Martha Essak

Martha Essak, MSc candidate, Centre for Applied Conservation Research, University of British Columbia

BSc, Biological Sciences – Ecology and Evolution (Simon Fraser University)

Mailing address: Forest Sciences Centre, Room 3615, 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4 CANADA


My general research interests are in temporal patterns of natural selection. For my Master’s research, I have proposed an investigation of the drivers of natural selection on laying date in the song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) population on Mandarte Island, British Columbia. I will explore how intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect the strength and direction of selection over time. I will compare heritability and selection for a genetic pedigree and a social pedigree by using an animal model approach, which allows for the division of trait variation into genetic and environmental components.