Carly McCallResearch Associate II
Originally from Pennsylvania, Carly joined GMGI after completing dual bachelor’s degrees (one in marine biology, the other in genomics and molecular genetics) and a master’s degree at the Florida Institute of Technology. While there, she became fascinated by how marine genomics can allow scientists to learn more about species that are traditionally difficult to study.
Carly worked on multiple projects using molecular tools to aid in the study and conservation of elasmobranchs (sharks, skates, and rays) and local fish communities. She earned her M.S. in conservation technology studying the phylogenetic history (evolutionary history and biological lines of relation and descent) and cryptic diversity (genetic differences that are not reflected in morphological differences) of deep-water dogfish sharks. She also helped collect and process environmental DNA (eDNA) to conduct biodiversity assessments and establish baseline data for the restoration of critical habitats in coastal Florida. When not working, Carly enjoys cooking, watching hockey, and generally being outdoors.
2020 – B.S. Marine Biology, Florida Institute of Technology
2020 – B.S. Genomics and Molecular Genetics, Florida Institute of Technology
2021 – M.S. Conservation Technology, Florida Institute of Technology
Studying the organisms that live within marine ecosystems is often quite challenging due to the vast size and relative inaccessibility of the habitats. Genomic tools are proving to be incredibly useful for answering a variety of questions about these species and their habitats but are not yet widely used in conservation science and fisheries management.
During my master’s research, I focused on the phylogenetic history of deep-water dogfish sharks. Determining the evolutionary history of these sharks not only helps to explain their existing biodiversity but may also indicate how they and similar species might react to climate change and other major alterations in their habitats. Learning more about marine populations by using molecular tools will allow researchers to track changes through time and ensure species are being managed effectively.
My research involves using genomic technologies to better understand the biodiversity, movement, and population structure of traditionally hard to study species. I am interested in how we can use genetics to fill in gaps in our current knowledge and gather information that is critical for species conservation. We are using eDNA technology to noninvasively take samples and reveal which species are present in an area without relying on direct human observation. Analyzed over time, eDNA can also demonstrate how the biodiversity of ecosystems changes both spatially and temporally.
At GMGI I’m excited to be using eDNA and other advanced molecular techniques to evaluate the sustainability of our fisheries and predict how forces like climate change may impact commercially important species.
Phillips, N. M., Devloo-Delva, F., McCall, C., & Daly-Engel, T. S. (2021). Reviewing the genetic evidence for sex-biased dispersal in elasmobranchs. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 31(4), 821-841. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-021-09673-9