Welcome to the Christie Lab! Our lab uses molecular and analytical tools to answer basic and applied questions in ecology, evolution, and genetics. Our research is grounded in population genetics theory and we combine theory with molecular tools to address issues facing the conservation and management of natural populations. We often use fishes as our study species such that our work has direct implications for hatcheries, marine protected areas, and fisheries management. Much of our research focuses on rapid evolution and conservation. Specific research themes include: 1. rapid genetic adaptation to novel environments, 2. the delineation of populations in high gene flow systems, and 3. the genetic effects of captive breeding.
It has recently been demonstrated that evolution can occur over short time scales - sometimes in as little as a single generation. Understanding which species and populations can rapidly adapt to novel environments - and how this process happens - has important implications for prioritizing and implementing appropriate conservation and management actions in the face of changing environmental conditions (e.g., climate change). Our lab continues to examine how species genetically adapt to novel environments such as hatcheries and the Great Lakes ecosystem.