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Principal Investigators

Professor Philip McGinnity










Principal Investigator, Conservation and Population Genetics, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University College Cork

I have been working in fisheries research and management for more than quarter of a century. I started my career in fisheries as an Inspector with the Northern Regional Fisheries Board in 1985, taking study leave from the Board to complete a BSc in Biology (Hons) at Queens University Belfast in 1989, having previously been a graduate of Dundalk and Sligo IT’s (National Certificate in Applied Biology & National Diploma in Environmental Science respectively).  I have a PhD, also from Queen’s, in the area of population genetics, which I completed part-time in 1997, while working as a biologist for the Salmon Research Agency of Ireland (now the Marine Institute) at it’s world famous research station on the Burrishoole River in County Mayo. I was a Biologist and Team Leader with the Institute until 2008. I did a spell on secondment as Director of Protection and Conservation in the Central Fisheries Board (now Inland Fisheries Ireland) between 2000 and 2002, and in 2008 was employed by University College Cork as the Principal Investigator for the prestigious Beaufort Marine Research Award in Fish Population Genetics, which was a seven year, €4m, joint collaboration between University College Cork, Queens University Belfast and the Marine Institute. In 2015 I am currently UCC Marine Institute Principal Investigator in Fish Population Genetics, based at the Institute’s research facility in Newport, Co. Mayo.  Recently, July 2019, I was appointed to the position of Research Professor in the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) in University College Cork.  I am probably best known for my research on the genetic impacts of farm escapes, but have also been published widely in the areas of salmonid population biology and ecology, stock assessment, population genetics, evolutionary biology, and the inventory of freshwater fish habitat. I have served and continue to contribute to a number of Commissions and Working Groups: the National (Ireland) Salmon Commission, the Salmon Commission’s Standing Scientific Committee, the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Loughs Agency (formerly the Foyle Fisheries Commission), as a member of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms; the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Salmonid Specialist Group; as a member of the ICES Working Group on the Application of Genetics in Fisheries & Mariculture, a member of the Honorary Scientific Panel of the Atlantic Salmon Trust and the Council of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

>>> Meet Phil's team <<<

Dr Tom Reed

Lecturer in Zoology at School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University College Cork

I am an evolutionary ecologist with broad interests in how individual organisms respond and populations adapt (or not) to environments that are highly variable across time and space, and heavily influenced by humans. In my research team, we are interested in how genes and environment interactively shape complex traits, behaviours and eco-evolutionary dynamics in the wild, primarily using salmonid fishes as a model system.

My main research theme currently focuses on the evolutionary ecology of alternative migratory tactics (in particular, facultative anadromy) in brown trout using a range of different experimental and genomic approaches. This work is funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant.

I also collaborate closely with the other PIs and research teams in the FishEye Group, in particular on the broad issue of the genetic and ecological consequences of captive-bred fish occurring in wild populations, be it through unintentional escapes from fish farms or intentional stocking/ranching programmes.

I am also a passionate ornithologist, and continue to collaborate with colleagues in Europe and beyond on long-term bird population studies, when I’m not consumed by fish work!

>>>Meet Tom's team<<<

Dr Martin Llewellyn

Senior lecturer at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow

My research has a broad focus around host-associated microbiota, parasites, molecular epidemiology, and the role of host-associated microbiota in parasitic disease.

My main research theme focuses on the role of commensal microbiota in salmonid energetics and nutrition. Funded by the BBSRC, Science Foundation Ireland and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovations Centre, we are building an in vivo simulator of the Atlantic Salmon gut

Other funded interests cover interactions between sea lice (Lepoephtheirus and Caligus sp) and the commensal microbiota of their salmonid hosts, as well as similar interactions between the Leishmania and their human hosts.

My research ‘first love’ is the molecular epidemiology of the protozoan parasite Trpanosoma cruzi and I continue to work on the population genetics of this organism, as well as that of New World Leishmania in North, Central and South America.


>>>Meet Martin's team<<<

Group website 

Professor Paulo Prodohl

School of Biological Sciences Professor, Ecology, Evolution, Behaviour and Environmental Economics Institute for Global Food Security, Queen’s University Belfast

My research interests centre on the areas of biodiversity, population genetics, fishery management and aquaculture. I am particularly interested in the development and application of modern genomic methodologies and associated statistical genetics approaches (bioinformatics pipelines), to gain further understanding on population genetic structure, evolutionary patterns and life history variation of organisms. Research emphasis is given to salmonid fish (brown trout and Atlantic salmon) and crustaceans (European lobster) through investigations focusing on management and conservation. Current research topics include: mechanisms of population structure; local adaptation; taxonomy and phylogeography; landscape genetics; genetic diversity, gene flow, genetic tagging; genetic consequences of deliberate/accidental introductions of culture fish on wild populations; genetic stock identification (GSI); identification of QTLs; selective breeding, and the identification and delimitation of conservation and management units.

Fish Eye Research Group