Dr Chris Wilson

Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation Unit
Ontario Ministry Of Natural Resources
Trent University
2140 East Bank Dr.
Peterborough, Ontario.
Canada K9J 7B8

Phone: (705) 755-2260
Fax: (705) 755-1559




  • Ph.D. University of Guelph (1995)
  • M.Sc. University of Windsor (1989)
  • B.Sc. Queen's University (1985)

Research Experience: 1998 – present:
Research Scientist, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Trent University)

  • 1997 - present: Conjunct Professor, Trent University
  • 1998 - present: Adjunct Professor, University of Guelph
  • 1995-1998 NSERC/ARC Postdoctoral fellow, Australian National University

Research Interests:

My research is primarily focused on the structure of aquatic biodiversity within Ontario, employing genetic and biogeographic tools to examine the factors underlying observed patterns of diversity. Genetic markers play a major role in my research, as they can highlight both past and present influences of environmental and anthropogenic factors on species and community structure at hierarchical spatial and temporal scales. Major research components include comparative phylogeographic structure and mtDNA diversity of aquatic species, and employing nuclear markers (allozymes and microsatellite DNA) to assess local and regional stock structure and gene flow among exploited or fragmented populations.

Current Research:

Current research directions and projects in progress include: biodiversity of freshwater fishes, comparative phylogeography of aquatic species, demographic and ecological influences on genetic diversity and effective population size, historical genetics of fish species, evolutionary significance of interspecific hybridization, conservation genetics of exploited and endangered fish species, and effects of fragmentation on aquatic metapopulations.

Selected Publications:


Billington, N., C.C. Wilson, and B.L. Sloss. 2011. Distribution and population genetics of walleye and sauger. Chapter 4 in Biology, Management, and Culture of Walleye and Sauger (B. Barton, ed.). American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD (in press).

Wozney, K.M., T.J. Haxton, S. Kjartanson, and C.C. Wilson. 2011. Genetic assessment of lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) population structure in the Ottawa River. Environmental Biology of Fishes 90: 183-195.

Zanatta, D.T. and C.C. Wilson. 2011. Testing congruency of post-glacial redistribution and genetic population structure for a freshwater mussel (Bivalvia: Unionoida) and its host fish: a case study in co-evolution. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 102: 668-684.


Addison, P. and C.C. Wilson. 2010. Matching management to biological scale: connectivity among lacustrine brook trout populations. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 30: 1132-1142.

McDermid, J.L., W.N. Sloan, C.C. Wilson, and B.J. Shuter. 2010. Early life history variation among hatchery- and wild-origin lake trout reared in a hatchery environment. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 139: 21-28.


Bernard, A., M.M. Ferguson, D.L.G. Noakes, B.J. Morrison, and C.C. Wilson. 2009. How different is different? Defining units for management and conservation in a problematic exploited species. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 66: 1617–1630.

Halbisen, M.A. and C.C. Wilson. 2009. Variable introgression from supplemental stocking in southern Ontario populations of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 137: 699-719.


D’Amelio, S. and C.C. Wilson. 2008. Genetic population structure of coaster and riverine brook trout in Nipigon Bay, Lake Superior: implications for conservation and management. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 137:1213–1228.

D’Amelio, S., J. Mucha, R. Mackereth and C.C. Wilson. 2008. Tracking coaster brook trout to their sources: combining telemetry and genetic profiles to determine source populations. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 28:1343–1349.

Wilson, C.C., W. Stott, L.M. Miller, S. D'Amelio, M. Jennings, and A. Cooper. 2008. A synthesis of genetic research on coaster brook trout management, biology, and rehabilitation. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 28:1307–1320.

Reid, S.M., C.C. Wilson, L.M. Carl, and T. Zorn. 2008. Species traits influence the genetic consequences of river fragmentation on two co-occurring redhorse (Moxostoma) species. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 65: 1892-1904.


MacDougall TM, Wilson CC, Richardson L, Lavender TM, and Ryan P (2007) Walleye in the Grand River, Ontario: efforts at rehabilitation, recent demographics and implications for eastern Lake Erie fisheries. Journal of Great Lakes Research 33 (Supplement 1): 103-117.

Wilson CC, Lavender TM, and Black J (2007) Genetic assessment of walleye (Sander vitreus) restoration efforts and options in Nipigon Bay and Black Bay, Lake Superior. Journal of Great Lakes Research 33 (Supplement 1): 133-144.

Kyle CJ and Wilson CC (2007) Mitochondrial DNA identification of game and harvested fish species. Forensic Science International 166: 68-76.


Reid SM and Wilson CC (2006) Species identification and discrimination of redhorse suckers (Catostomidae: Moxostoma) using diagnostic genetic tools. Conservation Genetics 7: 997-1000.

Colbourne JK, Wilson CC, and Hebert PDN (2006) The systematics of Australian Daphnia and Daphniopsis (Crustacea: Cladocera): a shared phylogenetic history obscured by habitat-specific rates of evolution. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 89: 469-488.


Piller K, Wilson CC, Lee CE, and Lyons J (2005) Conservation genetics of inland lake trout in the Upper Mississippi River Basin: stocked or native ancestry? Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 134: 789-802.


Wilson CC and Mandrak N. 2004. History and evolution of lake trout in Shield lakes: past and future challenges. p. 21-35 in J. Gunn, R. Steedman, and R. Ryder (eds). Boreal Shield Watersheds: Lake Trout Ecosystems in a Changing Environment. Lewis/CRC Press.
(* also not published in 2001, as listed on web page *)


Blanchfield PJ, Ridgway MS, and Wilson CC (2003) Breeding success of male brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in the wild. Molecular Ecology 12: 2417-2428.


Schaefer JA and Wilson CC (2002) The fuzzy structure of populations. Canadian Journal of Zoology 80: 2235-2241.

Wilson C, Pisapio J, and Braid AM (2002) Conservation genetics in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve: identifying and monitoring heritage populations of an indicator species (brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis) on the Niagara Escarpment. Leading Edge 2001: Niagara Escarpment Commission. 5pp.

Hebert PDN, Remigio EA, Colbourne JK, Taylor DJ, and Wilson CC (2002) Accelerated molecular evolution in halophilic crustaceans. Evolution 56: 909-926.

Stein J, Reed KM, Wilson CC, and R.B. Phillips RB (2002) A sex-linked microsatellite locus isolated from the Y chromosome of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). Environmental Biology of Fishes 64: 211-216.


Brunner PC, Douglas MR, Osinov A, Wilson CC, and Bernatchez L (2001) Holarctic phylogeography of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus L.) inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences. Evolution 55: 573-586. |

Hebert PDN and Wilson CC (2000) Diversity of the genus Daphniopsis in the saline waters of Australia. Canadian Journal of Zoology 78: 794-808.

Bernatchez L and Wilson CC (1999) Phylogeography in Nearctic and Palearctic fishes: reply. Molecular Ecology 8: 529-530.

Bernatchez L and Wilson CC (1998) Comparative phylogeography of Nearctic and Palearctic fishes. Molecular Ecology 7: 431-452.

Wilson CC and L. Bernatchez L (1998) The ghost of hybrids past: fixation of arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) mitochondrial DNA in an introgressed population of lake trout (S. namaycush). Molecular Ecology 7: 127-132.

Wilson CC and Hebert PDN (1998) Phylogeography and postglacial dispersal of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in North America. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 55: 1010-1024.

Wilson CC. and Hebert PDN (1996) Phylogeographic origins of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in eastern North America. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 53: 2764-2775.

Wilson CC, Hebert PDN, Reist JD, and Dempson JB (1996) Phylogeography and postglacial dispersal of arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus L.) in North America. Molecular Ecology 5: 187-198.

Bernatchez, L, Glémèt H, Wilson CC, Danzmann RG (1995) Introgression and fixation of Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) mitochondrial genome in an allopatric population of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 52: 179-185.

other Fish Lab publications

Reid SM (2006) Relationship between habitat quality and occurrence of the threatened black redhorse (Moxostoma duquesnei) in Lake Erie tributaries. Water Quality Research Journal of Canada 41: 341-350.

Reid SM (2006) Timing and demographic characteristics of redhorse spawning runs in three Great Lakes Basin Rivers. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 21: 249-258.

Reid SM, Carl LM, Lean J (2005) Influence of riffle characteristics, surficial geology, and natural barriers on the distribution of the channel darter, Percina copelandi, in the Lake Ontario basin. Environmental Biology of Fishes 72: 241-249.

Reid SM (2004) Estimates and length distributions of Ontario channel darter (Percina copelandi) populations. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 19: 441-444.

Reid SM, Isaac G, Metikosh S. et al. (2003) Physiological response of rainbow trout to sediment released during open-cut pipeline water crossing construction. Water Quality Research Journal of Canada 38: 473-481.

Frezza TL, Carl LM, and Reid SM (2003) Evaluation of a portable underwater video camera to study fish communities in two Lake Ontario tributaries. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 18: 269-276.

Reid SM, Metikosh S, and Evans J (2002) Movement of Arctic grayling and mountain whitefish during an open-cut pipeline water crossing of the Wildhay River, Alberta. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 17: 363-368.

Reid SM, Stoklosar S, Metikosh S, et al. (2002) Effectiveness of isolated pipeline crossing techniques to mitigate sediment impacts on brook trout streams. Water Quality Research Journal of Canada 37: 473-488.


Natural Resources DNA Profiling and Forensic Centre
DNA Building, Trent University,
2140 East Bank Drive, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, K9J 7B8
Phone: (705) 748-1011 ext. 7126| Fax (705) 748-1132