Research professional: Sébastien Renaut, PhD


My research lies at the intersection of molecular evolution, ecology and population genomics. I use high throughput sequencing (Illumina, PacBio, 454), bioinformatics (mainly R, Unix and open source software) as tools to quantify the fundamental processes responsible for generating biological diversity. In recent years, the main focus of my research has been on plant molecular evolution. More information can be found here.

I obtained my B.Sc. and M.Sc. at McGill University, before heading to Université Laval. My PhD thesis focused on the genetics of speciation and the evolution of the transcriptome in lake whitefish. Then, I spent four years at UBC (Vancouver) as a postdoctoral fellow where i worked on several projects related to transcriptome evolution, speciation and domestication, but this time mainly in sunflowers.

I am available to work/collaborate with researchers at the QCBS. My interests are varied and I would be happy to collaborate on projects in order to:

  • Determine what type of sequencing (eg. HiSeq, MiSeq, RNAseq, GBS) and experimental design would work best for your project.
  • Determine appropriate analyses once sequencing is completed (e.g. sequence assembly, alignments, SNP detection, population genetics, detection of selection at the molecular level).
  • Assist members in using the R software (bioinformatics, statistics or graphics).
  • Assist members to use various bioinformatics tools and the Unix language. If necessary, I can give an introductory course on the Unix language and various tools in bioinformatics.
  • Help revise manuscripts in genomics, molecular ecology and evolution (as an editor for a scientific journal, I have a good knowledge of the requirements).

Please contact me by email, or come see me at the Montreal Botanical Garden (4101 Sherbrooke Est, H1X 2B2, B-130).

Representative Publications (full list available here):

  • Anna Bailie, Sébastien Renaut, Eliane Ubalijoro, José A. Guerrero-Analco, Ammar Saleem, Pierre Haddad, John T. Arnason, Timothy Johns and Alain Cuerrier. 2016. Phytogeographic and genetic variation in Sorbus, a traditional antidiabetic medicine – adaptation in action in both a plant and a discipline. PeerJ. e2645 [PDF]
  • Renaut S, Rieseberg LH. 2015. The accumulation of deleterious mutations as a consequence of domestication and improvement in sunflowers and other Compositae crops. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32: 2273-2283. [PDF,supmat1,supmat2 datadryad,github] [see coverage at here and here]
  • Renaut S, Owens GL, Rieseberg LH. 2014. Shared selective pressure and local genomic landscape lead to repeatable patterns of genomic divergence in sunflowers. Molecular Ecology 23: 311–324. [PDF] [supp] [dryad] [github]
  • Renaut S, Grassa CJ, Yeaman S, Moyers BT,Lai Z, Kane NC, Bowers JC, Burke JM, Rieseberg LH. 2013. The number and size of genomic islands of divergence do not vary with geography of speciation. Nature Communications 4: 1827 [PDF] [supp]
  • Vines TH, Andrew R, Bock D, Franklin M, Gilbert K, Kane NC, Kleynhans E, Moore JS, Moyers B, Renaut S, Rennison D, Veen T, Yeaman S. 2013. Mandated data archiving greatly improves access to research data. FASEB Journal 27: 1304-1308. [PDF] [dryad] [coverage at Scientific American]
  • Gilbert KJ, Andrew RL, Bock DG, Franklin MT, Kane NC, Moore JS, Moyers BT, Renaut S, Rennison DJ, Veen T, Vines TH. 2012. Recommendations for utilizing and reporting population genetic analyses: the reproducibility of genetic clustering using the program structure. Molecular Ecology 21: 4925-2930. [PDF] [supp1supp2]