Eric Verspoor


  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

  • 2684 Citations
  • 30 h-Index
1977 …2019

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research expertise

Professor Verspoor is an internationally recognised researcher in the field of aquatic biodiversity science and management, with interests focused on fish and in particular on the Atlantic salmon and Arctic charr. He has over 40 years of research and advisory experience and, prior to joining the RLI, headed the Scottish Government fish genetics research group at the Freshwater Laboratory in Pitlochry.

His academic expertise is in ecological and population genetics and its application in sustainable resource management and conservation.  He has authored over 160 peer-reviewed scientific papers and reports and book chapters.  He was the lead editor and chapter contributor to the seminal book “Atlantic salmon: genetics, conservation and management”.  Though his work is focused on salmon and charr in Scotland, he has worked in collaboration with a wide network of international researchers on populations of these species in other northern hemisphere countries.  In Scotland, his work led to the establishment, in collaboration with the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts Scotland, of the FASMOP programme (Focusing Atlantic Salmon Management on Populations), the successful initiative to increase understanding of the structuring of Scottish salmon stocks into distinct breeding populations.  He also was a lead scientist in the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) sponsored and EU funded SALSEA-Merge project. This initiative used genetic methods to identify the region of origin of salmon caught at sea to increase understanding of the species marine ecology and the factors underlying stock declines.  He has served on numerous national and international biodiversity management committees and, most recently, undertook a scientific review for the Government of Canada of the potential for genetic impacts of introductions of European farm salmon into Newfoundland.

His current research is aimed at the development of a more complete understanding the true nature and extent of population level biodiversity in freshwater and anadromous species in northern river systems, its ecological importance, and the evolutionary processes that underlie its origins.  His main focus is on the incompletely understood biodiversity in Scottish rivers and lochs and its role local maintaining healthy freshwater ecosystems.  His work exploits the latest population genomics tools to both extent basic and general understanding but also its application in the management and conservation of aquatic biodiversity through the specific understanding of particular ecosystems. Both knowledge of the basic biology and status of species and populations are need to define and impliment sustainable management, avoid and minimize negative impacts, and maximize economic returns at both the local and national level.

Academic Qualifications

  • Batchelor of Science in Ecology (McGill University)
  • Master of Environmental Design in Natural Resource Management (University of Calgary)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Population Genetics (University of Nottingham)
  • Honorary Chair in Zoology (University of Aberdeen - 2009-2015)
  • Chair in Aquatic biodiversity Conservation and Management (University of Highlands and Islands)

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Nottingham

Award Date: 1 Jan 1980

External positions

Honorary Chair, The University of Edinburgh

15 Sep 200915 Sep 2015

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Research Output

  • 2684 Citations
  • 30 h-Index
  • 91 Article
  • 3 Chapter
  • 1 Commissioned report

DNA methylation changes in the sperm of captive-reared fish: A route to epigenetic introgression in wild populations

Barreto, D., Garcia de Leaniz, C., Verspoor, E., Coulson, M., Sobolewska, H. & Consuegra, S., 31 Oct 2019, In : Molecular Biology and Evolution. 36, 10, p. 2205-2211 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 4 Citations (Scopus)
    1 Downloads (Pure)

    Population genetic analysis reveals a geographically limited transition zone between two genetically distinct Atlantic salmon lineages in Norway

    Wennevik, V., Quintela, M., Skaala, O., Verspoor, E., Prusov, S. & Glover, K., 22 May 2019, In : Ecology and Evolution. 9, 12, p. 6901-6921 21 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 6 Citations (Scopus)
    45 Downloads (Pure)

    Trout and Char of the North Atlantic Isles

    Verspoor, E., Adams, C. E., Jóhannsson, M., Kelly, F., King, A., Maitland, P., McCarthy, I., O'Grady, M., Prodohl, P., Skulason, S. & Winfield, I., Sep 2019, Trout and Char of the World. American Fisheries Society

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Unique sympatric quartet of limnetic, benthic, profundal and piscivorous brown trout populations resolved by 3D sampling and focused molecular marker selection

    Verspoor, E., Coulson, M. W., Greer, R. B. & Knox, D., Jan 2019, In : Freshwater Biology. 64, 1, p. 121-137 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    62 Downloads (Pure)

    A microsatellite baseline for genetic stock identification of European Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.).

    Gilbey, J., Coughlan, J., Wennevik, V., Prodohl, P., Stevens, J., de Leaniz, C. G., Ensing, D., Cauwelier, E., Cherbonnel, C., Consuegra, S., Coulson, M., Cross, T., Crozier, W., Dillane, E., Ellis, J. S., Garcia-Vazquez, E., Griffiths, A. M., Gudjonsson, S., Hindar, K., Karlsson, S. & 13 others, Knox, D., Machado-Schiaffino, G., Meldrup, D., Nielsen, E. E., Olafsson, K., Primmer, C. R., Prusov, S., Stradmeyer, L., Vaha, J. -P., Veselov, A., Webster, L., McGinnity, P. & Verspoor, E., 1 Mar 2018, In : ICES Journal of Marine Science. 75, 2, p. 662-674 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    8 Citations (Scopus)
    44 Downloads (Pure)

    Ice sheets and genetics: Insights into the phylogeography of Scottish Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L

    Cauwelier, E., Verspoor, E., Coulson, M., Armstrong, A., Knox, D., Stradmeyer, L., Webster, L. & Gilbey, J., Jan 2018, In : Journal of Biogeography. 45, 1, p. 51-63 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    4 Citations (Scopus)
    12 Downloads (Pure)

    Phenotypic and resource use partitioning amongst sympatric, lacustrine brown trout, Salmo trutta

    Verspoor, E., Adams, C. E., Greer, R., Piggott, C., Hooker, O. & Newton, J., 19 Apr 2018, In : Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 124, 2, p. 200-212 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    11 Downloads (Pure)