Kaela Beauclerc


  • 2001-present Ph.D. candidate, Watershed Ecosystems
    Trent University, Peterborough, ON
  • 1996-2000 B.Sc., Zoology
    Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON

Project Outline

Conservation Genetics of Threatened Amphibian Populations

Declining amphibian populations are recognised as a worldwide conservation issue. A recent survey indicated that nearly one third of the world's amphibian species are threatened with extinction, and for many the causes of declines are unidentified (Science, 306:1783-1786). My goal is to utilize genetic markers, specifically mitochdondrial DNA and microsatellites, to better understand the genetic characteristics of two declining amphibian species, Blanchard's cricket frog (Acris crepitans blanchardi) and the Puerto Rican crested toad (Peltophryne lemur). Blanchard's cricket frog, a small aquatic tree frog found throughout the central US, is declining across much of its northern range. Historically found in extreme southwestern Ontario (Point Pelee and Pelee Island), it is now likely extirpated from Canada. The Puerto Rican crested toad, found only on Puerto Rico and Virgin Gorda, has been reduced to a single wild population and is highly endangered. Critical information such as levels of genetic variation and divergence of populations will be investigated to better understand the phylogeographic history and population structure of these species. In collaboration with the Toronto Zoo, this information will be used to address recovery issues such as optimizing captive breeding efforts, identifying unique population segments requiring special conservation, and establishing suitable candidate populations for reintroductions. For additional information on these projects, please see the research page.


Supervisor and Committee Members

  • Dr. Bradley White, NRDPFC (supervisor)
  • Dr. Michael Berrill, Trent University
  • Dr. David Galbraith, Royal Botanical Gardens


Bob Johnson, Toronto Zoo

Project Related Links



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