Department of Biology

Dr. Brenna McLeod PhD

PTFImage2B.Sc. – Trent University
Ph.D. – Trent University


My research involves the use of genetic analyses to better understand species history, evolution, diversity, and status of a variety of marine mammal species. Exploitation over the last few centuries has devastated many marine mammal stocks worldwide and we are only just beginning to understand the effects of population reductions, the extent to which species are now recovering, and the means by which to evaluate this recovery. Primarily, though not exclusively, I examine genetic diversity within historic (using ancient DNA) and contemporary marine mammal populations that have been reduced by hunting/whaling activities. In addition, my interests lie in the use of ancient DNA analysis to explore and elucidate species demographic history as it relates to historical climate change. With a clearer understanding of species history, current status and recovery, we can better aim resources and strategies for conservation and management of marine mammals.