Paul Debes

Concordia University
Postdoctoral fellow candidate

Supervisor: Dylan Fraser
Start: 2014-01-05
End: 2015-06-01


Effects of inter-population hybridization spanning a large geographic scale in Atlantic salmon
The mechanism and forces that create and shape populations, especially in fishes, are my major research interest. To approach this I incorporate a variety of methods from diverse fields in ecology and evolution – phylogeography, quantitative and population genetics, and gene expression. My PhD thesis investigates the genetically based differences between wild and domesticated Atlantic salmon and how these differences influence wild populations when escaped domesticated and wild salmon interbreed. I combine behavioural, phenotypic and genetic perspectives to answer these questions. Using common garden laboratory experiments and different life stages of salmon, I investigate consequences of multigenerational interbreeding and their underlying mechanisms, as well as genetic based changes that arise from domestication and that influence fitness in the wild. My research will help to predict the effects of interbreeding between wild and domesticated salmon, and also between different wild populations, to guide decisions in management and conservation. Further, it will help to elucidate the evolutionary concept of post-zygotic isolation between populations relevant in speciation.