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Faculty Candidate Seminar: Linking past to future: using genomics to assess anthropogenic impacts on the marine environment

The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, in collaboration with the Marine Mammal Institute and the Marine Studies Initiative, invites you to attend the third of four interview candidate seminars for an Assistant Professor (Cetacean Biologist).

Candidate #3: Dr. Alana Alexander

Linking past to future: using genomics to assess anthropogenic impacts on the marine environment

About the candidate

Genetic data is useful for filling in gaps in ecological inference, both in terms of temporal scales – allowing inferences across deep time – but also because the relatively simple sampling procedures can be carried out over large spatial scales. My research utilises this ‘time-traveling’ ability of population genomics and phylogenomics by combining genomics, advanced computational tools, and behavioural, ecological, and biogeographic data to make inferences about the processes leading to patterns of genetic diversity within and among populations. These inferences range from global spatial and deep temporal scales (e.g. the worldwide impact of climate fluctuations on global sperm whale populations over the last 125,000 years), to regional spatial scales across time scales relevant to local adaptation (e.g. the evolution of MHC immune genes in Hector’s and Māui dolphin populations). Overall, I consider myself a molecular ecologist/evolutionary biologist who focuses on how genomic data can inform us about broader scale ecosystem processes and questions relevant to conservation. As a Māori scientist (the Indigenous people of New Zealand) I also maintain a strong interest in ensuring that my research can be used to support kaitiakitanga (guardianship) and rangatiratanga (sovereignty) of resources within the rohe (areas) of iwi (tribes) and hapū (subtribes). 

Monday, June 29 at 1:30pm to 2:30pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Lecture or Presentation

Event Topic



Faculty and Staff, Student

Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Hatfield Marine Science Center
Contact Name

Amanda Polley

Contact Email

Contact Phone


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