Shannon O'Leary

Assistant Professor


Biological Sciences


Bachelor of Biological Sciences, Universität Konstanz, Germany 
PhD, Marine and Atmospheric Science, Stony Brook University, NY

My research focuses on the molecular ecology and conservation genomics of marine fishes. I use genomic data sets to identify patterns of connectivity and population structure, explore the interaction with and adaptation to the environment on a genetic level, and determine how this applies to conservation and management.
Most of my research falls into two categories:
(1) Using molecular markers to characterize & identify individuals, populations, and species
·    DNA Fingerprinting to identify individuals and their relationships to each other with a variety of applications, including aquaculture.
·    Mixed stock analysis to determine the contribution of individual rivers and estuaries that form the natal habitat and/or nurseries of juveniles recruiting to populations offshore.
·    Genetic barcoding for species identification - even when the whole specimen is not available for morphological assessment and/or using traces of environmental DNA found in water samples.
(2) Using molecular markers to understand microevolutionary processes & ecological patterns, for example understanding patterns of connectivity and local adaptation in marine fish and learning how changes in environmental conditions including pollution and climate change affect the genetic diversity of populations.
I am also interested in applying methods from data science to large data sets in ecology and environmental sciences.