Lianne Postma

Molecular Genetics Biologist
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Current research and/or projects

Lianne Postma joined the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as a summer student in 1987 working on Lake Whitefish genetics and has been a member of Arctic Research's Marine Mammal Population Genetics Laboratory since 1990. She is a member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

Lianne has been working and studying in the field of population genetics since 1987. She began her career working on fish (Lake whitefish, Arctic charr) but rapidly moved towards marine mammals. Past research has involved using isozyme variation and immunochemical techniques to study stock differentiation and evolutionary patterns in cetaceans (mainly beluga and narwhal), and methods development of PCR-based DNA marker analyses for the study of Arctic marine mammal populations. Current research involves studies on stock discrimination and harvesting impacts on Arctic marine mammals, and individual identification of animals for genetic tagging studies and kinship relationship studies.

Education and awards

MSc (Molecular Biology), University of Manitoba, 1995

Key publications

  1. Frasier, T.R., Petersen, S.D., Postma, L.D., Johnson, L., Heide-Jørgensen. M.P. and Ferguson, S.H.. 2015. Abundance estimates of the Eastern Canada-West Greenland bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) population based on genetic mark-recapture analyses. DFO Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Research Document, 2015/008, iv + 21 pg.
  2. Blanchfield, P.J., Kidd, K.A., Docker, M.F., Palace, V.P., Park, B.J. and Postma, L.D. . 2015.Recovery of a wild fish population from whole-lake additions of a synthetic estrogen. Environmental Science and Technology , Vol. 49, pg. 3136-3144
  3. Postma, L.D., Johnson, L., Tenkula, D., Petersen, S.D., LeBlanc, B., Higdon, J.W., Matthews, C., and Ferguson, S.H. . 2014. Genetic kinship analyses of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) sampled in Foxe Basin and Cumberland Sound, Nunavut, Canada. DFO Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Research Document, 2014/018 iv + 16 pg.
  4. Morin, P.A., F.I. Archer, V.L. Pease, B.L. Hancock-Hanser, K.M. Robertson, R.M. Huebinger, K.K. Martien, J.W. Bickham, J.C. George, L.D. Postma, and B.L. Taylor. 2012. An empirical comparison of SNPs and microsatellites for population structure, assignment, and demographic analyses of bowhead whale populations. Endangered Species Research, Vol. 19, pg. 129-147
  5. Postma, L.D., S.D. Petersen, J. Turgeon, M.O. Hammill, V. Lesage, and T. Donoil-Valcroze. 2012. Belugas in James Bay: a separate entity from eastern Hudson Bay belugas? . DFO Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Research Document, 2012/074, iii + 23 pg.
  6. Rioux, È., V. Lesage, L. Postma, É. Pelletier, J. Turgeon, R. Stewart, G. Stern, and M. Hammill. 2012. Determining harvest composition and wintering assemblages of belugas at a contemporary ecological scale using stable isotopes and trace elements. Endangered Species Research, Vol. 18, pg. 179-191
  7. Alter, S. Elizabeth, Howard C. Rosenbaum, Lianne D. Postma , Peter Whitridge, Cork Gaines, Diana Weber, Mary G. Egan, Melissa Lindsay, George Amato, Larry Dueck, Robert L. Brownell, Mads-Peter Heide-Jorgensen, Kristen Laidre, Adalgisa Caccone, and Brittany Hancock. 2012. Gene flow on ice: The role of sea ice and whaling in shaping Holarctic genetic diversity and population differentiation in bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus). Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 2(11), pg. 2895-2911
  8. Colbeck, G., P. Duchesne, L. Postma, V. Lesage, M. Hammill and J. Turgeon. 2012.Groups of related belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) travel together during their seasonal migrations in and around Hudson Bay. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, Vol. 280, pg.
  9. Turgeon, Julie, Pierre Duchesne, Gabriel J.C. Colbeck, Lianne D. Postma, and M.O. Hammill. 2012. Spatiotemporal segregation among summer stocks of beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) despite nuclear gene flow: implications for an endangered population in eastern Hudson Bay (Canada). Conservation Genetics , Vol. 13, pg. 419-433
  10. Wiig, Ø., Heide-Jørgensen, C. Lindqvist, K.L. Laidre, L.D. Postma, L.P. Dueck and L. Bachman. 2011. Recaptures of genotyped bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in Eastern Canada and West Greenland. Endangered Species Research , Vol14, pg. 235-242
  11. Heide-Jørgensen, M.P., K.L. Laidre, Ø. Wiig, L. Postma, L.P. Dueck, and L. Bachmann. 2010. Large scale sexual aggregation of bowhead whales. Endangered Species Research , Vol.13, pg. 73-78
  12. Givens, G. H., Ryan M. Huebinger, John C. Patton, Lianne D. Postma, Melissa Lindsay, Robert S. Suydam, John C. George, Cole W. Matson, J. W. Bickham. 2010. Population genetics of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in the western Arctic. Arctic, Vol. 63, pg. 1-12
  13. Heide-Jørgensen, M.P., K.L. Laidre, M.V. Jensen, L. Dueck and L.D. Postma. 2006. Dissolving stock discreteness with satellite tracking: bowhead whales in Baffin Bay. Marine Mammal Science, Vol.22. pg. 34-45
  14. de March, B.G.E. , L.D. Postma. 2003. Molecular genetic stock discrimination of belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) hunted in eastern Hudson Bay, northern Quebec, Hudson Strait, and Sanikiluaq (Belcher Islands), Canada, and comparisons to adjacent populations. Arctic , Vol. 56, pg. 111-124