William S. Davidson

Areas of interest

The Davidson Research Group uses genomics and genetics to understand the basic biology of salmonid fishes and to apply this information to the production and conservation of salmon and char. The biological questions that we are addressing span the realms of ecology, conservation biology, physiology, natural history, molecular evolution and comparative genomics. Specific projects that are ongoing in the lab include: an examination of genes involved in sex determination; the identification and characterization of genes that govern upper temperature tolerance, growth and sexual maturity with the goal of incorporating variants in these genes into marker assisted breeding programs; and the characterization of gene duplicates and their fate after a whole genome duplication. We are also interested in how salmon find their way back to their natal streams and the involvement of olfaction in this process.


  • B.Sc., Edinburgh University 
  • Ph.D., Queen's University

Selected Publications

  • Christensen, K. A., Rondeau, E. B., Minkley, D. R., Leong, J. S., Nugent, C. M., Danzmann, R. G., . . . Koop, B. F. (2018). The Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) genome and transcriptome assembly. Plos One, 13(9).
  • Macqueen, D. J., Primmer, C. R., Houston, R. D., Nowak, B. F., Bernatchez, L., Bergseth, S., . . . Consortium, F. (2017). Functional Annotation of All Salmonid Genomes (FAASG): an international initiative supporting future salmonid research, conservation and aquaculture. Bmc Genomics, 18.
  • Lien, S., Koop, B. F., Sandve, S. R., Miller, J. R., Kent, M. P., Nome, T., . . . Davidson, W. S. (2016). The Atlantic salmon genome provides insights into rediploidization. Nature, 533(7602), 200-+.