Population genetic analyses can provide important insight into the role that evolutionary processes may play in facilitating the invasion of non-native species. I am examining population structure of the non-native fish species, the round goby ( Neogobius melanostomus), in Lake Michigan. Specifically, I hypothesize that populations of round gobies occurring at different pier heads along eastern Lake Michigan represent discrete reproductive units with low gene flow among them. I collected 30-40 round gobies from each of 9 pier heads spanning a distance of nearly 370 km. I extracted DNA from the caudal fin and amplified 7 microsatellite markers for each fish. I am currently analyzing the microsatellite data using several methods (FST, Analysis of Molecular Variance, and Bayesian assignments) to compare genetic diversity and test for significant population structure among pier head populations.
Faculty Mentors: Carl Ruetz III and Ryan Thum
Ben presented at the 69th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference December 14-17, 2008 in Columbus, OH.
Ben Presented at the 2nd Annual West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference November 1, 2008.