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Queen's University

Peter Boag - Professor

Boag.jpg Research: My research uses genetics to examine topical issues in the ecology and behaviour of vertebrate populations, chiefly birds and mammals. We use quantitative genetics to partition phenotypic variation, as well as molecular genetic markers to identify kinship or taxonomic status of individuals. Specific kinship projects include lab and field studies of Tree Swallows, Chickadees and Polar Bears, where DNA profiling explains differences between males in mating behaviour. Graduate students and Postdoctoral Fellows are working on other projects involving DNA profiling or ’micro-systematics’ based on mitochondrial DNA. Projects increasingly emphasize conservation applications of molecular markers, for instance population structure of arctic Musk Ox or African rhino populations. Past research interests include field studies of bird and small mammal morphometrics and genetics. Much of my work is collaborative, with our lab combining state-of-the-art molecular approaches with a diversity of researchers and topics in evolutionary biology.

»» Lab Website »« email: »« telephone: 613-533-6394 ««

Some Recent Publications:

  • van Coeverden de Groot, P., P.B.Y. Wong, C. Harris, M.G. Dyck, L. Kamookak, M. Pagès, J. Michaux and P.T. BOAG. 2013. Toward a noninvasive Inuit polar bear survey: genetic data from polar bear hair snags. Wildlife Society Bulletin 37(2): 394-401.
  • Weber, D.S., P. van Coeverden de Groot, E. Peacock, M.D. Schrenzel, D.A. Perez., S. Thomas, J.M. Shelton, C.K. Else, L.L. Darby, L. Acosta, C. Harris, J. Youngblood, P. BOAG and R. Desalle. 2013. Low MHC variation in the Polar Bear:  Implications in the face of Arctic warming? Animal Conservation, Online : 2 MAY 2013, DOI: 10.1111/acv.12045
  • Campagna, L., P.J. van Coeverden de Groot, B.L. Saunders, S.N. Atkinson, D.S. Weber, M.G. Dyck, P.T. BOAG and S.C. Lougheed. 2013. Extensive sampling of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the Northwest Passage (Canadian Arctic Archipelago) reveals population differentiation across multiple spatial and temporal scales. Ecology and Evolution 3(9): 3152-3165.
  • Osmond, M.M., M.W. Reudink, R.R. Germain, P.P. Marra, J.J. Nocera, P.T. BOAG and L.M. Ratcliffe. 2013. Relationships between carotenoid-based female plumage and age, reproduction, and mate colour in the American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla). Canadian Journal of Zoology 91(8): 589-595.
  • McKellar, A.E., P.P. Marra, P.T. BOAG and L.M. Ratcliffe. 2013. Form, function, and consequences of density dependence in a long-distance migratory bird. Oikos online: DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2013.00756.x
  • Germain, R.R., M.W. Reudink, P. P. Marra, P.T. BOAG and L.M. Ratcliffe. 2012. Delayed maturation of multiple signals in a migratory songbird. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 66(3): 419-431.
  • Brook, S.M., P. van Coeverden de Groot, C. Scott, P. BOAG, B. Long, R.E. Ley, G.H. Reischer, A.C. Williams, S.P. Mahood, Tran Minh Hien, G. Polet, N. Cox and Bach Thanh Hai. 2012. Integrated and novel survey methods for rhinoceros populations confirm the extinction of Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus from Vietnam. Biological Conservation 155:59-67.
  • van Coeverden de Groot, P.J., A.S. Putnam, P. Erb, C. Scott, D. Melnick, C. O’Ryan and P.T. BOAG. 2011. Conservation Genetics of the Black Rhinoceros, Diceros bicornis bicornis, in Namibia. Conservation Genetics 12(3): 783-792.
  • Wong, P.B.Y., P. Van Coeverden de Groot, C. Fekken, H. Smith, M. Pagès and P.T. BOAG. 2011. Interpretations of Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) tracks by Inuit hunters: Inter-rater reliability and inferences concerning accuracy. Canadian Field Naturalist 125(2): 140-153.
  • Derry, A.M., S.E. Arnott and P.T. BOAG. 2010. Evolutionary shifts in copepod acid tolerance in an acid-recovering lake indicated by resurrected resting eggs. Evolutionary Ecology 24: 133-145.
  • Venturelli, P.A., C.A. Murphy, B.J. Shuter, T.A. Johnston, P.J. van Coeverden de Groot, P.T. BOAG, J.M. Casselman, R. Montgomerie, M.D. Wiegand and W.C. Leggett. 2010. Maternal influences on population dynamics: evidence from an exploited freshwater fish. Ecology 91(7): 2003-2012.
  • Kasumovic, M.M., Ratcliffe, L.M., and BOAG, P.T. 2009. Habitat fragmentation and paternity in Least Flycatchers. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 121: 306-313.
  • Knowles, J.C., P.J. van Coeverden de Groot, I. Wiesel and P.T. BOAG. 2009. Microsatellite variation in Namibian brown hyenas (Hyaena brunnea): population structure and mating system implications. Journal of Mammalogy 90(6):1381–1391
  • Reudink, M.W., P.P. Marra, P.T. BOAG, and L. Ratcliffe. 2009. Plumage coloration predicts paternity and polygyny in the American redstart. Animal Behaviour 77: 495-501.
  • Reudink, M.W., P.P. Marra, T.K. Kyser, P.T. BOAG, K.M. Langin and L. Ratcliffe. 2009. Non-breeding season events influence sexual selection in a long-distance migratory bird. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 276: 1619-1626.


Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000