Sam Yeaman

Dr. Samuel Yeaman


Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Translational Health Chair in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Faculty of Science , Department of Biological Sciences

Child Health & Wellness Researcher

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Contact information

Web presence

Phone number

Office: 403.220.6126


Office: BI394


Educational Background

B.S. Resources and Environment, Trent University, 2015

Doctorate Zoology, University of British Columbia, 2010


Areas of Research

Complex Traits

My research program focuses on using evolutionary models to understand genomic data, and uses genomic data to understand the process of evolution. I am broadly interested in understanding how and why different kinds of adaptations evolve in response to similar evolutionary challenges. This fundamental research question has important implications to any process involving evolutionary change and understanding the genomic basis of this change. I often collaborate with researchers working on applied problems in medicine and agriculture.


Natural environments are highly variable and biological constraints often prevent a single individual from performing best in all conditions. Specialization through genetic adaptation to the local environment provides one way to cope with a heterogeneous environment, and has been observed in a wide range of species, from lodgepole pine to threespine stickleback.

My research aims to understand how organisms adapt to both spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments and how this process shapes the genetic and genomic architecture of complex traits. I use a combination of population genetic theory and individual-based simulations to formulate hypotheses, and seek to test these hypotheses using comparative genomics and studies of genomic variation in natural populations. Understanding how evolution shapes the genomic basis of complex traits has important implications for medicine, personalized genomics, and predicting the response of natural populations to climate change.

Specific Research Projects:

  • Genome rearrangements and the evolution of clustered architectures in threespine stickleback (through de novo assembly of outgroup species)
  • Comparative genomics of clustered architectures in Eukaryotes
  • Genomic signatures of adaptation: disentangling signatures of selection from background variation
  • Comparative genomics of local adaptation to climate in lodgepole pine and interior spruce

I am very interested in a range of related problems, including:

  • The mapping of genotype to phenotype and genetic modularity and redundancy
  • Comparative genomics of adaptation and convergent vs. divergent responses to similar ecological challenges
  • Visualization of complex patterns in high-dimensionality genomic data
  • Maintenance of genetic variation within populations
  • Cultural evolution and the maintenance of misinformation

Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
BIOL 241 Energy Flow in Biological Systems Fall 2022
BIOL 401 Evolutionary Biology Winter 2023


  • Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution Early Career Award (2015),
  • AIHS Chair in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (2015-2022),