Principal Investigator

IMG_5312 low res
Dr. Vicki Friesen

See home page for research interests.

Contact: vlf [at] queensu [dot] ca

Research associates

Dr. Tim Birt

Contact: tim [dot] birt [at] queensu [dot] ca
(613) 555-6000 ext 75539

PhD students

Alisa Solecki, née Samuelson

Co-supervisor: Dr. Amy Chabot of African Lion Safari

Royal Roads University, 2017 – MSc. in Environmental Practice

Thesis: The genetic and epigenetic mechanisms driving migratory urge in a partially migratory songbird, loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

Research interests: ornithology, conservation genomics, ex-situ management, DNA methylation, migration, evolutionary ecology, endangered species conservation

Email: 19amws [at] queensu [dot] ca

Chris Boccia
University of Toronto, 2016 — Honours BSc. with high distinction
University of Toronto, 2018 — MSc (Mahler Lab)

Thesis: Adaptive potential of black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla)

Research interests: adaptive potential, conservation genomics, local adaptation, climate change, ornithology, herpetology, macroevolution

Email: 11ckb5 [at] queensu [dot] ca

Shayla (Shay) Kroeze

University of Western Ontario, 2019 — BSc. Honours Specialization in Environmental Science, Major in Biology (StrEAMS Lab)
University of Western Ontario, 2022 — MSc. in Biology (Keyghobadi Lab)

Thesis: Understanding cholera immunity in common eider (Somateria mollissima) populations in the Canadian Arctic through whole genome analysis

Research interests: conservation genetics, genomics, immunology, wildlife disease, species at risk, reintroduction biology, biodiversity loss

Email: s.kroeze [at] queensu [dot] ca

Christophe Turcotte-van de Rydt

Bishop’s Unviersity — BSc. with distinctions in Biology: Biodiversity and Ecology concentration (B-Lab)
University of Manitoba — MSc. in Biology (Avian Behavioural and Conservation Lab)

Thesis: TBD

Research interests: ornithology, conservation of biodiversity, anthropogenic change, population genetics, movement ecology, local adaptation, animal behaviour

Email: 23qrwr [at] queensu [dot] ca

BSc students

Honours BSc

Kerry Roe

Queen’s University – BSc. Honours Specialization in Biopsych

Thesis: Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II diversity and hatchling survival in the Eastern loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus migrans)

Email: 19kr21 [at] queensu [dot] ca

Molly Langabeer

Queen’s University – Honours BSc. in Biology, minor in Environmental Studies

Thesis: Demographic Reconstruction of High- and Low-latitude Populations of Black Guillemots

Email: 19mtl3 [at] queensu [dot] ca

Eva Burguete-Innocente

Queen’s University – Honours BSc. in Biology

Thesis: Is there a genomic basis to cholera resistance vs. susceptibility in eider ducks?

Email: 18ecbi [at] queensu [dot] ca

Past Members


  • Dr. Ryan Franckowiak – Adaptive landscape genomics of Arctic seabirds
  • Dr. Becky Taylor – Parallel divergence by allochrony and cryptic speciation in two highly pelagic seabird species complexes (Hydrobates spp.)
  • Dr. Deborah Leigh – Genomics of adaptation in Arctic seabirds
  • Dr. Anna Tigano – Local adaptation and adaptive potential of the Thick-billed and Common Murre
  • Dr. Gabriela Ibarguchi – Phylogeography of South American Seed Snipes
  • Dr. Theresa Burg – Population differentiation of birds in Haida Gwaii
  • Dr. Karen McCoy– Co-evolution of kittiwakes and thier ticks
  • Dr. Brad Congdon – Evolutionary genetics and conservation of marbled murrelets


  • Drew Sauve – Ecological and evolutionary impacts of climate change on early life growth in seabirds
  • Becky Taylor – Parallel divergence by allochrony and cryptic speciation in two highly pelagic seabird species complexes (Hydrobates spp.)
  • Anna Tigano – Local adaptation and adaptive potential of the thick-billed and common murre
  • Raphael Lavoie – Mercury biotransport via migratory birds and food web biomagnification influenced by geospatial patterns (co-supervisor: Linda Campbell)
  • James Andrew Morris-Pocock – Phylogeography of Brown (Sula leucogaster) and Red-Footed Boobies (S. sula)
  • Scott Anthony Taylor – Speciation with gene flow in Blue-Footed and Peruvian Boobies
    Andrea Smith – Evolutionary genetics of storm petrels (Oceanodroma castro)
  • Tammy Steeves – Evolutionary genetics of boobies (Sula spp.)
  • Karen Holder – Evolutionary genetics of rock ptarmigan (Co-supervised with Bob Montgomerie)


  • Heather Lounder – Machine Learning and Genomics: Using a Novel Neural Network for Population Assignment of Threatened Seabird the Leach’s Storm-Petrel
  • Gihyun Yoo – Genomic basis of parallel allochronic divergence in band-rumped storm-petrels (Hydrobates spp.)
  • Heather Vanderlip – Assessing the effects of international bans on trends of persistent flame retardants in herring gulls
  • Maleeka Thaker – Assessing and reducing bird-window collision risk on the Queen’s University main campus
  • Emma Lachance-Linklater –
  • Lila Colston-Nepali – Can genomic tools aid conservation of an arctic seabird, the northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)?
  • Katie Birchard – Using population genomics to disentangle the evolutionary history and conservation of the Leach’s Storm-petrel species complex (Hydrobates spp.)
  • Russell Turner – Getting one’s ducks in a row: conservation units of common eiders (Somateria mollissima) throughout North America
  • Drew Sauve – Phenotypic plasticity drives phenological change in an arctic seabird(Cepphus Grylle Mandtii)
  • Nate Clark – Patterns of genetic differentiation and trans-Atlantic migration in a temperate seabird (Morus Bassanus)
  • Bronwyn Harkness – An assessment of population genetic structure in Guillemots (Cepphus)
  • Sarah Wallace – Characterizing the population genetic structure of Cassin’s auklet
  • Petra Deane – Evolution of sympatric seasonal populations among colonies of the band-rumped storm petrel
  • Roger Bull – Population differentiation of birds in the Queen Charlotte Islands
  • Joseph Brown – Population differentation in North American peregrine falcons
  • Anoma Patirana – Evolutionary genetics of kittiwakes
  • Lisa Veit – A test of the source/sink model of migration in cerulean warblers
  • Hollie Walsh – Mechanisms of speciation in least and crested auklets (Aethia spp.)
  • Gabriela Ibarguchi – Kin groups and genetic structure in thick-billed murres
  • Monica Kidd – Population genetic variation in guillemots

Honours BSc

  • Alyssa Green – Is there a genetic basis for ‘pace of life’ in kittiwakes?
  • Dominique Charland – 
  • Kaitlyn Liew – 
  • Jordan Rutherford – 
  • Miriam John –
  • Haley Turcotte –
  • Ferris Nowlan –
  • Jameel Premji –
  • Emma Lachance Linklater – Variation in genes related to immunity black guillemots
  • Samantha McCaul – Variation in genes related to immunity black-legged kittiwakes
  • Spencer Kalan – Variation in genes related to immunity in thick-billed murres
  • Katie Birchard – Latitudinal variation of BMAL1 in band-rumped storm-petrel
  • Lila Colston-Nepali – Hybridization between thick-billed and common murres in the Atlantic
  • Hannah Driver – Latitudinal variation of BMAL1 in leach’s storm-petrel
  • Dami Ademidun – Period variation in Leach’s storm-petrels
  • Bronwyn Harkness – Period variation in band-rumped storm-petrels
  • Eric Saulnier – Hemoglobin evolution in the Alcidae
  • Drew Sauve – Variation in candidate genes associated with migration and aggression in bluebirds
  • Shima Shakory – Population genomics of razorbills
  • Ian Burns – Variation in genes related to immunity in thick-billed murres
  • Danielle Rusheleau – Variation in genes related to immunity in black-legged kittiwakes
  • Vanessa Hrvatin – Variation in genes related to immunity in herring gulls
  • Austin Morrin – Clock gene variation in Leach’s storm-petrel
  • Erin Chown – Clock gene variation in the band-rumped storm-petrel
  • Sarah Wallace – Phylogenetics of the Hydrobatinae
  • Kimberley Lemmen – Haida Gwaii as a galcial refugia
  • Samantha Patterson – Phylogenetics of the Sulidae
  • Laura Maclagan – Population genetics of blue-footed boobies
  • Petra Deane – Conservation genetics of cerulean warblers
  • Anna Baillie – Population differentation in Leach’s storm-petrels
  • Andre McCracken – Phylogeography of orange-crowned warblers
  • Previn Gulavita – Phylogeography of Leach’s storm-petrels
  • Anne MacDonald – Conservation genetics of Xantu’s murrelets
  • Jaclyn Bowen – Phylogeography of gannets
  • Chris Lorenz – Conservation genetics of Kittlitz’s murrelets
  • Ryan Germain – Plumage variation and parenting in American red-starts
  • Katherine Lafranier – Hybridization in sunfish
  • Daniel MacKinnon – Population differentation in Kittlitz’s murrelets
  • Shawn Garner – Population genetics of African lungfish
  • Sandeep Girn – Population differentiation in brown creepers
  • Matthew Atkey – Population differentiation in Leach’s storm petrels
  • Alice Wan – Population differentiation in blue-eyed shags
  • Joseph Brown – Molecular systematics of parrots
  • Michael Kim – Population differentiation in red-footed boobies
  • Sherri Leung – Hybridization and introgression in murres
  • Heather McNally – Population differentiation in brown boobies
  • Sarah Corbett – Population genetics of blue-eyed shags
  • Nicholas Pacheco – Hybridization and introgression in Brachyamphus murrletes
  • Veronica Poland – Population genetics of pigeon guillemots
  • Emily Croteau – Heterozygosity and disease resistance in tree swallows
  • Susanne Millard – Morphological variation among cerulean warblers
  • Rebecca Pearce – Population differentiation in ancient murrelets
  • Anoma Patirana – Population differentiation in common murres
  • Jesse Wood – Population differentiation in ancient murrelets
  • Vinay Lodha – A test of sympatric speciation in Maderian storm-petrels
  • Hollie Walsh – A phylogenetic analysis of the auklets
  • Sylva Donaldson – A phylogenetic analysis of Amazon parrots
  • Shane Doran – Population differentiation in blue-eyed shags