Matthew Brachmann

photo of Matthew Brachmann
Graduate Student, PhD
SSC 1456
Ferguson Lab

My research is a mixture of evolutionary biology and ecology using Icelandic Arctic charr as a model system. I am studying how populations diverge phenotypically, ecologically, and genetically on a microevolutionary scale via ecologically based selection pressures.

During my undergraduate degree I mainly focused on ecology and ecological concepts. I studied the range expansion of Pterostichus melanarius, an introduced beetle species, at George Lake, Alberta. This Carabid beetle thrives in urban and human dominated habitats however, over time it can expand its range into non-urbanized forested habitats.

I then moved to Guelph for my masters to study population divergence in Icelandic Arctic charr in the Ferguson lab and have since turned that into a PhD. Here my research interests took an evolutionary turn as I began to branch into the field of evolutionary ecology. Arctic charr invaded Iceland roughly 10000 years ago and began to diverge, in sympatry, into morphs along a benthic-pelagic continuum. I am studying how this process occurs across multiple lakes throughout Iceland by assessing the degree of morphological, ecological, and genetic divergence between morphs within lakes.

  • BSc (Ecology specialization) – University of Alberta, 2010 - 2015
  • PhD – University of Guelph, 2015 - Present