Steven M Carr completed his PhD in Genetics at the University of California, Berkeley, under Prof Allan C Wilson. He is presently Professor of Biology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, with cross-appointments in Computer Science and in Genetics (Faculty of Medicine). His research interests are in development and application of Next Generation Sequencing methods and computational analyses to questions of conservation and population biology, phylogeography, and evolution. He is Co-President of Terra Nova Genomics, Inc., a biotechnology consulting company in St John’s, Newfoundland, with expertise in forensics, genomics, and environmental monitoring.


The use of NextGen methods has massively increased the rate at which DNA sequence data can be generated, and the complexity of the data matrices applicable toevolutionary and population biology. Amulti-species sequencing-by-hybridizationmicroarray platform, the “ArkChip,” can generate~1 Mbp of data from ~20 species’ mtDNA genomes in a single, highly cost-effective experiment. Such experiments create challenges for efficient bioinformatic extraction and analysis of data from highly-resolved family trees comprising scores or hundreds of individuals. Wedescribe historical phylogeographic patterns discerned with high precision in marine fish and mammal populations that contrast with previous single-locus models. We present novelmethods for quantitative testing of connectivity and population structure hypotheses, based on Monte-Carlo simulations and non-parametric Kolmogorov-Smirnov comparisons forresolution of individual and aggregated genome differences. We discuss the implications of these data and methods for precautionary management and bioremediation of populations and species at risk from environmental disturbance.

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