. climate variation and habitat quality) may affect vital rates (survival, recruitment and population growth rate) in free-ranging populations. (ii) In my second research axis, I focus on the ecology and evolution of dispersal. I especially investigate whether phenotypic traits (e.g. morphological and behavioral characters) and life history traits (e.g. lifespan and fecundity) may covary with dispersal, leading to the emergence of dispersal syndromes, and how environmental variation may regulate these covariation patterns. (iii) In my third research axis, I aim at linking phenotypic traits relevant to ecological divergence and genetic variation using Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies. Especially, I am interested in mapping behavioral traits to regions of the genome that quantitatively contribute to phenotypic variation in populations.
During my post-doctorate, I will examine: (i) the genetic structure of capelin (Mallotus villosus) populations in the boreal, subarctic and Arctic regions of eastern Canada and Greenland. Using Genotyping-By-Sequencing (GBS) approaches, I will evaluate the potential role of spatial distribution, ocean currents and temperature in shaping both putatively neutral and adaptive genetic structure in capelin populations. (ii) I will investigate whether a parallel evolution could lead to similar adaptive changes among geographically distant populations of capelin. I will assess whether genetic factors associated with the spawning behavior (i.e. beach spawning vs demersal spawning) are shared to a large extent between capelin populations from the NW and NE Atlantic.