Mark W. Coulson, PhD

Image Mark W. Coulson
Science Advisor

Education and awards

PhD - Population Genetics

Department of Biology, Dalhousie University

Thesis title: "Historical and contemporary processes shaping population genetic structure of an anadromous fish (Osmerus mordax)"

Supervisor: Dr. Paul Bentzen


MSc - Molecular Evolutionary Genetics

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Thesis title: "Mitochondrial genomics of gadid fishes: implications for taxonomy and biogeographic origins"

Supervisor: Dr. Steven Carr


BSc (Honours) - Biology

University of Prince Edward Island

Thesis title: "Identification of American lobster (Homarus americanus) stocks off PEI and Nova Scotia"

Supervisor: Dr. Charles Brockhouse

Key publications

Rodriguez Barreto D, Garcia de Leaniz C, Verspoor E, Sobolewska H, Coulson MW, Consuegra S (2019) DNA methylation changes in the sperm of captive-reared fish: a route to epigenetic introgression in wild populations. Molecular Biology and Evolution (online early).

Verspoor E, Coulson MW, Greer RB, Knox D (2019) Unique sympatric quartet of limnetic, benthic, profundal and piscivorous brown trout populations resolved by 3D sampling and focused molecular marker selection. Freshwater Biology, 64, 121-137.

Gilbey J, Coughlan J, Wennevik V, Prodohl P, Stevens JR, Garcia de Leaniz C, Ensing D, Cauwelier E, Cherbonnel C, Consuegra S, Coulson MW, Cross T, Crozier W, Dillane E, Ellis J, Garcia-Vazquez E, Griffiths AM, Gudjonsson S, Hindar K, Karlsson S, Knox D, Machado-Shiaffino G, Meldrup D, Nielsen EE, Olafsson K, Primmer C, Prusov S, Stradmeyer L, Vaha J-P, Veselov AJ, Webster LMI, McGinnity P, Verspoor E (2018) A microsatellite baseline for genetic stock identification of European Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). ICES Journal of Marine Science, 75, 662-674.

Cauwelier E, Verspoor E, Coulson MW, Armstrong A, Knox D, Stradmeyer L, Webster LMI, Gilbey J (2018) Ice sheets and genetics: insights into the phylogeography of Scottish Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L. Journal of Biogeography, 45, 51-63.

Glover KA, Solberg MF, McGinnity P, Hindar K, Verspoor E, Coulson MW, Hansen MM, Araki H, Skaala Ø, Svåsand T (2017) Half a century of genetic interaction between farmed and wild Atlantic salmon: status of knowledge and unanswered questions. Fish and Fisheries, 18, 890-927.

Gilbey J, Cauwelier E, Coulson MW, Stradmeyer L, Sampayo J, Armstrong A, Verspoor E, Corrigan L, Shelley J, Middlemas S (2016) Accuracy of assignment of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) to rivers and regions in Scotland and northeast England based on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. PLoS One, 11, e0164327.

Coulson MW, Denti D, Van Guelpen L, Miri C, Kenchington E, Bentzen P (2011) DNA barcoding of Atlantic Canadian skates and rays. Molecular Ecology Resources, 11, 968-978.

Bradbury IR*, Coulson MW*, Campana SE, Paterson IG, Bentzen P (2011) Contemporary nuclear and mitochondrial genetic clines in a north temperate estuarine fish reflect Pleistocene vicariance. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 438, 207-218 (*joint first authors).

Bradbury IR, Coulson MW, Cook AM, Bentzen P (2010) Evidence for divergence and adaptive isolation in post-glacially derived bimodal allopatric and sympatric rainbow smelt populations. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 101, 583-594.

Marshall HD, Coulson MW, Carr SM (2009) Near neutrality, rate heterogeneity, and linkage govern mitochondrial genome evolution in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and other gadine fish. Molecular Biology & Evolution, 26, 579-589.

Coulson MW, Bradbury IR, Bentzen P (2006) Temporal differentiation: continuous versus discontinuous spawning runs in anadromous rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax). Journal of Fish Biology, 69, 209-216.

Bradbury IR, Coulson MW, Campana SE, Bentzen P (2006) Morphological and genetic differentiation in anadromous smelt (Osmerus mordax) along eastern Canada: disentangling the effects of distance and selection on gene flow. Journal of Fish Biology, 69, 95-114.

Coulson MW, Marshall HD, Pepin P, Carr SM (2006) Mitochondrial genomics of Gadine fish: implications for taxonomy and biogeographic origins. Genome, 49, 1115-1130.

Coulson MW, Paterson IG, Green A, Kepkay R, Bentzen P (2006) Characterization of di- and tetranucleotide microsatellite markers in rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax). Molecular Ecology Notes, 6, 942-944.


Book Chapters/Conference Proceedings

Bradbury IR, Coulson MW, Campana SE, Baggs E, Bentzen P (2009) Postglacial recolonization and the loss of anadromy in rainbow smelt from coastal Newfoundland. Pages 76-96 in AJ Haro, KL Smith, RA Rulifson, CM Moffitt, RJ Klauda, MJ Dadswell, RA Cunjak, JE Cooper, KL Beal, TS Avery (eds.). Challenges for diadromous fishes in a dynamic global environment. American Fisheries Society Symposium, 69, Bethesda, Maryland.

Coulson MW, Bentzen P (2009) Bay-scale population differentiation among anadromous rainbow smelt. Pages 831-834 in AJ Haro, KL Smith, RA Rulifson, CM Moffitt, RJ Klauda, MJ Dadswell, RA Cunjak, JE Cooper, KL Beal, TS Avery (eds.). Challenges for diadromous fishes in a dynamic global environment. American Fisheries Society Symposium, 69, Bethesda, Maryland.


Scientific Reports / Contributions

Tett P, Benjamins S, Black KD, Coulson MW, Davidson K, Fernandes T, Fox C, Hart M, Hicks N, Hughes A, Hunter D-C, Nickell T, Risch D, Tocher D, Vare L, Verspoor E, Wilding T, Wilson B, Wittich A (2018) Review of the environmental impacts of salmon farming in Scotland. Report for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee, The Scottish Parliament, 196 pp. 02468_0001, Issue 01, 24/01/2018.

Russell I, Torrisen O, Carr J, Collins C, Cooper A, Coulson MW, Finstad B, Glover K, Gargan P, Hindar K, Jackson D, Jaffa M, Jones S, Kvamme BO, Lillehammer M, Martell J, McGinnity P, Moberg O, Morris D, Naas KE, Naes HP, Pietrak M, Svasand T, Verspoor E, White J (2016) ICES Report of the Workshop to address the NASCO request for advice on possible effects of salmonid aquaculture on wild Atlantic salmon populations in the North Atlantic (WKCULEF), 1-3 March 2016, Charlottenlund, Denmark. ICES CM 2016/ACOM: 42. 44 pp.

Curran MJ, Kindness R, Verspoor E, Coulson MW, Tipping R, Minting P, Tosney J, Duncan A, Smith M (2015) River Carron Restoration Project. Rivers and Lochs Institute, Project Report 03 Feb. 2015.

Bradbury IR, Coulson MW, Cross T, Ostergreen S, Bekkevold D (2014) ToR c: Molecular methods for quantifying genetic introgression of farmed salmon in native populations. ICES WGAGFM Report 2014. ICES CM 2013/SSGHIE: 11.

Bekkevold D, Bradbury I, Coulson MW, Cross T (2014) ToRe: Request from OSPAR: “genetic impacts on marine environment and on wild fish stocks, specifically in connection with introgression of foreign genes, from both hatchery-reared fish and genetically modified fish and invertebrates, in wild populations”. ICES WGAGFM Report 2014. ICES CM 2013/SSGHIE: 11.

Coulson MW (2013) Report on genetic tool development for distinguishing farmed versus wild fish in Scotland. Managing Interactions Aquaculture Project 2011/2013. Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland.