Dr. Deborah Leigh
Deborah Leigh, Ph.D.
dml8 [at] queensu [dot] ca
(613) 533-6000 ext. 77593
PhD, Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zürich, Switzerland
MRes, Ecology Evolution and Conservation, Imperial College London, UK
BSc Biological Sciences Hons. Zoology, University or Edinburgh, UK
Research interests and current work
Within my Postdoctoral fellowship I am exploring the genome wide patterns of variation across populations arctic populations of the Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla). The Black legged-Kittiwake is the most populous gull in Canada, and the Canadian arctic holds some of the last non-declining populations of the species. I am using whole genome sequencing to gain insight into the population structure, presence of local adaptation and demographic history of the species.
Outside of my Kittiwake project, I also have an interest in the limitations and biases of genomic analytical tools. I am interested in the impacts that bioinformatic processing choices can have on the biological trends observed. I am also interested in the effects of atypical demographic histories or population relatedness structures on downstream analysis, for example on selection detection methods.
Within my PhD I used RADseq to examine the presence of local adaptation in populations of Alpine ibex (Capra ibex), a successfully reintroduced species that underwent a severe bottleneck but has a current population size of over 40,000 due to reintroduction efforts. I explored how signals of selection and genome-wide diversity vary between these populations. Using a combination of simulations and selection detection methods, I explored if reliable signals of selection could be identified.
Within my MRes at Imperial and my BSc at the University of Edinburgh, I also dabbled in Ecology, examining parent-offspring conflict and the effect of diet on male phenotypes.
Leigh DM, Lischer HEL, Günther T, Grossen C, Wagner A, and Keller LF. (In prep) Detecting selection in a species with strong genetic drift
Leigh DM, Lischer HEL, Grossen C, and Keller LF. (2018) Batch effects in a multi-year sequencing study: False biological trends due to changes in read lengths. Molecular Ecology Resources
Biebach I, Leigh DM, Sluzek K, and Keller LF. (2016) Genetic Issues in Reintroduction. In: Reintroduction of Fish and Wildlife populations. USA: UC Press
Leigh DM, and Smallegange I. (2014) Effects of variation in nutrition on male morph development in the bulb mite Rhizoglyphus robini. Experimental and Applied Acarology. 64(2):159-170
Maenpaa M, Andrews C, Collette D, Leigh DM, and Smiseth P. (2014) Burying Beetle Larvae Discriminate Between Individual Parents and Between Some Classes of Adults. Ethology. DOI: 10.1111/eth.12348
Leigh DM, and Smiseth PT. (2012) Parent–Offspring Conflict over the Transition to Independence in Nicrophorus vespilloides: Parental Chemical Cues and Offspring Begging. Ethology. 118(5):460-465