Walleye Genetic Diversity:

Presenting Scientific Data

Summary: This activity is based on research to determine if demographic parameters were influencing the genetic diversity of walleye populations. Walleye are nocturnal top predators in many North America lakes. They are also highly sought after sport fish so they are closely monitored and heavily stocked. With this in mind, the researchers gathered genetic data from walleye populations with varying demographic characteristics and stocking intensities. The objective was to identify possible correlations between demographic factors, such as population size and sex ratios, with genetic diversity. The genetic diversity data will be given to you since such analysis is outside the scope of this exercise. We will focus on population level heterozygosity (HE) and allelic richness (AR; basically the number of alleles occurring per locus in each population). But you will have to calculate several demographic variables. Next, you’ll assess the influence of stocking on genetic diversity in two ways. First you’ll take a qualitative approach and see if genetic diversity different between three classes of lakes. You’ll do a few summary statistics and make a table and bar graph of your results. Next, we’ll take a more quantitative approach and look at the correlation between stocking intensity and genetic diversity. Finally, you’ll produce a brief write-up interpreting your results and referencing your figures.

*This activity was developed by PhD candidate Matt Waterhouse at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

Read the paper here: Waterhouse et. al. 2014 

Learning Goals:

The objective of this exercise is to introduce the students to basic excel functions and a standardized format for presenting scientific data. This will be facilitated by analyzing a genetic data set from an actual research project (Waterhouse et al. 2014). The goal of this lesson is to have each student produce a bar graph, scatter plot and a data table in a standardized scientific format and produce a brief write-up referencing the table and graph appropriately.  



10 minute introduction to data excel and lesson
50 minute exercise


© 2017 by Peter L. Erb.

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