ProjectHow habitat fragmentation affects reproductive trait characteristics in brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)
My masters research is investigating how habitat fragmentation affects the persistence of isolated populations in terms of sexually-selected, breeding system, and reproductive trait characteristics. I will be conducting this research using small, isolated populations of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in Cape Race, Newfoundland that have formed through habitat fragmentation since the last deglaciation in the area. I will be comparing the variation of these characteristics between and within these populations. I will also be will relating how these life history and spawning characteristics correlate with the number of breeders and census population size ratio and if certain environmental variables correlate with some of the traits. When managing conservation resources, this knowledge will allow for differentiating between populations that have a chance of survival with resource input and those that do not.