Conservation Genomics – Andrew Whiteley

Fish Ecology and Conservation Genomics

As the effects of anthropogenic stressors (fragmentation, habitat degradation, climate change, etc.) on natural populations increase, it is essential that we understand the factors closely related to population persistence and resilience. Our research goals broadly lie in linking genetic and genomic factors with other aspects of an organism’s biology, life history, and demography to help predict population persistence, focusing primarily on fishes. More specifically, we conduct research that aims to understand: 1) spatial patterns of genomic diversity, 2) effective population size as a predictor of persistence probability, 3) whether translocation is an effective practice to enhance persistence probabilities (‘genetic rescue’), and 4) adaptive dynamics and mechanisms. We also develop and test general tools that will help advance the field and be used to help conserve a wide variety of taxa.

We use cross-disciplinary, integrative approaches to address fundamental questions in conservation genomics, evolutionary biology and ecology. We combine conservation genomics, molecular population genetics, quantitative genetics, capture-mark-recapture analysis and other quantitative ecological methods, field and lab experiments, and computational approaches.