Lydia McGill

My background is based in molecular ecology, with particular interest in population connectivity studies. I have just completed a Masters by Research at the University of Salford which focused on using genomic methods to explore the population structure of two commercially exploited species of fish, the common ling (Molva molva) and the blue ling (Molva dypterygia) in the Northern Atlantic. In doing this I have been able to develop my skills in bioinformatics and population analyses, which will be essential for this project.

Genomic analysis of population connectivity in the Scottish marine protected areas network to inform nature conservation

PhD Aims:

  • Using genomic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers to explore the population structure of priority marine features, flame shells and razor clams, within Scotland’s network of marine protected areas (MPAs)
  • This data will allow us to assess the management and conservation of said priority features
  • We can then look at the broader inferences of this work and what it tells us about bivalve connectivity

PhD Objectives:

  • Begin study focusing on flame shells (Limaria hians)
  • Extract DNA in the lab and have this sequenced
  • Create a set of genomic SNP markers using bioinformatics
  • Use these markers to carry out population analyses
  • Investigate local adaptation using these markers
  • Explore the implications of results in the context of MPAs, management, and conservation
  • Repeat these steps with razor clams (Ensis sp.)
  • Compare and contrast the results of both species, looking at the wider inferences for bivalve ecology and connectivity

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