Mark Christie

I am an Assistant Professor at Purdue University in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. My research integrates rapidly-advancing molecular and analytical tools to ask a broad array of ecological and evolutionary questions. Using these tools, our lab answers questions in both basic and applied ecology and evolution, often focusing on the conservation and successful management of marine and freshwater fishes.

Email: markchristie at
Phone: 765-494-2070
Twitter: @markrchristie




Janna Willoughby (Postdwilloughby_turtle copyoctoral Research Associate)

I am broadly interested in using genetic and genomic data to inform conservation and management practices. In particular, my previous work has focused on developing a method for identifying species of conservation need using existing microsatellite data as well as evaluating the impacts of breeding protocol on captive populations using pedigrees, microsatellites, SNPs, and simulations. My current research is focused on the evolution of rainbow trout that can occur in hatcheries and novel environments using genomic sequencing data. More about my research can be found at




Elizabeth LaRue (PhD candidate; Co-advised with Nancy EmeryLaRuephoto copy

I am broadly interested in the ecological processes that drive rapid evolution and how this in turn can directly influence ecological dynamics, particularly in human-impacted systems. My current research investigates dispersal trait variation in a Great Lakes beach plant and the potential consequences for geographic range limits. Past research has focused on evolution of herbicide resistance in an invasive hybrid aquatic plant and population genetic structure of an invasive Great Lakes fish. More info about my research can be found at




Avril Harder (PhD student)avril_labphoto copy 

I am interested in using genomic data to answer evolutionary questions that have conservation and management implications. Specifically, my current research seeks to determine if and how reintroduced populations of Atlantic salmon are rapidly adapting to diets consisting primarily of invasive species. More broadly, I’m interested in how a series of whole genome duplications, common to all salmonids, may have facilitated adaptation to new or changing environments. Past research projects have included examining patterns of genetic connectivity in marine invertebrates and using sequence data to recover molecular phylogenies for Antarctic sea spiders.





Alex Martinez (PhD student)

My research interests include conservation and population genetics in the context of global change. Specifically, I am interested in the molecular and genetic bases that underlie individual and population scale responses to changing climatic conditions in aquatic species.