My research interests centre on the areas of biodiversity, population and conservation genetics, and aquaculture. I am particularly interested in the development and application of modern molecular methodologies such as microsatellite DNA profiling, AFLP, in addition to RFLP and sequencing analysis of both mtDNA and nuclear genes, to gain further understanding on population genetic structure, evolutionary patterns and life history variation of organisms.
Particular research emphasis is given to aquatic organisms through investigations examining the fitness aspects of life history variation; genetic improvement of cultured shellfish and finfish including selective breeding, marker assisted selection, inbreeding, family identification and genetic impact assessment. Current research also involves small mammal species (conservation biology, study of social structure and population genealogy).
More basic research is orientated towards the further improvement and new development of molecular tools including automation for routine screening analysis and basic research on the evolutionary properties of molecular markers.
Current projects include:
- Origin, phylogeographic patterns and conservation of genetic diversity in brown trout (Salmo trutta - see TroutConcert) and pollan (Coregonus autumnalis).
- Genetic tagging in the European Lobster (Homarus gammarus): tool for controlling and assessing the efficience of lobster V-notching programme (see also the GEL web site for additional information of our lobster genetic research).
- Impact of escaped farm Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) on fitness of wild populations; population genetic structure and Genetic Stock Identification in Atlantic salmon.
- Population genetic structure of Danubian sturgeons.
- Population genetic structure of the Norwegian lobster (Nephrops norvegicus).
- Mating system and micro- and macro-population structure in sharks (blue shark, bonnethead shark, Caribean Reef shark).
- Micro-population structure (i.e. population genealogy) and demography in deer mice (Peromyscys maniculatus, P. leucopus and P. politonus), wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus), and the Irish hare (Lepus timidus hibernicus).
- Population structure, dispersal patterns, parentage assessment, mating system and social structure in natural populations of the polyembrionic armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus).
- Genetic tagging in the endangered swift fox (Vulpes velox).