Eugenie Yen

Eugenie Yen

Profile Display Name:

Eugenie (Charley) Yen

E-mail Address:

Start Year

2020 (Cohort 7)

Research interests:

Evolutionary Genomics & Epigenomics

Hobbies and interests:

PhD Project
PhD Title

Using genomics to investigate the adaptive potential of sea turtles in a warming world

Research Theme

Evolution and Adaptation

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution


Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution


Additional supervisor(s)

Stephen Rossiter (QMUL),


Understanding what contributes to the adaptive potential of endangered species is essential for predicting how they will respond to climate change. The unprecedented rate of global warming particularly threatens ectotherms, due to their dependency on environmental temperature for key physiological functions. Sea turtles are such species on the brink of extinction, owing to their temperature-dependent sex determination system, with most populations projected to become entirely feminised by the century end. This project will bring new insights into the adaptive potential of sea turtles by determining the molecular underpinnings of adaptive thermal responses, using endangered loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) nesting on the Cabo Verde archipelago as a model, natural system. After de novo assembly of a novel reference genome, genome-wide scans of genetic and DNA methylation patterns will be performed to: (i) identify locally adapted genomic/epigenomic regions between wild, nesting populations in relation to island-specific thermal regimes; and (ii) disentangle the contribution of environmentally induced versus inherited epigenetic marks using quantitative genetic, split clutch design incubation experiments. By combining genomic tools and experimental manipulations, this project will improve our knowledge of the adaptive potential through local adaptation and/or phenotypic plasticity, to guide sea turtle population management in a warming world.

Policy Impact
Background Reading

Project Biodiversity (Project Biodiversity) website:

Grants and awards
  • QMUL Centre for Public Engagement Large Grant – QMUL Centre for Public Engagement


Conferences and Workshops
  • ESEB (August 2022). Talk: Quantifying the adaptive potential of sea turtles in a warming world using genome-wide DNA methylation.
  • Joint DTP Conference (September 2022). Poster: Identifying epigenetic biomarkers of sex in sea turtles through a genome-wide DNA methylation approach.
  • Population Genetics Group (January 2023). Talk: Quantifying the adaptive capacity of sea turtles in a warming world using genome-wide DNA methylation.
  • QMUL SBBS Postgraduate Symposium (March 2023). Talk: Quantifying DNA methylation to assess the adaptive capacity of temperature-dependent sex determination in endangered sea turtles.
  • QMUL SBCS Postgraduate Symposium (May 2021). Poster: A high-quality reference genome for the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).
  • Population Genetics Group 55 (January 2022).
  • .
Training courses
  • Introduction to Sequencing Data and Quality Control, hosted by NERC Environmental Omics Facility (NEOF). March 2021
  • Communicating Research to Industry, hosted by Vitae UK. March 2023

Social Links
University Departmental Website:
Personal Website:



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