The Cristescu Lab



Lab Members



Katie Millette
PhD Candidate
 

 

Evolution in contaminated environments: selection, gene flow, and the maintenance of Daphnia populations exposed to multiple stressors
(Co-supervised by Andrew Gonzalez)

Research interests

Increasing anthropogenic contamination of aquatic habitats is a major concern for freshwater species and populations. Pollutants (e.g., heavy metals) released into lake environments have been shown to affect the growth, development, and fitness of individuals, and ultimately place populations at the risk of extinction. However, prolonged exposure to pollutants may act as a selective force for adaptive genetic variation, influence rates of gene flow among populations, and drive patterns of genetic differentiation. As a result, species inhabiting contaminated habitats maintain a dynamic evolutionary position wherein local populations may succumb to stochasticity or selection. By studying populations of Daphnia from lakes with known contamination history, my project aims to disentangle the importance of dispersal, gene flow, and selection as drivers of observable genetic variation and forces behind the position of local populations at the brink of extinction.

Publications

Zeller KA, Creech TG, Millette KL, Crowhurst RS, Long RA, Wagner HH, Balkenhol N, Landguth EL. 2016. Using simulations to evaluate Mantel-based methods for assessing landscape resistance to gene flow. Ecology and Evolution, 6:4115-4128.

Millette KL, Keyghobadi, N. 2015. The relative influence of habitat amount and configuration on genetic structure across multiple spatial scales. Ecology and Evolution, 5:73-86.

Millette KL, Xu S, Witt JDS, Cristescu ME. (2011) Pleistocene-driven diversification in freshwater zooplankton: Genetic patterns of refugial isolation and post-glacial re-colonization in Leptodora kindtii (Crustacea, Cladocera). Limnology and Oceanography, 56, 1725-1736.

Scholarships and Awards

  • QCBS Excellence Award, McGill University, 2016
  • QCBS Intensive Course Award, McGill University, 2015
  • Research Travel Award, McGill University, 2014
  • Alexander Graham Bell CGS-D NSERC, 2013
  • Lorne Trottier Science Accelerator Fellowship, McGill University, 2013
  • Dr. Irene Uchida Fellowship, Western University, 2012
  • Alexander Graham Bell CGS-M NSERC, 2011
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2010

Presentations

11. Millette KL, Gonzalez A, Cristescu ME. 2016. Broken barriers: anthropogenic disturbance leads to continental-scale levels of genetic diversity. Society for Molecular Biology & Evolution (SMBE). Brisbane Australia, July (International conference).

10. Millette KL, Fussmann GF, Gonzalez A, Cristescu ME. 2015. Microsatellite pools and measuring genetic diversity loss. Biology Graduate Student Symposium, Waterloo ON, April (Provincial conference).

9. Millette KL and Cristescu ME. 2014. Evolution of natural populations in contaminated habitats. CSEE Genomes to Biomes Symposium, Montreal QC, May (International conference).

8. Millette KL and Cristescu ME. 2014. Evolution of Daphnia populations in contaminated environments. ERASMUS-CREATE GLIER Colloquium, Windsor, ON, April (National conference).

7. Millette KL and Keyghobadi N. 2013. Landscape genetics of the pitcher plant model system. US Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (US-IALE) Annual Symposium, Austin, TX, April (International conference).

6. Millette KL and Keyghobadi N. 2012. The influence of landscape on the genetic structure of the pitcher plant midge. Evolution 2012 — Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology, Ottawa, ON, July (International conference).

5. Zeller K, Millette KL, Creech T, O'Leary J, Hoagland S, Landguth EL, and Wagner HH. 2012. Simulation modelling of the relative influence of landscape characteristics in landscape genetic inferences. CIEE Landscape Genetics Symposium, Toronto, ON, May (International conference).

4. Millette KL and Keyghobadi N. 2012. The influence of landscape on the genetic structure of pitcher plant midge. 9th Annual Earth Day Colloquium, London, ON, April (Provincial conference).

3. Millette KL, Xu S, and Cristescu ME. 2010. Cryptic species and glacial refugia in
zooplankton: Insights from the global phylogeography of Leptodora kindtii (Crustacea, Cladocera). 6th Annual Early Career Scientist Symposium: Experimental Evolution, University of Michigan, MI, April (International conference; poster).

2. Millette KL, Xu S, and Cristescu ME. 2010. Cryptic species and glacial refugia in
zooplankton: Insights from the global phylogeography of Leptodora kindtii (Crustacea, Cladocera). 23rd Annual Ontario Biology Day Colloquium, Toronto, ON, March (Provincial conference).

1. Millette KL and Pitcher TE. 2009. Male mate choice in the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata). 22nd Annual Ontario Biology Day Colloquium, Windsor, ON, March (Provincial conference).

   
 
Last update: June 27, 2016
Contact Information
Katie Millette
MSc Western University

Department of Biology
McGill University
1205 ave Docteur Penfield Room N6/9
Montréal, Québec
CANADA H3A 1B1

Lab: (514) 398-1622
FAX: (514) 398-5069

katie.millette[AT]mail.mcgill.ca