- Keywords: coastrange sculpin, genetics
- Student Investigator:
- Faculty Mentor: David Tallmon, Ph.D.
- Project Period: January 2011–July 2011
- URECA: $2,500
For the past 1.5 years I have conducted research relating to the adaptive potential of background matching in coastrange sculpin, Cottus aleuticus. My current focused project within the framework of this larger sculpin research scheme is to examine the population genetic structure and phylogenetics of coastrange sculpin at a nuclear color gene and two mitochondrial DNA regions for populations ranging from Oregon to Alaska. I am inquiring into genetic structure at a fine and large geographic scale, while also determining the evolutionary and colonization history of coastrange sculpin along the west coast of North America. This work provides insights into the role of phenotypic plasticity and genetic assimilation in persistence in a heterogeneous environment. This information will, ultimately, be extremely valuable in understanding how organisms may respond to novel environments created by climate change. All of the aforementioned implications of this research are discussed in a manuscript that will be submitted for publication once the project is complete.