Beren Robinson

Email Address
[email protected]
Research Areas
Research Keywords
Research Description

We focus on the formation and conservation of novel biological diversity in Canada's freshwater environments. We use a mix of ecological and evolutionary methods, in the lab, field and through modelling to study how changing environmental conditions affect Canada's fish diversity. Both natural environmental change and human influences can promote or limit natural diversity.

Research Summary

We address how biodiversity arises especially in single populations of fishes composed of alternate ecotypes that live in different lake habitats. We study the factors that regulate the formation of these specialized ecotypes and have expanded theory by evaluating the role of phenotypic plasticity in adaptive biodiversity formation. Experience working with fish resource polymorphism since 1993 uniquely positions us to investigate how novel ecotypes evolve and may be converted into new species in the future countering biodiversity loss. We also study how commercial fishing affects fish traits in natural populations. Our focus on the diverse kinds of fish in natural populations is important because this is rarely considered in the contexts of ecological function, management and conservation.

Techniques Used

Statistical methods; geometric morphometrics; reciprocal transplant and common-garden designs; field sampling for comparative and experimental methods; mark-recapture designs.

Locations of international collaborators

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, University of Michigan Ann Arbour, University of Oregon Eugene (USA); Holar Agricultural College (Iceland).

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