Lab News

Dr. Pitcher and several colleagues were awarded an NSERC Synergy Grant Click image to learn more

Grand Opening of Freshwater Restoration Ecology Centre, on the Detroit River in Lasalle, Ontario (see Updates & click here)

The lab is collaborating with US Fish & Wildlife & USGS to help restore native lake sturgeon in the Detroit river

Welcome to the Pitcher Research Lab in evolutionary ecology, reproductive biology and conservation biology. We conduct research on fishes from the Great Lakes and the west coast of Canada (including Chinook salmon, Atlantic salmon, Lake Trout, bloaters, brown bullhead, lake sturgeon and redside dace). Our lab’s aims are to; (i) examine the genetic architecture of fitness using quantitative genetics (i.e. genetic quality of offspring, including candidate genes such as the major histocompatability complex), (ii) examine questions related to the restoration ecology of fishes in the Great Lakes, including reproductive factors affecting the ability of fish that are threatened or endangered to recover, (iii) provide insights into the selective forces involved in the evolution of mate choice for genetic quality (e.g. polyandry, sperm competition, cryptic female choice), and (iv) examine the relative importance of male and female roles/genotypes in terms of determining the outcome of paternity.

My lab is also conducting research (i) to assess the extent to which genetic quality can be incorporated into conservation breeding programs (captive and supportive breeding programs) in an attempt to improve the fitness of offspring produced for conservation purposes via fish culture protocols, (ii) examining the relationship between genetic quality, reproduction and aquatic contaminant stress, and (iii) with our aquaculture industrial partner to improve aquaculture production of Chinook salmon on the west coast of Canada.