The Fraser Lab has thirteen research personnel (1 Visiting Professor, 1 Postdoc, 1 Research Associates, 4 PhD, 2 MSc) conducting research in four Canadian Provinces and two US states (see descriptions of student projects below):

Lab photo, Fall 2015 Pictured left to right: Dylan Fraser, Carol Zastavniouk, Andrew Harbicht, Elizabeth Lawrence, Katherine Levasseur, Zachery Wells, Jean-Michel Matte, Thais Bernos, Kia Marin, Javiera Benavente; missing: Matthew Yates, Andrew Habrich


Dylan Fraser (Principal Investigator) I wake up every morning and study fish, so life is good! More generally, I’m fascinated with the population diversity that is found within virtually any species: (i) how does such diversity arise? (ii) How does the evolution of population diversity affect species’ responses to environmental change? (iii) Will small populations adapt as human activities shrink habitats and species abundances? 

Dr. Deliang Li (Visiting Prof 2016-present)
I am an associate professor at Hunan Agricultural University, Hunan Province, China and a visiting scholar in the Fraser lab from April 2016 to March 2017. My work focuses on fishery resources and the environment in the Dongting Lake basin (the second largest lake in China). My main interests including 1) the evaluation and conservation of fishery resources and 2) the effects of anthropogenic disturbances (heavy metals, hydroelectric projects, aquaculture, etc.) on natural fishery resources and the related underlying mechanisms. In the Fraser lab, I am expanding my knowledge concerning fish population genetics.

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Dr. Ella Bowles (Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-present)
Collaborative population monitoring integrating scientific and traditional knowledge is integral to community-based population management. The Cree Nation of Mistissini, QC, have been collaborating to manage walleye (Sander vitreus) populations in Mistassini Lake. Life history and genomic attributes of walleye populations were compared between 2002/2003 and 2015, between which local population size and fishing-based tourism increased, in four rivers (southern: 1-3; northern: 1). Contemporary reductions in both length (11 to 21%) and mass (24 to 39%) have occurred in the southern rivers, near the only human settlement on the lake, but not in the northern. I am working to determine whether genomic estimates of population size and genetic diversity track changes in life history. Management and monitoring plans for these populations have been undertaken that are complementary to traditional customs and fishing techniques, showing leadership towards maintaining aquatic biodiversity.



thaisThais Bernos (Research Associate 2016-present) Molecular ecologist and field biologist; high-throughput electrofishing





DSC_0243Kia Marin (Research Associate 2015-present) Molecular ecologist and field biologist




Elizabeth LawrenceElizabeth Lawrence (PhD 2014-present)  (Concordia Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Scholar) I am currently assessing vertebrate population diversity across the Americas by constructing a database of population level measures of genetic diversity based on microsatellite DNA. This will ultimately allow me to compare three levels of biodiversity: genetic, population, and species. By applying species-area curve theory to this data, I will assess latitudinal patterns across vertebrate groups as well as anthropogenic influences on biodiversity at each of the three levels. Website


DSC03671Andrew Harbicht (PhD 2013-present)Adaptive management in species restoration: Atlantic salmon in Lake Champlain (in collaboration with the US Fish & Wildlife Service; Concordia PhD Fellowship). I am currently working with our partners south of the border to assess several aspects of an Atlantic salmon reintroduction program in Lake Champlain. More specifically, I am looking into how changes to management practices can impact the likelihood of salmon establishing themselves. I am also addressing the impact of a vitamin B1  deficiency (due to a dietary shift towards introduced alewife) on salmon migratory capabilities. Our goal with this project is to address questions directly applicable to Atlantic salmon in Lake Champlain, but using novel approaches (telemetric, genetic) that will permit our results to be widely applicable to species reintroduction.


img6035bMatthew Yates (PhD 2011-present) Identifying correlates of adaptability in natural populations (NSERC Postgraduate Scholar)



Nicole Hill (MSc 2016-present) The influence of habitat on the recolonization potential of Atlantic salmon to Lake Champlain tributaries (co-supervised by Dr. James Grant, Concordia U.)





Ashlee Prevost (MSc 2016-present) Recolonization potential and reproductive success of Atlantic salmon in Lake Champlain tributaries (co-supervised by Dr. James Grant, Concordia U.)




0b6441cJean-Michel Matte (MSc 2015-present) The     underlying mechanisms regulating abundance of     brook trout populations (co-supervised by Dr. James Grant, Concordia U.)




Carol ZastavnioukCarol Zastavniouk (MSc 2014-2016) Effects of habitat fragmentation on mating systems and reproductive trait characteristics in brook trout (FQRNT Postgrad scholar)



Zachery WellsZachery Wells (MSc 2014-2016) Outbreeding depression in relation to genetic divergence and population size in brook trout



Photo of Andrew

Andrew Habrich (NSERC USRA, summer 2016) Genetic imprints of habitat fragmentation in North American mammals






Postdoctoral Fellows

Paul Debes, 2014-2015: Population genomics and demographic histories of brook trout (presently a postdoc at University of Turku, Finland)


Jacquelyn Wood, PhD 2014: Population size and adaptive potential in brook charr (NSERC Postgraduate Scholar) (now a Research Associate with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

Paul Debes, PhD 2013: Genetically based effects of domesticated-wild outbreeding in Atlantic salmon (presently a postdoc at University of Turku, Finland)


Thais Bernos, MSc 2016: Relationship of demographic and genetic population size in brook trout and relevance for conservation (now a Research Associate in the Fraser Lab at Concordia University)

Eric Brunsdon, MSc 2015: Habitat use, growth and survival of Lake Champlain Atlantic salmon: implications for restoration (co-supervised by Dr. Jim Grant, Concordia University)(now a biologist with Eastern Charlotte Waterways Inc, NB, Canada)

Shahinur Islam, MSc 2015, visiting scholar: A test of genetic adaptation to captivity in one generation (now a PhD student at Memorial U., Newfoundland, Canada)

Kia Marin, MSc 2015: ‘Lakescape’ population differentiation of lake trout (collaborative project with the Cree Nation of Mistissini, QC) (now a Research Associate in the Fraser Lab at Concordia)

Corey Clarke, MSc 2014: Effects of early life captive exposure in the restoration of Atlantic salmon (NSERC Canada Graduate Scholar, a collaborative project with Parks Canada – Fundy National Park, New Brunswick, co-supervised by Dr. Craig Purchase, Memorial University; now a biologist for Parks Canada, Fundy National Park).

Queenie Gray, MSc 2013: Interpreting Impacts of Introduced Trout Populations in Mountain Lakes in the Era of Ecological Restoration (now a biologist for Parks Canada, Wood Buffalo National Park)

Andrew Harbicht, MSc 2012: Environmental and anthropogenic correlates of hybridization between farmed and wild trout (now a PhD student at Concordia University, Montreal, QC)

Aimee Lee Houde, MSc 2010 (NSERC CGS): The risks of inbreeding and outbreeding depression in endangered salmon populations (now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Nanaimo, BC, Canada)

Sebastian Belmar-Lucero, MSc (2010-2012): Population genetics of brook trout


Andrew Habrich, BSc 2016: Effects of habitat fragmentation on North American bear species using genetic data

Katherine Levasseur, BSc 2016: Projections of population loss under climate warming in Fraser River sockeye salmon

Lisa Walker, BSc 2015: Extent of plasticity in female reproductive investment among captive and wild brook trout populations

Jessica Mantha, BSc 2015: Morphological correlates of smolting in landlocked Atlantic salmon, with implications for salmon restoration

Megan Heath, BSc 2014: Ecological and environmental correlates of juvenile dispersal in brook trout

Alana di Vito, BSc 2014: Outbreeding depression at early life history traits in relation to population size in brook trout (now an MSc student at Concordia University)

Thais Bernos, BSc 2013: Effects of habitat fragmentation on individual reproductive success within populations of varying size (now an MSc student at Concordia University)

Tom Burdon, BSc 2013: Phylogeography and fine-scale divergence times between brook trout populations (now an MSc student at U. de Montreal, Montreal, QC)

Defne Tezel, BSc 2012: Heritabilities of behavioural traits in nine brook trout populations (now in veterinarian school)

Alexandre Meli, BSc 2012 (NSERC USRA): Within-population movement patterns in ten brook trout populations (now a PhD student, McGill University, Montreal, QC)

Mikayla Wujec, BSc 2012: Genetic and life history monitoring of northern brook trout populations

Matthew Yates, BSc 2011 (NSERC USRA): Temperature-dependent reaction norms for precocial male maturity in Atlantic salmon (now an NSERC PhD student at Concordia University, Montreal QC)

Sherylyne Scott, BSc 2011: Environmental and life history influences on effective size-census size ratios in a stream-dwelling fish

Matthew Morris, BSc 2009 (NSERC USRA): The effects of hybridization on compensatory growth in Atlantic salmon (now a Vanier Scholar, PhD student, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB)

Anthony Heggelin, B.E.S. 2008: Environmental and human factors affecting the population biology of brook trout (now a Fisheries Biologist, Department of Inland Fisheries, New Glasgow, NS)

Aimee Lee Houde, BSc 2007 (NSERC USRA): Ecological interactions between escaped farmed and wild Atlantic salmon (now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Nanaimo, BC, Canada)