Dr Pam Wiener

The Roslin Institute

Research Interests

Our research focuses on the genetics of domesticated animals. This involves the application of population and quantitative genetic approaches to dissect the genetic basis of phenotypic traits and to improve understanding of domestication and breed development. We also exploit the wealth of historical information on domesticated species to develop and improve methods of analysis, which can be applied to a variety of species.

Dissection of the genetic basis of phenotypic traits in domesticated animals: We are concerned with improving our understanding of complex traits, those influenced by multiple genes as well as environmental factors, and then using this understanding to improve strategies for management of livestock and companion animals. Most recently, we have been investigating hip dysplasia in dogs, a common disease with polygenic inheritance. This study is one of the first applications of genomic evaluation (the use of high-density markers for calculating breeding values) in companion animals, where our research suggests this may be an important breeding tool for improvement of health-related traits. We have also been dissecting factors that influence behavioural traits in dogs, using a combination of multivariate statistics, quantitative and population genetics and genomics approaches.

Improvement of understanding of domestication, breed development and commercialisation processes: We apply population genetics approaches to the study of domestication and breed development in various domesticated animal species. We also use domesticated animals as test cases with which the performance of different statistical methods can be compared in terms of their characterisation of population structure and assignment of individuals to population origin.

Exploitation of features of domesticated animals to develop and improve genetic mapping methods: Another focus of our work is the development, evaluation and application of methods for the identification of genomic regions under selection, with three main aims: (1) to better understand the processes of evolutionary change in domesticated species, (2) to identify genes associated with selected phenotypes and (3) to improve the methods for detection of genes under selection using genomic data.

Selected Publications

  • John J. Stainton, Brian Charlesworth, Christopher Haley, Andreas Kranis, Kellie Watson, Pamela Wiener. 2016. Use of high-density SNP data to identify patterns of diversity and signatures of selection in broiler chickens. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics. More»
  • Enrique Sanchez Molano, Ricardo Pong-Wong, Dylan N. Clements, Sarah C. Blott, Pamela Wiener, John A. Woolliams. 2015. Genomic prediction of traits related to canine hip dysplasia. Frontiers in genetics Vol: 5. More»
  • John J. Stainton, Chris S. Haley, Brain Charlesworth, Andreas Kranis, Kellie Watson, Pamela Wiener. 2015. Detecting signatures of selection in nine distinct lines of broiler chickens. Animal Genetics Vol: 46 Pages: 37-49. More»
  • Enrique Sanchez Molano, John A Woolliams, Ricardo Pong-Wong, Dylan N Clements, Sarah C Blott, Pamela Wiener. 2014. Quantitative trait loci mapping for canine hip dysplasia and its related traits in UK Labrador Retrievers. BMC Genomics Vol: 15 Pages: 833. More»
  • Sarah E. Lofgren, Pamela Wiener, Sarah C. Blott, Enrique Sanchez Molano, John A. Woolliams, Dylan N. Clements, Marie J. Haskell. 2014. Management and personality in Labrador Retriever dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science Vol: 156 Pages: 44-53. More»
  • Beatriz Gutierrez-Gil, Juan J. Arranz, Ricardo Pong-Wong, Elsa Garcia-Gamez, James Kijas, Pam Wiener. 2014. Application of selection mapping to identify genomic regions associated with dairy production in sheep. PLoS One Vol: 9. More»
  • E Sánchez-Molano, J A Woolliams, S C Blott, P Wiener. 2014. Assessing the impact of genomic selection against hip dysplasia in the Labrador Retriever dog. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics Vol: 131 Pages: 134-145. More»
  • Samantha Wilkinson, Zen H Lu, Hendrik-Jan Megens, Alan L Archibald, Chris Haley, Ian J Jackson, Martien A M Groenen, Richard P M A Crooijmans, Rob Ogden, Pamela Wiener. 2013. Signatures of diversifying selection in European pig breeds. PLoS Genetics Vol: 9. More»
  • Samantha Wilkinson, P Wiener, D Teverson, C S Haley, P M Hocking. 2012. Characterization of the genetic diversity, structure and admixture of British chicken breeds. Animal Genetics Vol: 43 Pages: 552-563. More»
  • Pamela Wiener, Ricardo Pong-Wong. 2011. A Regression-Based Approach to Selection Mapping. Journal of Heredity Vol: 102 Pages: 294-305. More»
  • Samantha Wilkinson, Chris Haley, L. Alderson, P. Wiener. 2011. An empirical assessment of individual-based population genetic statistical techniques: Application to British pig breeds. Heredity Vol: 106 Pages: 261-269. More»
  • P. Wiener, Samantha Wilkinson. 2011. Deciphering the genetic basis of animal domestication. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences Vol: 278 Pages: 3161-3170. More»
  • P. Wiener, M. Edriss, J.L. Williams, D. Waddington, A. Law, J.A. Woolliams, B. Guitierrez-Gil. 2011. Information content in genome-wide scans: Concordance between patterns of genetic differentiation and linkage mapping associations. BMC Genomics Vol: 12. More»