Michael Whitlock


Department of Zoology
University of British Columbia
B.S., Baylor; Ph.D., Vanderbilt
Luce Scholar, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - Indonesia (1990-1991)
NIH Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Chicago (1991-1992)
Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Edinburgh (1992-1995)
Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (2004)
Killam Research Fellow (2006-2007)
NESCent Sabbatical Scholar (2006-2007 )
Editor-in-Chief, The American Naturalist (2006-2008)
President, American Society of Naturalists (2019)

Fellow, Royal Society of Canada
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Research Interests

My research focuses on evolution in structured populations: What are the forces which control the nature and distribution of genotypes in subdivided populations and how does this affect the outcome of other evolutionary processes? These questions and others are addressed in a variety of ways, from theoretical analyses to experimental lab model systems.

Most models of population structure assume uniform populations at equilibrium, which is most unlike most natural populations. My models have included the effects of extinctions, colonizations, population fission events, unequal population sizes, variable migration rates, and other realistic modifications of the theory. We examine the effects of population structure on a wide variety of evolutionary patterns and processes, such as genetic load, inbreeding depression, rates of adaptation, etc.

Current projects include: developing techniques for determining the genes responsible or local adaptation from genomic data, investigating the possibility of high genetic differentiation due to background selection or partial selective sweeps, the mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity and their consequences for genetic robustness, as well as a number of empirical studies including urban rats, rainbow trout, and BC conifers.

My publications are listed through my Google Scholar profile.


BIOL 300 Biostatistics

BIOL 434 and 509 Population genetics

Resources for Whitlock and Schluter, The Analysis of Biological Statstics. (New 3rd edition resources at whitlockschluter3e.zoology.ubc.ca.)

Visualizing statistics -- Kingfisher apps


        Department of Zoology
        University of British Columbia
        6270 University Blvd.
        Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.
        Phone: (604) 822-2069
        FAX:   (604) 822-2416
        Office: 216 Biodiversity