QCBS Students

Matthew Yates

Concordia University
Ph.D. candidate

Supervisor: Dylan Fraser
Start: 2011-09-01
End: 2017-05-01

Identifying correlates of adaptability in natural populations
My research is focused on measuring the response of natural populations to environmental change, using a combination of field work, molecular genetics, and meta-analysis. Specifically, I am seeking to identify characteristics that might make populations resistant or vulnerable to those changes. My primary work focuses on experimental translocations using isolated populations of brook charr. By exposing individuals from natural populations to a variety of novel natural environments, I hope to determine what population level parameters (e.g. census size, Ne, degree of environmental change, plasticity) best predict performance when exposed to new environmental conditions. Using these translocations, I will also study how genetic variation and population size affect the release of plasticity in these novel environments. Finally, I will also use meta-analytic techniques to examine the effect of population size on the performance of individuals when translocated to novel environments. This research will provide meaningful insight on the capacity of natural populations to tolerate and adapt to novel environmental conditions. By identifying population level parameters that confer resistance or vulnerability to environmental change, this research will contribute important knowledge to the field of conservation biology that will allow managers to more effectively conserve threatened populations.