Community genomics

While we can garner considerable information studying species in isolation, we need to examine species as a community to better understand host-pathogen systems. Using methods from population genomics and landscape ecology my lab is investigating the mountain pine beetle and western-gall rust systems to better understand what genetic factors contribute to pathogenicity and host-pine susceptibility.

Genomics of disease

With increasing habitat fragmentation, climate change, and global transport, there has been an emergence of infectious disease in wildlife populations. Currently I am working on developing a better understanding of genetic-risk factors associated with chronic wasting disease. Chronic wasting disease is a fatal, neurodegenerative disease that affects cervid species (e.g. mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, caribou).

Conservation genetics

Some of my work involves collaboration with the Calgary Zoo using conservation genetics to understand the long-term viability of endangered and at-risk prairie species (swift foxes, and black tailed prairie dogs). Through a better understanding of genetic diversity, relatedness, and connectivity, we can make management recommendations to ensure healthy populations.

EDUCATION

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Landscape genetics

‚Äč

2008-2012

University of Alberta

Postdoctoral Fellow

Hybridization & introgression

Identifying adaptive variation

Conservation genetics

2000-2007

Trent University

Ph.D. Watershed Ecosystems

1995 - 1999

University of Guelph

Hons B.Sc. Molecular Biology & Genetics

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© 2019 by Catherine Cullingham. All images are mine unless otherwise noted.