- B.Sc., Laurentian University, 1998
- M.Sc., University of Guelph, 2001
- Ph.D., University of Toronto, 2008
- Postdoc, Trent University, 2007-2008
Conservation Biology, Ecology, Evolution, Invertebrate Biology
Molecular ecology and conservation biology in aquatic systems
Current Research Projects
My lab’s research focuses on evolutionary and ecological questions in aquatic systems. Unfortunately, many of our aquatic systems are degraded to the point that this research has major implications for conservation. We primarily study freshwater mollusks in the Great Lakes region. Freshwater mollusks are among the most imperiled groups of organisms on Earth. Our research involves going into the field, jumping into lakes and rivers and counting mollusks while taking tissue samples. We then bring the field-collected tissues back to the lab to do genetic analyses and ultimately statistical analyses to understand how populations and species relate to each other. This is especially important for conservation because if we don’t know and understand the species and populations that we’re working on, we can’t easily manage or protect them.
Ongoing (funded) projects in my lab include:
- Genetic population structure of native freshwater mollusks in the Great Lakes region.
- Conservation of native freshwater mussels in nearshore and coastal zones of the Great Lakes.
- Host fish identification and propagation of at-risk freshwater mussels.
- Zanatta, D.T. and C.C. Wilson. Accepted. Testing congruency of geographic and genetic population structure for a freshwater mussel (Bivalvia: Unionoida) and its host fish. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. Manuscript No: BJLS-1621.
- Zanatta, D.T. and R.W. Murphy. 2008. The phylogeographic and management implications of genetic population structure in the imperiled snuffbox mussel, Epioblasma triquetra (Bivalvia: Unionidae ). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 93:371-384.
- Zanatta, D.T., S.J. Fraley, and R.W. Murphy. 2007. Population structure and mantle display polymorphisms in the wavy-rayed lampmussel, Lampsilis fasciola (Bivalvia: Unionidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology 85: 1169-1181.
- Zanatta, D.T. and R.W. Murphy. 2007. Range-wide population genetic analysis of the endangered northern riffleshell mussel, Epioblasma torulosa rangiana (Bivalvia: Unionoida). Conservation Genetics 8:1393-1404.
- Zanatta, D.T. and R.W. Murphy. 2006. The evolution of active host-attraction strategies in the freshwater mussel tribe Lampsilini (Bivalvia: Unionidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 41:195-208.
- Zanatta, D.T., G.L. Mackie, J.L. Metcalfe-Smith, and D. Woolnough. 2002. A refuge for native freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae) from impacts of the exotic zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) in Lake St. Clair. Journal of Great Lakes Research 28:479-489.