Cathryn Abbott

Chercheur scientifique

Recherche sur la biodiversité et la génomique, y compris la détection moléculaire de parasites réglementés et d'espèces aquatiques envahissantes

Pêches et Océans Canada

Recherche et / ou projets en cours

Mon cheminement académique fut basé sur la génétique de l’évolution, avec une concentration sur la génétique des populations de vertébrés, de même qu’en phylogéographie. Je suis particulièrement intéressée dans ce qui suit : comprendre comment la diversité génétique est répartie au niveau d’une espèce, et ce dans les populations naturelles; déchiffrer les mécanisme qui mènent à cette distribution; et utiliser cette information pour répondre à une grande variété de questions dans les domaines tels l’environnement et l’écologie, incluant l’aménagement des ressources et la gestion de la conservation. Mes projets actuels incluent:

  • Des recherches en taxonomie et en évolution de la Mikropcytos mackini, un parasite des huîtres du Pacifique;
  • la phylogénie moléculaire de la Gyrodactylus spp., originaire du Canada;
  • le traçage des stocks de merlus du Pacifique migratoires et résidents dans les eaux canadiennes;
  • la population et la conservation génétique du Rhinoceros Auklet, une espèce qui peut être attrapée par des prises accessoires en grand nombre;
  • tester l’efficacité du code bar de l’ADN pour identifier les prises accessoires d’oiseaux pour certaines espèces;
  • l’application de marqueurs génétiques pour l’identification des espèces ainsi que pour l’identification génétique de tuniciers (Didemnum vexillum) qui est une espèce envahissante.

Énoncés de recherches/projets

  1. Research and development on Mikrocytos mackini (a federally regulated parasite of Pacific oysters), including: development of validated molecular diagnostic assay for regulatory testing; resolution of the phylogenetic position of Mikrocytos; transmission risks and general biology (2011-current).
  2. Developed a new integrative framework for large-scale assessments of biodiversity and community dynamics, using littoral gastropods and crabs of British Columbia, Canada as a model (2016).
  3. Current project: Development and field testing of metabarcoding-based environmental DNA biosurveillance tool for aquatic invasive species including finfish and dreissenid mussels in BC.
  4. Current project: Development and validation of a biomonitoring tool to assess the impacts of salmon aquaculture on marine benthic communities using metabarcoding.
  5. Current project: Development of environmental DNA (eDNA)-based biosurveillance for aquatic invasive species (AIS) to inform management and policy decision-making associated with shellfish aquaculture movements.

Activités professionnelles / intérêts

  • I was a member of the Project Management team for the federal interdepartmental Genomics Research and Development Initiative project on Quarantine and Invasive Species (2011-2016), which was awarded a Public Service Award of Excellence for outstanding scientific contribution. The project focused on DNA barcoding and metabarcoding to develop and implement faster, more accurate ways to identify and trace the origin of invasive species. The success of the project validated the collaborative model of research in government and demonstrated that stronger results can be achieved for Canadians by sharing knowledge and resources.
  • I am head of a molecular biology laboratory within DFO’s National Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory System (NAAHLS) that supports Canada’s National Aquatic Animal Health Program (NAAHP). The NAAHP is led by the CFIA and is co-delivered by DFO; in my lab we conduct research, provide scientific advice, and perform diagnostic testing for aquatic animal diseases that are regulated due to their potential impact on trade and/or the Canadian economy.
  • I co-supervise graduate students through collaborations with academic scientists; for example, as a PI on the Canadian Aquatic Invasive Species Network.

Prix et études

Ph.D. Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics (2005) Australian National University

B.Sc.H, Biology (1997) Queen's University

Principales publications

  1. Sequence homogeneity of internal transcribed spacer rDNA in Mikrocytos mackini and detection of Mikrocytos sp. in a new location
  2. Twelve microsatellite markers in the invasive tunicate, Didemnum vexillum, isolated from low coverage 454 pyrosequencing reads
  3. Development of a SNP-based genetic marker system based on variation in microsatellite flanking regions of Phytophthora infestans
  4. A New Genus and Species of Gyrodactylid (Monogenea) From Silver Hake, Merluccius Bilinearis, in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada
  5. The placement of Gyrodactylus salmonis (Yin and Sproston) in the molecular phylogeny of studied members of the Gyrodactylus (Monogenea) wageneri-group parasitizing salmonids.
  6. Health status of Olympia Oysters (Ostrea lurida) in British Columbia, Canada.
  7. Initial investigation of population and conservation genetics in the coastal giant salamander, Dicamptodon tenebrosus, using microsatellite markers.
  8. A global assessment of the impact of fisheries-related mortality on shy and white-capped albatrosses: conservation implications
  9. Molecular provenance analysis for shy and white-capped albatrosses killed by fisheries interactions in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa
  10. Copulation behaviour and paternity in shy albatrosses (Thalassarche cauta)
  11. An unusual source of apparent mitochondrial heteroplasmy: Duplicate mitochondrial control regions in Thalassarche albatrosses
  12. Phylogeography of shy and white-capped albatrosses inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences: implications for population history and taxonomy
  13. Genetic structure, conservation genetics and evidence of speciation by range expansion in shy and white-capped albatrosses
  14. Morphometric comparison of Australian Shy and New Zealand White-capped Albatrosses
  15. Hierarchical analysis of population structure in the noisy miner using DNA microsatellite markers