Welcome to the Dalziel Lab in the Biology department at Saint Mary’s University.
We study how animals cope with environmental change. In particular, we investigate the physiological, biochemical, and genetic mechanisms that animals use to respond to environmental stressors both within a lifetime (acclimation/acclimatization/phenotypic plasticity) and over generations (adaptation).
We use stickleback and killifishes living along the Atlantic coast as our model organisms because these small fishes have evolved variation among populations and species in their environmental tolerances, allowing us to use them as a comparative system. As well, they have high population densities (which alleviates concerns about depletion of wild stocks), are relatively easy to care for in the lab (my students may disagree), are widely studied by biologists (allowing us to compare populations and species globally), and have a wide range of publicly-available genomic resources.
(Header photo – Low, medium, and high plated stickleback (2012), painted by Simone Des Roches)