Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Department of Biological Sciences
Purdue University
915 W State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47992

Phone: 765.496.6848
Fax: 765.494.0876

email: kmnichol@purdue.edu

Lab Members

Krista Nichols

Krista Nichols
Principal Investigator
Krista is interested in the genetic basis and evolution of complex traits in aquatic organisms.  Central to the research in the lab is understanding the genetics and evolution of migration in salmonid fishes, using quantitative genetic, genomic, and molecular tools.  We are also involved in projects aiming to understand the prevalence, genetic diversity, and physiological consequences of a marine parasite (Ichthyophonus) infecting migratory Pacific salmon in Alaska.  In both areas, we are actively involved in collaborative outreach activities with Native Alaskan communities to better understand the biology of the fishes that they use for subsistence.


Matt Hale

Matt Hale
Post-doctoral associate.
My main area of interest is in using genetic methods as a tool kit to ask and answer questions about the ecology and evolution of wild, non-model organisms. In the Nichols Lab, I am working on dissecting the genetic architecture for migration in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). This species exhibits two distinct life histories, resident rainbow trout and migratory steelhead that move into the marine environment for three to five years before returning to their native streams to breed. By using a combination of linkage mapping and genome wide association approaches we hope to determine the genes responsible for migration in multiple populations of O. mykiss.

Ashley Chin-Baarstad

Ashley Chin-Baarstad
Ph.D. student, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
Ashley is broadly interested in behavioral ecology and genetics, with her current research exploring the genetic associations of behaviors associated with migration in salmonids. Her initial focus is on within individual behavioral consistency, as well as between individual and cross-type behavioral variation in rainbow trout. She is looking for correlations between dispersal and a few behaviors, including: exploration, activity, and aggression. These behaviors will be tested for genetic associations using both allelic variation and expression levels. Ashley is also working on an association study in brook trout, looking for markers associated with ecotype.

Personal webpage
web.ics.purdue.edu/~achinbaa

Ben Hecht

Ben Hecht
Ph.D. Student, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
I am interested in the evolution of adaptive life history traits in salmonid fishes. Currently I am employing quantitative genetic approaches to dissect the underlying genetic architecture of marine migration in an experimental population of rainbow trout from Southeastern Alaska that segregates for the migratory life history.

Personal webpage http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~bhecht/index.html

 
Garrett McKinney

Garrett McKinney
Ph.D. student, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
Garrett is interested in how natural selection shapes diversity across populations within a species.  His research is focused on population level divergence in salmonids with both migratory and resident life histories.  Past research has involved determining the role of adaptive and neutral processes on shaping variation in brook trout morphology.  His current research investigates transcriptome level differences in migratory and resident rainbow trout.


Garrett McKinney

Julie Scardina
Ph.D. student, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
I am interested in the evolutionary history of circadian rhythm genes in salmonids and their role in early development rate. By using gene expression analysis, I hope to provide evidence underlying differential development rate in embryos of steelhead and rainbow trout crosses.





Lab alumni

Post-docs: Peng Xu

Graduate students: Sunnie McCalla (M.S., Biological Sciences), Anna Varian (M.S., Forestry and Natural Resources)

Undergraduates: Tom Nania (BIOL, 2006); John Colletti (BIOL, 2006-2009; Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) fellow, NOAA Hollings Scholar); Megan Duge (BIOL, 2006-2007); Matthew Harmon (BIOL, 2006-2007; HHMI fellow); Andrew Hornbeck (BIOL, 2007-2008); Julie Scardina (BIOL, 2007-2009); Lehanna Sanders (BIOL, 2008); Graham Wolf (FNR, 2008); Katlin Walls (BIOL, 2009); Katherine Effinger (BIOL, 2010-2011); Heather Holzhauer (BCHM, 2009-2011); Madeline Valle (BIOL, 2010-2011; NOAA Hollings Scholar); Gabrielle Shafer (BIOL, 2011); Brittany Guynn (BIOL, 2011); Shannon Torstrom (SURF, 2011); Roxanne Croxall (HHMI, 2011)

High School students: Katie Helmerick