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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Assistant 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. 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. 


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Great Lakes Fishery Commission funded postdoctoral fellow 2019 -

Phil is examining the evolution of sex determination in invasive sea lamprey using population genomic and bioinformatic techniques.  He is co-supervised by Margaret Docker (University of Manitoba) and Alison Wright (University of Sheffield).  If you can’t find him in the lab or at the computer, he’s probably out fishing! Phil is a Winnipeg native returning home after his PhD at Harvard.


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PhD candidate 2017-

Chloé is working on questions about urban evolution and the predictors of genetic diversity. She conducts synthetic multi-species population genetic analyses and genomic analyses of urban squirrels. Check out her site Pineapples and Whales where she creates infographics based on scientific papers. Chloé joined us after her MSc at the University of Lausanne and is currently funded by a University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship.


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PhD candidate 2017-

Riikka is working on questions about the ecology of local adaptation. She is using both publicly available citizen science databases and conducting intensive field work with urban squirrels to address her questions. Riikka joined us after her MSc at the University of Helsinki and is currently funded by a University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship.


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 after completing her MSc at the Agricultural University of Athens.


MSc candidate 2017-

Kyle is an NSERC funded MSc student co-supervised with Steve Ferguson at DFO. He is exploring the demography of killer whales in the Canadian Arctic with photographic resighting data. He is also using genomic data to address questions about the population structure and origin of Arctic killer whales. One day he may even see a killer whale in person (he now has... tons of them!). He joined us from the University of New Brunswick.


MSc candidate 2018-

Paul is an NSERC funded MSc student co-supervised with Jeff Bowman of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. He is testing for evidence of reinforcement in the hybrid zone between northern and southern flying squirrels in Ontario. Check out more about this project here. Paul joined us from Memorial University.


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MSc candidate 2019-

Jessie's work is funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and she is co-supervised by Margaret Docker. She joins us from the University of Victoria and will explore the genetic structure of the invasive freshwater and native marine sea lamprey populations in North America.


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MSc candidate 2019-

Meg's work is funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and a University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship. She is co-supervised by Margaret Docker. She joins us from Colorado State University and will investigate landscape genetic questions in invasive freshwater and native marine sea lamprey populations in North America. Check out her science and cat-related illustrations!


Honours student 2019-

In addition to helping with fieldwork over the summer, Leah is adding life history traits to our database of raw population genetic data. For her honours project she will explore the quantitative genetics of red panda pedigrees collected with collaborators from the Assiniboine Park Zoo.

  • 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) 


Find a complete list of publications on Google Scholar.

Lab members bold & underlined

  • Schmidt C, Dray S, Garroway CJ (In review) Common causes drive negative correlations between nuclear genetic and species level biodiversity. pre-print 

  • Kinnunen RP, Fraser KC, Schmidt C, Garroway CJ (In review) Socioeconomic variation across multiple cities predicts avian life-history strategies. pre-print

  • Schmidt C, Treberg JR, Kinnunen RPGarroway CJ (In review) Serum biochemistry suggests grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) have poorer physiological condition in urban settings. pre-print

  • Kratzer KV, van der Marel A, Garroway CJ, López-Darias M, Petersen SD,  Waterman JM (In review) Evidence for an extreme founding effect in a highly successful invasive species. pre-print

  • Schmidt CGarroway CJ (In review) Inconsistent effects of urbanization on amphibian genetic diversity. pre-print


  • Garroway CJSchmidt C (Accepted) Perspective: Genomic evidence for parallel adaption to cities. Molecular Ecology

  • 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 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



  • ​Shave A, Garroway CJ,  Siegrist J, Fraser KC (2019) Timing to temperature: Egg-laying dates respond to temperature and are under stronger selection at northern latitudes. Ecosphere 10, e02974 full text link

  • ​​​​Fraser KC, Shave A, de Greef E, Siegrist J, Garroway CJ (2019) Individual variability in migration timing can explain long-term, population-level advances in a songbird. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7, 324  full text link

  • ​Culina A, Garroway CJ (2019) In Focus: Bats use social information within and across species. Journal of Animal Ecology 88, 1444-1446 full text link



  • ​​Firth JA, Verhelst BL,  Crates RA, Garroway CJ, Sheldon BC (2018) Spatial, temporal and individual‐based differences in nest‐site visits and subsequent reproductive success in wild great tits. Journal of Avian Biology 49, e01740 pdf

  • ​Ouyang JQ, Isaksson C, Schmidt C, Hutton P, Bonier F, Dominoni D (2018) A new framework for urban ecology: An integration of proximate and ultimate responses to anthropogenic change. Integrative and Comparative Biology 58, 915-928 link

  • Schmidt CGarroway CJ (2018) Digest: Local adaptation at close quarters. Evolution 72, 1531-1532 pdf





Colin Garroway
Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba



Department website




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Our group is committed to building an inclusive and collaborative research team that fosters critical thinking and creativity within a supportive research environment. 


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 and your research interests. Funding will often be the limiting factor in deciding whether I can take on additional students. But, even when there are no advertised positions it's still good hear from interested students as funding sources sometimes arise and need to 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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