Principal Investigator

Dr. Liz Mandeville

Dr. Mandeville is an assistant professor of computational biology in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph. Work in her lab focuses on quantifying and explaining variation in evolutionary processes using high resolution genomic data. Most of her work focuses on freshwater fish facing anthropogenic disturbances, and she often collaborates with conservation and management agencies. She also enjoys learning and teaching new computational approaches and programming languages, and is interested in effective visualization of multidimensional scientific data.

Liz completed her BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, followed by a PhD and postdoctoral research at the University of Wyoming.

Visiting Researchers

Dr. Eryn McFarlane

Eryn McFarlane is an evolutionary ecologist who works on anthropogenic hybridization. She’s currently a Swedish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Edinburgh, working on the genomics of hybridization between red deer and introduced Japanese sika deer with Josephine Pemberton. Previously, Eryn did her PhD on the hybridization and physiology of collared and pied flycatchers with Anna Qvarnström at Uppsala University and her MSc and BSc at University of Guelph with Andrew McAdam on North American red squirrels. You can read more about Eryn’s research at

PhD Candidates

Ben Schultz

Ben completed a MASc in Environmental Applied Science and Management at Ryerson University, where he focused on parasite ecology, specifically regarding freshwater invertebrates. Ben’s interests include freshwater ecology, parasitology, and more recently, genomics. Part of his PhD in Integrative Biology is focusing on genomic analysis of Chrosomus dace populations, specifically on the hybridization of Chrosomus eos and C. neogaeus and the parental and hybrid sex determination mechanisms.

Master’s Students

Cassandre Pyne

Cassandre completed her BSc at Queen’s University with a major in Biology and a minor in Computing. For her MSc she’s interested in using bioinformatic and computational tools to investigate evolutionary processes. Specifically, she is focused on determining the genetic basis of sex determination in Catostomus suckers using genomic data as well as bioinformatic tools such as a genome wide association study. Catostomus suckers are freshwater fish that experience contemporary hybridization and varying reproductive isolation between species.

Jillian Campbell

Jillian completed her BSc with a major in Biology at Queen’s University. She is now working towards completing her MSc in Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph. More specifically, for her MSc Jillian is interested in using genetic analyses to determine the effectiveness of a fisheries management intervention at reducing the incidence of hybridization between native and non-native Catostomus suckers. Determining the effectiveness of such operations helps to establish stronger management and conservation approaches in the future.

Undergraduate Students

Mathew Mervyn

Mat is volunteering in the Mandeville lab while completing his BSc in Zoology with a minor in Business at the University of Guelph. He’s interested in population dynamics, inter-species interactions, and human impacts on ecosystems. He also helps out on campus by volunteering in labs and as a volunteer TA for BIOL*1070.

Amanda Meuser

Amanda is a fourth-year research project student in the Mandeville lab and will be completing her BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics with a minor in French Studies in the spring of 2021. For her research project, she is interested in studying how population genetics of certain freshwater fish species, including creek chub and common shiner, have been altered in agriculturally impacted streams. She is eager to learn more about bioinformatic tools and computational approaches to genomic data analysis.

A drawing of Amy Pitura

Amy Pitura

Amy is a research assistant and with a BSc in Marine and Freshwater Biology from the University of Guelph. She’s passionate about aquatic ecosystems and is excited to contribute to understanding the mechanism of Catostomus and Chrosomus sex determination and how that affects their hybridization. She’s also helping with the Lab’s other projects, such as the MLWIC for fish hybrids project and the agricultural streams project.

Kayleigh Paisley-Rush

Kayleigh is volunteering in the Mandeville lab while competing her BSc in Marine and Freshwater Biology at the University of Guelph. She is interested in environmental ecology and conservation, especially in aquatic ecosystems. She also volunteers in BIOL*1070 seminars and is a part of the CBS Literature Review Club.

Catherine Cooper

Catherine (Cat) is a fourth-year undergraduate Wildlife Biology and Conservation student completing an undergraduate research project in the Mandeville lab. She is studying genetic variation in creek chub as a function of environmental variation in a fragmented agricultural landscape. She has a special interest in the interactions between different species, and between species and their environments.

Alumni of the Lab

Bram Ratz, Master’s in Bioinformatics

Daniel Fabrizio, Undergraduate

Samantha Arevalo, Undergraduate

Sam recently graduated from the University of Guelph with a BSc in Zoology. She aims to work in helping protect SAR species and understanding how humans have impacted aquatic ecology. With the Mandeville lab, she is involved with two main projects: 1) MLWIC for fish hybrids and 2) assessing population dynamics of creek chub. The goal of the MLWIC project is to determine how accurately a machine learning package in R (named MLWIC) can identify hybrid trout species apart from parental species. The creek chub project, which was also her fourth year research project, assesses how anthropogenic barriers affect genetic differentiation of creek chub populations across southwestern Ontario. This ongoing project combines spatial data and genomic analyses to determine how agricultural landscapes play a role in the evolutionary processes of fish.