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.


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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 from the University of Thessaly.


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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!


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. 

  • Chloé Schmidt, PhD 2017-2021, Postdoc 2021  

  • Phil Grayson, Postdoc 2019-2021 

  • Paul O'Brien, MSc 2018-2020

  • Sean Robertson, Summer research assistant

  • Alex Green, Summer research assistant

  • Kyle Lefort, MSc 2018-2020

  • 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, Munshi-South J, Garroway CJ (In review) Determinants of genetic diversity and species richness of North American amphibians. pre-print 

  • Kinnunen RP, Schmidt C, Hernándes-Ortiz A,  Garroway CJ (In review) No Evidence of Toxoplasma Gondii Infection in Urban and Rural Squirrels in Southern Manitoba, Canada. pre-print

  • Schmidt C, Dray S, Garroway CJ (In review) Genetic and species-level biodiversity patterns are linked by demography and ecological opportunity. 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


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

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



  • ​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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