Research in this laboratory focuses on evolutionary genomics, phylogenetic relationships and conservation genetics, especially from amphibians and non-avian reptiles. Research is quickly moving into comparative genomics and DNA barcoding. Current major studies emphasize the use of gene sequence and/or microsatellite DNA data in (1) the phylogenetic relationships of snakes, (2) genomic investigations of the desert tortoise, (3) the conservation genetics of Canadian freshwater turtles, (4) historical biogeography of Baja California, (5) biodiversity and conservation genetics of Southeast Asian amphibians and reptiles, (6) speciation in geckos of the genus Phyllodactylus, and (7) polar bear conservation, among others. The research in internationally collaborative and involves researchers from China, Russia, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Vietnam, USA and elsewhere.
Although I have a faculty appointment at the University of Toronto, I am employed by and housed in the Royal Ontario Museum. I also have a very active appointment in the Chinese Academy of Sciences at the Kunming Institute of Zoology. Research in these laboratories is collection-based, and largely dependent on frozen tissues. The Royal Ontario Museum has one of the largest frozen tissue collections of amphibians and reptiles, with more than 30,000 tissue samples. At KIZ, we have two next-generation sequencers, a Roche 454 and an Illumina Solexa.
Volunteer opportunities: Opportunities exist particularly for scanning and cataloging 35mm colour slides, and data basing the large reprint library. Occasionally, help in the laboratory and field is accepted.
Employment opportunities in the lab: currently we have no openings and none are likely to occur in the near future. All inquiries re. employment should be made to the Department of Human Resources, Royal Ontario Museum.
Religion: Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.