The genetic basis of ecologically important differences among individuals populations is critical for interpreting patterns of adaptive differentiation. However, it is frequently difficult to characterise such genetic variation. Additionally, important differences among individuals and populations are often characterised on a trait-by-trait basis, whereas co-ordinated patterns of variation among multivariate phenotypes are likely to be most important for fitness.
This project will take advantage of an ongoing, large-scale, common garden experiment where lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) are being raised from five ecologically well-characterised source lakes in the IISD-ELA (Experimental Lakes Area) in Northwestern Ontario. Pedigreed individuals will be avialble for life history, morphological, and behavioural phenotyping. Phenotypic data can feed into a range of ecologically-motivated quantitative genetic studies. The student will have substantial latitude to build a PhD project based on this basic resource.