Area of Expertise:
Dr. Robert Devlin studied Zoology and Genetics at the University of British Columbia, and received his doctoral degree in 1984 for research on sex determination and dosage compensation in Drosophila melanogaster. After postdoctoral research at Simon Fraser University and the University of Washington, he joined Fisheries and Oceans Canada to engage in molecular genetic and physiology research with salmonids at the West Vancouver Laboratory. He is an Adjunct Professor in Zoology, UBC, and current Director of DFO’s Centre for Aquatic Biotechnology Regulatory Research where he oversees research on the production and assessment of transgenic and domesticated salmonids for ecological risk assessments, physiological and genetic studies of fish sex determination, and evaluation of techniques for biological containment of aquacultured fish.
A recent focus of his research has been the application of molecular and general genetics and genomics to questions in salmonid biology, with a focus on environmental risk assessment of genetically distinct finfish and evaluation of the genetic basis of domestication.
Specific projects include:
- Production of transgenic salmonids with enhanced production traits for growth and feed-conversion efficiency, disease resistance, and flesh quality, with an emphasis on providing objective scientific information from which the potential and the risks associated with this technology may be evaluated.
- Development of sensitive and specific molecular diagnostic assays for genetic sex (Y-probes), stress and pollution-response markers, and several specific parasitic pathogens that infect wild and farmed salmonids.
- Evaluation of the genetic basis of domestication in salmonids.
- Determining the genetic relationship among species and strains of salmonids, and application of variable molecular markers to quantitative traits (e.g. precocious maturation) for breeding purposes.
- Development and evaluation of biological containment methodologies.
Select Presentation(s) / Publication(s):
P. Gaffney, L & M. Watson, B & D. Oakes, J & H. Devlin, R. (2018). Internal Morphological Effects of Growth Hormone Transgenesis in Coho Salmon. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 147. 10.1002/tafs.10118.
Lehnert, Sarah & A. Garver, Kyle & Richard, Jon & H. Devlin, Robert & Lajoie, Celine & E. Pitcher, Trevor & D. Heath, Daniel. (2018). Significant differences in maternal carotenoid provisioning and effects on offspring fitness in Chinook salmon colour morphs. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 31. 10.1111/jeb.13383.
Kodama, Miyako & Naish, Kerry & H. Devlin, Robert. (2018). Influence of a growth hormone transgene on the genetic architecture of growth-related traits: A comparative analysis between transgenic and wild-type coho salmon. Evolutionary Applications. 11. 10.1111/eva.12692.
Christensen, Kris & Leong, Jong & Sakhrani, Dionne & Biagi, Carlo & Minkley, David & E. Withler, Ruth & Rondeau, Eric & Koop, Ben & H. Devlin, Robert. (2018). Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) genome and transcriptome. PLOS ONE. 13. e0195461. 10.1371/journal.pone.0195461.
Beacham, Terry & G. Wallace, Colin & MacConnachie, Cathy & jonsen, kim & McIntosh, Brenda & Candy, John & Bob) H Devlin, Robert & E. Withler, Ruth. (2017). Population and individual identification of Coho Salmon in British Columbia through parentage-based tagging and genetic stock identification: an alternative to coded-wire tags. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 74. 10.1139/cjfas-2016-0452.