Working in close collaboration with Dr. Stacy Krueger-Hadfield (a Post-doctoral researcher in the Sotka Lab), part of my thesis research involved developing microsatellite markers (genetic fingerprinting tools) for Gverm. The Sotka Lab is currently using those markers to pursue a variety of questions regarding the evolutionary and ecological genetics of Gverm, including a project that tracks the seaweed’s invasion history. For the invasion history project, we have gathered tissue samples from populations across the extant distribution of the seaweed (in the map above, blue dots indicate the native range of Gverm and red dots show the non-native range). After genotyping those samples with the microsatellites, we can then use molecular software tools to discern the relationships among the populations and the seaweed’s invasion history. The analysis of our massive dataset is currently underway! Read more about the future directions of this project here.