Dr. Christophe M. Herbinger

BSc (Paris, 1977) , MSc (Paris, 1981)
PhD (Dalhousie, 1987)
Junior StoraEnso Chair in Forestry Genetics and Biotechnology
  • Teaching & Research
  • Students' Research Topics
  • Graduates' occupations
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  • Teaching & Research
    Quantitative/Population Genetics: pedigree algorithm, relatedness, heritability, breeding value estimation, tree breeding, aquaculture genetics, QTL mapping, Marker Assisted Selection

    esearch in my laboratory is organized around the integration of molecular marker information and quantitative/population genetics and its application to the genetic management of natural resources (i.e forestry and marine resources). I am interested in using DNA marker information to reconstruct the pedigree of natural and newly domesticated populations, i.e. inferring who is related to whom and how, in the absence of parental information. These pedigrees can then be used to estimate heritability and breeding values for traits of ecological and evolutionary significance and for the studies of social behaviors, mating systems and reproductive success in natural populations and in live gene bank programs.

    Classes in which Christophe normally teaches:
    These approaches are also used to estimate heritability and breeding values for economically important traits in tree breeding programs and aquaculture breeding programs. I am interested as well in developing statistical models applicable to Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) mapping in outbred tree pedigrees, with the development of Marker Assisted Selection strategies as a long-term goal. I collaborate with Bruce Smith and Chris Field (Mathematics and Statistics) on these projects.

    I am teaching "Aquaculture" (BIOLOGY 3600); an upper year level undergraduate class giving an introductory overview of aquaculture; the culturing and raising of aquatic plants and animals. I also teach a class in Statistics (stats 2080) since I am jointly appointed between the Departments of Biology and Mathematics & Statistics.

    Examples of Students' Research Topics

    Old-growth red spruce forest with 300-400
    year old trees at Abrams Lake in the
    Liscomb Game Sanctuary Nova Scotia
    [Courtesy of Canadian Forestry
    Service, NB].

    Honors BSc Students
    • Adam Webber - Advances in pedigree
      estimation using a MCMC algorithm.
    • Jenny Rock - Genetic Conservation of Endangered Atlantic Salmon Populations.
    • Tracey Loewen - Life history comparisons of least Cisco and arctic Cisco in the Arctic Red River and Peel River.
    • Michael Smirle - Variations in growth, longevity and age at maturity of burbot within Canada.

    Graduate Students
    • Michele Millar - Breeding value estimation and
      biodiversity consideration in forestry genetics.
    • Bo Lin - Statistical methods for the detection of QTL.
    Jenny Rock busy DNA typing salmon
    samples from the live gene bank

    Selected Publications

    Wilson, A.J., McDonald, G., Moghadam, H.K., Herbinger, C.M. and Ferguson M.M. 2003. Marker-assisted estimation of quantitative genetic parameters in rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykis. Genet.Res. (Camb.) 81: 145-156.

    Herbinger, C.M. Reith, M.E. and Jackson, T.R. An overview of the use of DNA markers in aquaculture genetics. 2003. Invited chapter in "Molecular Genetics of Marine Organisms". Volume 10 of "Recent Advances in Marine Biotechnology". In Press. Science Publishers of Enfield.

    Smith, B.R., Herbinger, C.M. and Merry, H.R., 2001. Accurate partition of individuals into full sib families from genetic data without parental information. Genetics  58: 1329-1338.

    Heath, D.D., Pollard, S. and Herbinger, C.M., 2001. Genetic differentiation and isolation by distance in steelhead trout (Oncorhyncus mykiss) populations in British Columbia. Heredity  86:618-627.

    Herbinger, C.M., O'Reilly, P.T., Doyle, R.W., Wright, J.M and O'Flynn, F., 1999. Early growth performance of Atlantic salmon full-sib families reared in single family tanks versus in mixed family tanks. Aquaculture 173:105-116.

    Herbinger, C.M., Vercaemer, B.M., Gjetvaj, B. and O'Dor, R.K., 1998. Absence of genetic differentiation amongst geographically close sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus G.) beds using cDNA and microsatellite markers. J. Shell. Res 17: 117-122.

    O'Reilly, P.T., Herbinger, C.M., and Wright, J.M., 1998. An analysis of parentage determination in Atlantic salmon using microsatellite markers. Anim. Gen 29: 363-370

    Herbinger, C.M., Doyle, R.W., Taggart, C.T., Lochmann, S.E., Brooker, A.L., Wright, J.M. and Cook, D., 1997. Family relationships and effective population size in a natural cohort of cod larvae. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 57 Supp 1: 11-18.


  • Forest Genetics & Tree Breeding
  • Quantitive Genetics Resources

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