Anna Wawer

I have a BSc in Veterinary Bioscience and an MRes in Parasite Control. I am fascinated by the immune system and the undergoing interactions between pathogens, parasites, and their host. My previous work with various endangered animal species has sparked my interest in immunogenomics, and its potential use in conservation. I hope to look beyond how immune genes stimulate a response and transfer that knowledge into population genetics; how well can a population fight a certain disease? Can individuals cope with introduction of new pathogens?

Immunogenomic status of salmonid populations in Scotland

PhD Aims:

  • To identify and illustrate immune gene diversity in wild Atlantic salmon throughout Scotland. The project aims to determine how this diversity is affected by interaction with aquaculture, introgression with farmed fish, and adaptive responses to novel selective pressures caused by pathogens and parasites.

PhD Objectives: 

  • Create an overview of the allelic variation of various immune genes (for example the MHC) of Atlantic salmon in Scotland using a “top down” and “bottom up” approach.
  • Determine the spatial distribution of immunogenetic polymorphism utilising samples collected by NEPS (National Electrofishing Programme for Scotland).
  • Identify any changes in the frequency of gene variants that have already occurred in wild stocks due to farming activity. This will be achieved by utilising historic material stored by the Marine Scotland Science Freshwater Fisheries Lab.

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