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We explore how population-level processes shape the generation, maintenance, and loss of biodiversity at genetic, population and species levels. We use multiple study systems, often systems experiencing substantial environmental change, multiple disciplines, and data synthesis to address our questions.  





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Associate Professor

Originally from Nova Scotia, I began as a teacher and researcher in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Manitoba in 2016. Prior to my start here I completed my BSc and MSc at Saint Mary's University, my PhD at Trent University, and a postdoc at the University of Oxford in the Edward Grey Institute. In research I aim to link population genetic patterns to ecological processes to better understand evolutionary change. I supervise research across diverse areas ranging from intense field ecology to computer based population genomics. I teach a 4th year/graduate level Evolutionary Genetics and contribute to teaching 3rd year Evolutionary Biology. 



Research Associate 2021

Quinn is working on macrogenetic questions related to adaptive evolution. Quinn joins us from the University of Winnipeg.  



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Postdoc 2020 -

Jaanus is using working on the population genomics of invasive sea lamprey. Specifically, he is reconstructing the invasion of the Great Lakes, testing for adaptive change in the freshwater environment, and exploring sea lamprey immunogenetics. Jaanus joins us after a post-doc at the University of Cologne.



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Postdoc 2021-

Ruth is exploration the population genomic consequences of climate change for polars working with Polar Bears International and Evan Richardson at Environment and Climate Change International. Ruth joined us following her PhD at the University of Toronto.



Research Technician 2021-

Evelien is working with Arctic marine mammal genomics, examining demographic history and patterns of selection in the context of climate change. She joins us after completing her MSc at the University of Manitoba.


PhD candidate 2019-

Claudio works on reconstructing the demographic histories of endemic Arctic whales, from prior to the arrival of humans up to the recent past, and linking demographic change to environmental change. He works closely with our Fisheries and Oceans Canada research collaborators here on campus and is co-supervised by Steve Ferguson. He joins us following his MSc work at the University of Bern.

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PhD candidate 2019-

Eleana is working on questions about the population structure and demographic history of anadromous sea lamprey populations from eastern North America, the north, and western Europe. Eleana is co-supervised with Margaret Docker and joined the group from the University of Thessaly.

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MSc candidate 2020-

Leah started her MSc in 2020 after two summers working with the group as an undergrad RA and honours student. She is using a ~40-year spanning polar bear pedigree to explore the heritability of space use, problem bear behaviours, and changes in adaptive potential across time.  Leah is co-supervised by Evan Richardson of Environment and Climate Change Canada.



MSc candidate 2021-

Montana is working on Arctic whale demographics using population genetics. She is co-supervised by Steve Ferguson at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Montana joined us following her undergrad at Cornell University. 



MSc candidate 2022-

Caila is using estimates of the epigenetic age, diet, and genetic structure of killer whales in the eastern Canadian Arctic to improve our understanding of their demography. She is co-supervised by DFO research scientist  Cory Matthews 



Postdoc 2022-

Levi is working on is focusing on all things related to epigenetic aging in polar bears as well as questions about how animal movement predicts genetics. He joined us from Memorial University


Karen Dunmall, Liber Ero Postdoctoral Fellow 2017-2019

Miranda Bilous, Summer research assistant, Biology co-op student 2019

Alyssa Garrard, Summer research assistant, Biology co-op student 2019

Mitchell Green, Biology co-op student 2019

Léa Tessier, Summer research assistant 2018

Brooke de Koning, Summer research assistant 2018

Evan Balzer, Summer research assistant 2017, Honours student 2017-2018

Dinghan (Grace) Ji, Computer Science co-op student 2018

Kirsten Solmundson, Summer research assistant 2017, Honours student 2016-2017

Caitlin Ferry, Summer research assistant 2017, Honours student 2016-2017 (University of Winnipeg) 

Ava Bourrier-Vince, Honours, 2022-2023

Isaac Hudson Foy, Honours 2021-2022

Madison Mastaler, Honours 2021-2022

Riikka Kinnunen, PhD 2017-2022

Jessie Ogden, MSc 2019-2021

Meghan Mahoney, MSc 2019-2021

Chloé Schmidt, PhD 2017-2021, Postdoc 2021  

Amila Hoang, Summer research assistant 2021

Phil Grayson, Postdoc 2019-2021 

Paul O'Brien, MSc 2018-2020

Sean Robertson, Summer research assistant 2020



Find a complete list of publications on Google Scholar.

Lab members bold & underlined

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  • Lawrence MJ*, Grayson P*, Jeffrey JD, Docker MF, Garroway CJ, Wilson JM, Manzon RG, Wilkie MP, Jeffries KM (In revision) Differences in the transcriptome response in the gills of sea lamprey acutely exposed to 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM), niclosamide or a TFM:niclosamide mixture. pre-print

  • Grayson P, Wright AE, Garroway CJ, Docker MF (Submitted) SexFindR: A computational workflow to identify young and old sex chromosomes. pre-print


  • O’Brien PP, Bowman J, Newar SL, Garroway CJ (Accepted) Microhabitat use of northern and southern flying squirrels in a recent hybrid zone. Canadian Journal of Zoology pre-print

  • Lerner D, Usui T, Angert AL, Eckert I, Garroway CJ, Hargreaves A, Lancaster L, Lessard JP, Riva F, Schmidt C, van der Burg K, Marshall K. (Accepted). A unified synthesis for the evolution of plasticity across species’ ranges. Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

  • Ouellette R, Garroway CJ, Schulte-Hostedde A (Accepted) Cortisol is correlated with urbanization but not body condition in eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus). Urban Ecosystems

  • Lawrence MJ*, Grayson P*, Jeffrey JD, Docker MF, Garroway CJ, Wilson JM, Manzon RG, Wilkie MP, Jeffries KM (Accepted) Transcriptomic impacts and potential routes of detoxification in a lampricide-tolerant teleost exposed to TFM and niclosamide. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part D: Genomics and Proteomics *equal contribution

  • Schmidt C, Hoban S, Hunter M, Paz-Vinas I, Garroway CJ (Accepted) Genetic diversity does not predict IUCN Red List status. Conservation Biology pre-print

  • Lawrence MJ, Scheuffele H, Beever SB, Holder PE, Garroway CJ, Cooke SJ, Clark TD (Accepted) The role of metabolic phenotype in the capacity to balance competing energetic demands. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology link

  • Halpern BS and 126 co-authors including Garroway CJ and Schmidt C* (2023) Priorities for synthesis research in ecology and environmental science. Ecosphere link

  • Kinnunen RP, Schmidt C, Hernándes-Ortiz A, Rahim MN, Garroway CJ (Accepted) Survey of Toxoplasma gondii in Urban and Rural Squirrels (Sciuridae) in Manitoba, Canada. Journal of Wildlife Diseases pre-print


  • Schmidt C, Garroway CJ (2022) Systemic racism alters wildlife genetic diversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119, e2102860119 pre-print

  • Lawrence MJ*, Grayson P*,  Jeffrey JD, Docker MF, Garroway CJ, Wilson JM, Manzon RG, Wilkie MP, Jeffries KM (2022) Variation in the transcriptome response and detoxification gene diversity drives pesticide tolerance in fishes. Environmental Science and Technology 56, 12137- 12147 pre-print *contributed equally

  • Schmidt C, Munshi-South J, Garroway CJ (2022) Determinants of genetic diversity and species richness of North American amphibians. Journal of Biogeography 49, 2005-2015 pre-print 

  • de Greef E, Einfeldt EL, Miller PJO, Ferguson SH, Garroway CJ, Lefort KJ, Paterson IG, Bensen P, Feyrer L (2022)  Genomics reveal population structure, evolutionary history, and signatures of selection in the northern bottlenose whale, Hyperoodon ampullatus. Molecular Ecology 31, 4919-4931 link

  • Schmidt C, Muñoz G, Lancaster LT, Lessard JP, Marske KA, Marshall KE, Garroway CJ (2022) Population demography maintains biogeographic boundaries. Ecology Letters 25, 1905 –1913 link

  • Santangelo, J.S., and many co-authors including Garroway CJ  (2022) Global urban environmental change drives adaptation in white clover. Science 375, 1275–1281 link

  • Korpach A, Garroway CJ, Mills A, von Zuben V, Davy C, Fraser K (In press) Artificial light at night reduces the functional connectivity of migratory aerial habitat. Ecography, e05581 link

  • Schmidt C, Treberg JR, Kinnunen RPGarroway CJ (2022) Serum biochemistry suggests grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) have poorer physiological condition in urban settings. Canadian Field-Naturalist 136, 20-29 pre-print

  • Schmidt C, Dray S, Garroway CJ (2022) Genetic and species-level biodiversity patterns are linked by demography and ecological opportunity. Evolution 76, 86-100 pre-print 

  • O’Brien PP, Bowman J, Newar SL, Garroway CJ (2022) Testing the parasite-mediated competition hypothesis between sympatric northern and southern flying squirrels​. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife 17, 83-90 link

  • Kinnunen RP, Fraser KC, Schmidt C, Garroway CJ (2022) The socioeconomic status of cities covaries with avian life-history strategies. Ecosphere e03918 link


  • Suurväli JGarroway CJ, Boudinot P (2021) Recurrent expansions of B30.2-associated immune receptor families in fish. Immunogenetics  link

  • Docker MF, Bravenerb GA, Garroway CJ, Hrodey PJ, Hume JB, Johnson NS, Lewandoski SA, Ogden JL, Zollweg-Horanf EC (2021) A review of sea lamprey dispersal and population structure in the Great Lakes and the implications for control. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 47, S549-S569  full text link

  • Leigh DM, van Rees CB, Millette KL, Breed MF, Schmidt C et al. (2021) Opportunities and challenges of macrogenetic studies. Nature Reviews Genetics 22, 791–807 link

  • O'Brien PP,  Bowman J, Coombs AB, Newar SL, Garroway CJ (2021) Winter nest trees of sympatric northern and southern flying squirrels: a test of reinforcement in a hybrid zone. Canadian Journal of Zoology 99, 859-866 link

  • Schmidt C, Garroway CJ (2021) The conservation utility of mitochondrial genetic diversity in macrogenetic research. Conservation Genetics 22, 323–327 link

  • Schmidt CGarroway CJ (2021) The population genetics of urban and rural amphibians in North America. Molecular Ecology 30, 3918-3929  link


  • Garroway CJSchmidt C (2020) Perspective: Genomic evidence for parallel adaption to cities. Molecular Ecology 29, 3397-3399  full text link

  • Falarz LJ, Xu Y, Caldo KMP, Garroway CJ, Singer SD, Chen G (2020) Characterization of the diversification of phospholipid:diacylglycerol acyltransferases in the green lineage. The Plant Journal 103, 2025-2038 link

  • Lefort KJ, Garroway CJ, Ferguson SH (2020) Killer whale abundance and their predicted narwhal consumption in the Canadian Arctic. Global Change Biology 26, 4276-4283  link video summary

  • Bilous M, Dunmall K (2020) Atlantic salmon in the Canadian Arctic: potential dispersal, establishment, and interaction with Arctic char. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 30, 463–483 link to full text

  • Szulkin M, Garroway CJ, Corsini M, Kotarba AZ, Dominoni D (2020) How to quantify urbanisation when testing for urban evolution? In: Urban Evolutionary Biology. Edited by Marta Szulkin, Jason Munshi-South and Anne Charmantier: Oxford University Press. Pgs 13-35

  • Lefort KJ, Matthews CJD, Higdon JW, Petersen SD, Westdal KH, Garroway CJ, Ferguson SH (2020) Canadian Arctic killer whales (Orcinus orca): a review of this lesser-known population’s ecology. Canadian Journal of Zoology 98, 245-253 Editor's Choice full text link

  • ​​Schmidt C, Domaratzki M, Kinnunen RP, Bowman J, Garroway CJ (2020) Continent-wide effects of urbanization on genetic diversity of birds and mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 287, 20192497 pre-print 

  • ​Solmundson K, Bowman J, Adey E, Baici JE, Dillon RM, Dupuis AE, Marrotte RR, Morin SJ, Newar SL, O’Brien PP, Scott LM (2020) The Currency of Conservation: How Is Landscape Extent Applied in Conservation Planning? Current Landscape Ecology Reports link










Colin Garroway
Associate professor
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba



Department website




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Our group is committed to building an open, inclusive, and collaborative research team that fosters critical thinking and creativity within a supportive learning and research environment.  We also know that confidence gaps and imposter syndrome are real, normal, and commonly felt.


We want to hear from all of you!


I'm always happy to hear from potential students and postdocs interested in joining or collaborating with the group. If you wish to get in touch about opportunities please send me an email and tell me a bit about yourself, your research interests, and what make you interested in joining us. Funding will often be the limiting factor in deciding whether I can take on additional researchers. But, even when there are no advertised positions, it's still good to hear from interested students as funding sources sometimes arise and necessitating that positions be filled quickly.

Potential graduate funding sources include NSERC (MSc/PhD/Postdoc; Canadian citizens and permanent residents), Manitoba Graduate Scholarships (MSc only; out of province students are eligible) and University of Manitoba Graduate Scholarships (MSc/PhD; out of province students eligible). 

Funded positions​​

Each summer I  hire at least two undergraduate field assistants to conduct fieldwork for our urban squirrel project in Winnipeg. These are great opportunities get research experience and to do an honours project. If you are interested please introduce yourself early in the academic year.

Our funding comes from:

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