Jocelyn Poissant

Associate Professor


Wildlife Health & Ecology Research Group

Contact information


Office : CWPH2D24

Preferred method of communication

Please contact the faculty member directly at the email or phone number listed above. 

Research and teaching

Research Interests

  • Ecosystem Health
  • Wildlife and Zoo Medicine

Research / Scholarly Activities

I am an evolutionary ecologist combining fieldwork with molecular and quantitative genetic approaches to understand how evolutionary forces such as natural selection, sexual selection and dispersal interact with genetic variation to shape phenotypic diversity in wild vertebrate populations. I am interested in both fundamental evolution and applied conservation research.

My current research focusses on the evolutionary ecology and genetics of health in free-living animals, including host-parasite interactions and associated health outcomes.

Research topics

Evolutionary ecology, wildlife health, host-parasite interactions, behavioural ecology, functional ecology, quantitative genetics, genomics, adaptive evolution, conservation. 



28. Bosse M, Spurgin LG, Laine VN, Cole EF, Firth JA, Gienapp P, Gosler AG, McMahon K, Poissant J, Verhagen I, Groenen AM, van Oers K, Sheldon BC, Visser ME, Slate J (2017)  Recent natural selection causes adaptive evolution of an avian polygenic traitScience. 358:365-368.

27. Cabrera D, Andres D, McLoughlin PD, Debeffe L, Medill SA, Wilson AJ, Poissant J (2017) Island tameness and the repeatability of flight initiation distance in a large herbivoreCanadian Journal of Zoology. 95:771-778.

26. Debeffe L, Poissant J, McLoughlin PD (2017) Individual quality and age but not environmental or social conditions modulate costs of reproduction in a capital breederEcology and Evolution. 7:5580-5591.

25. Hogg J, Dunn S, Poissant J, Pelletier F, Byers J (2017) Capital vs. income-dependent optimal birth date in two North American ungulatesEcosphere. 8:e01766.

24. Timonin ME, Poissant J, McLoughlin PD, Hedlin CE, Rubin JE (2017) A survey of the antimicrobial susceptibility of Escherichia coli isolated from Sable Island horsesCanadian Journal of Microbiology. 63:246-261.


23. Poissant J, Morrissey MB, Gosler AG, Slate J, Sheldon BC (2016) Multivariate selection and intersexual genetic constraints in a wild bird populationJournal of Evolutionary Biology 29:2022-2035.

22. Debeffe L, McLoughlin PD, Medill SA, Stewart K, Andres D, Shury T, Wagner B, Jenkins E, Gilleard JS, Poissant J (2016)  Negative covariance between parasite load and body condition in a population of feral horses Parasitology 143:983-997. 

21. Wilson AJ, Poissant J (2016) Quantitative genetics in natural populationsEncyclopedia of Evolutionary Biology. Academic Press, Oxford. pp. 361-371. 


20. Santure A, Poissant J, De Cauwer I, van Oers K, Robinson M, Quinn J, Groenen M, Visser M, Sheldon B, Slate J (2015)  Replicated analysis of the genetic architecture of quantitative traits in two wild great tit populations Molecular Ecology 24:6148-6162.

19. Miller JM*, Poissant J*, Malenfant R, Hogg JT, Coltman DW (2015)  Temporal dynamics of linkage disequilibrium in two populations of bighorn sheep Ecology and Evolution 5:3401-3412. *Joint first authors.


18. Edward DA, Poissant J, Wilson AJ, Chapman T (2014) Sexual conflict and interacting phenotypes: a quantitative genetic analysis of fecundity and copula duration in Drosophila melanogasterEvolution 68:1651-1660.

17. Miller JM, Malenfant RM, David P, Davies CS, Poissant J, Hogg GT, Festa-Bianchet M, Coltman DW (2014)  Estimating genome-wide heterozygosity: effects of demographic history and marker typeHeredity 112:240-247.


16. Santure AW, De Cauwer I, Robinson MR, Poissant J, Sheldon BC, Slate J (2013)  Genomic dissection of variation in clutch size and egg mass in a wild great tit (Parus major) populationMolecular Ecology 22:3949-3962. Featured in Molecular Ecology News and Views: Edwards SV (2013) Next-generation QTL mapping: crowdsourcing SNPs, without pedigrees. Molecular Ecology 22:3885-3887.

15. Poissant J, Réale D, Martin JGA, Festa-Bianchet M, Coltman DW (2013)  A quantitative trait locus analysis of personality in wild bighorn sheepEcology and Evolution 3:474-481.


14. Miller JM, Poissant J, Hogg JT, Coltman DW (2012) Genomic consequences of genetic rescue in an insular population of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis)Molecular Ecology 21:1583-1596. Featured in Molecular Ecology News and Views: Gompert Z (2012)  Population genomics as a new tool for wildlife management. Molecular Ecology 21:1542-1544.

13. Poissant J , Davis CS, Malenfant R, Hogg JT, Coltman DW (2012) QTL mapping for sexually dimorphic fitness-related traits in wild bighorn sheepHeredity 108:256-263. Featured in  Heredity’s September 2011 podcast:


12. Shafer ABA, Poissant J, Côté SD, Coltman DW (2011)  Does reduced heterozygosity influence dispersal? A test using a spatially structured alpine ungulateBiology Letters 7:433-435.

11. Poissant J, Davis CS (2011)  Isolation and characterization of ten polar bear (Ursus maritimus) microsatellite loci and cross-amplification in other Ursidae. Conservation Genetics Resources 3:637-639.

10. Miller JM, Poissant J, Kijas JW, the International Sheep Genomics Consortium, Coltman DW (2011)  A genome-wide set of SNPs detects population substructure and long range linkage disequilibrium in wild sheepMolecular Ecology Resources 11:314-322.


9. Poissant J , Hogg JT, Davis CS, Miller JM, Maddox J, Coltman DW (2010).  Genetic linkage map of a wild genome: genomic structure, recombination and sexual dimorphism in bighorn sheepBMC Genomics 11: 524.

8. Poissant J, Wilson AJ, Coltman DW (2010)  Sex-specific genetic variance and the evolution of sexual-dimorphism: a systematic review of cross-sex genetic correlationsEvolution 64:97-107.


7. Poissant J, Shafer ABA, Davis CS, Mainguy J, Hogg JT, Côté SD, Coltman DW (2009)  Genome-wide cross-amplification of domestic sheep microsatellites in bighorn sheep and mountain goatsMolecular Ecology Resources9:1121-1126.

6. Poissant J, Coltman DW (2009)  The ontogeny of cross-sex genetic correlations: an analysis of patternsJournal of Evolutionary Biology 22:2558-2562.

5. Réale D, Martin J, Coltman DW, Poissant J, Festa-Bianchet M (2009)  Male personality, life-history strategies and reproductive success in a promiscuous mammalJournal of Evolutionary Biology 22:1599-1607.


4. Poissant J, Wilson AJ, Festa-Bianchet M, Hogg JT, Coltman DW (2008)  Quantitative genetics and sex-specific selection on sexually dimorphic traits in bighorn sheepProceedings of the Royal Society B 275:623-628.


3. Moghadam HK, Poissant J, Fotherby H, Haidle L, Ferguson MM, Danzmann RG (2007)  Quantitative trait loci for body weight, condition factor and age at sexual maturation in Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus): comparative analysis with rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)Molecular Genetics and Genomics 277:647-661.


2. Bourbonnais-Spear N, Poissant J, Cal V, Arnason TJ (2006)  Culturally important plants from Southern Belize: Domestication by Q’eqchi’ Maya healers and conservationAmbio 35:138-140.


1. Poissant J, Knight TW, Ferguson MM (2005)  Nonequilibrium following landscape rearrangement: the relative contribution of past and current hydrological landscapes on the genetic structure of a stream-dwelling fishMolecular Ecology 14:1321-1331.