Denis Roy

Denis Roy
Image by Alex Tran.

Assistant Professor

514-398-8026  |  Macdonald-Stewart Building, MS2-071 |  denis.roy5 [at] (Email)Website


PhD (University of Windsor)
MSc (University of Windsor)
BSc (Hons) (Queen’s University)

Short Bio

Denis Roy received his BSc from Queen’s University at Kingston, while benefitting from several internships with the Atmospheric Environment Service (AES) at Environment Canada. He obtained an MSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Windsor while working on a joint project with the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) in Ann Arbo,r MI. This work coupled hydroacoustics with bioenergetics to develop and apply temporally-explicit models of fish growth rate potentials. He received a PhD, also from Windsor, for his work that combined genetic techniques with environmental tracers to demonstrate the ecologically -driven adaptive radiation of rare fishes in insular lakes of the Sulawesi highlands of Indonesia. He was a post-doctoral researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG), where he developed several projects characterizing the biodiversity of alpine and peri-alpine aquatic ecosystems using genetic and morphological approaches. He was also an NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellow at Dalhousie University, where he used genetic methods to clarify and relate the population structure of highly exploited marine species to fisheries management and conservation authorities. More recently, he was an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Connecticut before coming to McGill. His research focuses on developing genomic resources and bioinformatics tools toward better understanding the impacts of rapid environmental changes on fish ecology and evolution.

Active Affiliations

Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Center (University of Connecticut)
Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering (University of Connecticut)
Member, CSEE, SSE

Research Interests

Research in the FGP2 lab focuses on understanding how biodiversity develops, is maintained, and can be lost in both natural and human-altered environments. Lab research uncovers the causes and consequences of species biocomplexity patterns and predicts the impacts of multiple stressors (e.g., over-exploitation and habitat changes) on population structure and species integrity. Often, results are used to better inform the conservation and management of highly-exploited species or those of special conservation concern (e.g., through COSEWIC). While much of the research uses advanced laboratory techniques (genomics/transcriptomics), it also centers on developing and refining bioinformatics, population genomics, and geometric morphometric tools that quantify population/species relatedness and differentiation. Most computational work is performed using specifically designed scripts written in R. Consequently, lab members typically develop strong competencies in script writing and quantitative analytical techniques. More broadly, lab research gravitates toward understanding biodiversity dynamics at the population level, to better mitigate against its loss.

Current Research

1) Developing genomic resources for ecologically and commercially important Arctic marine fishes

2) Development of bioinformatics platform for next-generation application of DNA fingerprinting and individual-based genetic tracking

3) Population genomic structure of circumpolar Greenland halibut and Arctic cod

4) Collapse of population structure of a widely distributed marine fish species in the Northwest Atlantic


View a list of current publications

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