Principal Investigator

Rowan Barrett

Rowan is the Canada Research Chair of Biodiversity Science at McGill University. He completed his M.Sc. at McGill in 2005, conducting experimental evolution with microbes. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia in 2010, where he studied the genetics of adaptation in threespine stickleback. He then moved to Harvard University as a Howard Alper postdoctoral fellow, where he investigated ecological genomics using deer mice. Since 2013 Rowan has been an assistant professor in the Redpath Museum and Department of Biology at McGill. He is broadly interested in the reciprocal interactions between ecological and evolutionary processes, and the mechanisms by which these forces impact genomic variation in natural populations.

Rowan’s CV and Google Scholar profile.

Graduate Students

Victoria Glynn

Victoria earned her B.Sc. in Environmental Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, minoring in Science and Math Education (CalTeach). As an undergraduate, she worked with Dr. Jamie Cate (UC Berkeley) using CRISPR-Cas9 to: genetically engineer yeast for specialized fatty-acid production, and reduce wheat and rice’s susceptibility to bacterial and fungal pathogens. Her honors thesis under Dr. Claire Kremen (UC Berkeley) studied how passerine and near-passerine birds in California’s Central Coast are impacted by agricultural land use change; this was achieved by linking haematological metrics and aerial imagery via mixed-effects modeling. Victoria is also passionate about STEM outreach. With the CalTeach program she designed culturally-relevant science curriculum and taught over 200 hours in K-12 classrooms in the East Bay. For her Ph.D. she is interested in exploring coral’s molecular responses to climate change. Victoria is part of the NEO-STRI Program and is being co-advised by Dr. David Kline (STRI).


Tim Thurman

IMG_6490Tim received his BA in Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology from Vanderbilt University. As an undergraduate he worked in Daniel Funk’s lab, studying the dynamics of Wolbachia infection in a genus of leaf beetles. After graduation he worked as a research assistant at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, studying the genetics of mate choice in Heliconius butterflies. For his Ph.D. research, Tim is interested in combining field work with genomics to understand how ecological interactions influence evolutionary processes in natural populations. A member of the STRI-NEO program, Tim is co-advised by Owen McMillan at STRI. Tim’s website.


Mathilde Salamon

Mathilde earned her BSc in Biological Sciences from the University Paris-Sud. As an undergraduate, she worked on the evolution of reproduction strategies in the ant Cataglyphis cursor (supervised by Dr. Thibaud Monnin, University Pierre and Marie Curie). She completed her MSc in evolutionary ecology at the University Paris-Saclay after a one year exchange at the University of Calgary. During her MSc, she worked on invasive species at the Roscoff Marine Station, studying trophic characteristics of native and invasive sympatric Ascidian species (co-supervised by Dr. Christophe Lejeusne and Dr. Thierry Comtet), as well as connectivity patterns and population dynamics in the invasive kelp Undaria pinnatifida (supervised by Frédérique Viard). For her Ph.D, she will use genomic tools and experimental approaches to study the adaptation of calanoid copepods to climate change and toxicity. Mathilde is based at the Université du Québec à Montréal and is co-supervised by Alison Derry. She is a member of the EcoLac program.


Marc-Olivier Beausoleil

Marco_s_blurb_pictureMarc-Olivier completed his B.Sc in ecology in a problem-based learning program at l’Université du Québec à Montréal. He studied, as an undergraduate with Denis Réale and Anne Charmantier, population genetics of blue tit (Cyanistes cæruleus) birds in Corsica. He is interested in ecology, evolutionary biology and the intrigue of biological diversity on this planet. Multidisciplinary approaches are his hobby horse, and he tries trying to combine scientific popularization, knowledge transfer, and a bit of art. His Ph.D. thesis will utilize population genomic methods to understand the evolution of Darwin’s finches. Marc-Olivier’s website.

Charles Xu

Charles received his B.Sc. in environmental sciences from the University of Notre Dame. During his undergraduate, he worked on aquatic environmental DNA in the lab of Dr. David Lodge, speciation genomics of apple maggot flies with Dr. Jeffrey Feder, and an independent project on spider web DNA. He then finished his M.Sc. in evolutionary biology in the MEME Erasmus Mundus programme where he earned degrees from the University of Groningen, University of Montpellier, and Uppsala University. In his masters, he worked on the genetics of starvation tolerance in European seabass with Dr. Bruno Guinand, population estimation of giant pandas using genetic mark recapture in the lab of Dr. Jacob Höglund, and taxonomic assignment of metabarcoding data in the lab of Dr. Douglas Yu at the Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Charles was awarded a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship to support his Ph.D., which will focus on the experimental genomics of deer mice. Charles’ website.

Ananda Martins

Ananda completed her BA in Biological Sciences at Federal University of Maranhão – Brazil (UFMA). As an undergraduate she worked on the systematics and phylogenetics of Arcas Swainson (Lycaenidae) and evolutionary aspects of male secondary sexual organs, under the supervision of Dr. Robert Robbins (National Museum of Natural History – Smithsonian Institution) and Dr. Gisele Garcia Azevedo (UFMA). She completed her M.Sc. at the Museum of Zoology – University of São Paulo/Brazil (MZUSP), working on the systematics and phylogenetics the Atlides Section (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae, Theclinae, Eumaeini), under the orientation of Dr. Marcelo Duarte (MZUSP) and Dr. Robert Robbins (Smithsonian Institution). For her Ph.D. research, Ananda is interested in patterns of biodiversity and mechanisms that drive these patterns. She will focus especially on the process of hybridization, working with Heliconius butterflies of the Brazilian Amazon. Ananda is a member of the NEO program and is co-advised by Dr. Owen McMillan (STRI).

Alan Garcia-Efring

Alan obtained a BSc from Vancouver Island University. He then joined the Millien lab at McGill University, where he used genomic tools to investigate the evolutionary history of the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) in southern Quebec. For his PhD, Alan is interested in using population genomics to investigate the genetic basis of phenotypic traits. In particular, he will focus on uncovering the genetic basis of recessive colour morphs in ball pythons (Python regius) found in herpetoculture. Alan’s website.



Janay Fox

Janay completed a B.Sc. Honours in Genetics and a Certificate in Biological Research at the University of Alberta. As an undergraduate she used a candidate gene approach to investigate the genetic basis of boldness in a free ranging population of grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) under the supervision of Dr. Coltman. For her M.Sc. research, as a part of the NEO-STRI Program, Janay will be using a genomic approach to understand evolutionary dynamics between Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) and their Gyrodactylus parasites. Janay’s website.


Postdoctoral Fellows

Madlen Stange

Madlen completed her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Life Sciences and Molecular Biology, respectively, focusing on plant genomics and evolution at the University of Potsdam, Germany. Her main motivation in most of her finished or on-going projects is to study and elucidate how species change and adapt when facing new or different environmental circumstances. She conducted her Master thesis externally at the University of Basel, Switzerland in the lab of Walter Salzburger, studying the genetic basis of a male colour dimorphism in a cichlid fish. Madlen earned her PhD at the University of Zurich studying morphological changes of marine sea catfishes when adapting to freshwater habitats. Currently, she is a post-doctoral researcher at McGill with a Swiss mobility fellowship to study ionic adaptation in freshwater fishes of the St. Lawrence river and freshwater adaptation in a sea catfish species in the Panama Canal. She is co-advised by Andrew Hendry. Madlen’s website.

Research Associate

Åsa Lind

Åsa received her B.Sc. with Honours from the University of Glasgow in 2017. As an undergraduate, she conducted a project on population genetics in Atlantic salmon. After graduating, she worked as a technician at the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. During her time at UT, she worked on a meta-analysis on asymmetric premating isolation for Prof. Daniel Bolnick, conducted phonotaxis experiments on Túngara frogs for Prof. Michael J. Ryan and did ancient DNA work for Prof. Deborah Bolnick.

Lab alumni

Sara Smith (PhD)
Bushra Sial (Visiting PhD)
Antoine Paccard (PDF) – Antoine’s website
Samantha Wunderlich (B.Sc. Independent Research Project)
Lauren Bennett (B.Sc. Independent Research Project)
Juntao Hu (PhD)
Kiran Yendamuri (volunteer)
Caroline LeBlond (Research technician)
Samantha LaPenna (Biogenius Competition, Vanier College)
Dieta Hanson (Ph.D.) – Dieta’s website.
Arash Askary (Ph.D.)
Marc-Olivier Beausoleil (M.Sc.) – Marco’s website
Sara Kurland (M.Sc.)
Nour Zein (B.Sc. Hons)
Areeb Butt (Undergraduate research assistant)
Dominique Danco (Undergraduate research assistant)
Mehvish Bukhari (Undergraduate research assistant)
Denice Liu (B.Sc. Hons)


DRY-BAR Lab group

The BARrett lab also spends a lot of time with people in Andrew HenDRY‘s lab group at McGill. We share a number of research interests and our offices are all nearby each other in the Redpath Museum. Every Thursday the two groups get together for a big shared lab meeting, which is always good fun and has initiated many fruitful collaborations between members of both labs and our visitors!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s