QCBS Students

Thais Bernos

Concordia University
M.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Dylan Fraser
Start: 2012-09-01
End: 2015-12-31

The relationship between population size, number of breeders and the environment in brook trout
Two crucial parameters affecting population persistence and wildlife management decisions are the number of breeders (Nb, a key evolutionary parameter) and the census population size (Nc, a demographic parameter). However, estimating both Nb and Nc can be difficult, particularly for elusive species or in remote areas, and may require the use of considerable resources. During my M.Sc. research, I use a combination of demographic, genetic, and environmental data collected over 7 consecutive years (2009-2015) in 16 largely unexploited brook char (Salvelinus fontinalis) populations located on Cape Race, Newfoundland. My thesis seeks a better understanding of the relationship between Nb, Nc, and their ratio by i) identifying environmental variables driving Nb below Nc, and ii) investigating the effect of a change in Nb on Nc and vice versa. Results might also allow us to infer one variable from the other, allowing for minimal effort in collecting these crucial population parameters.