- Postdoctoral Fellow
- WFES 248
- Undergraduate Education
- BSc. Hons. Forestry (Arboriculture & Amenity), Univeristy of Aberdeen, Scotland.
- Graduate Education
- MSc. Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
- PhD. Forest Sciences, University of British Columbia, Canada
Dr. MacLachlan is from the UK, via Canada, and started at Texas A&M in February 2020. He is a forest geneticist with broad interests in tree biology, forest ecology and botany. These interests developed from growing up in an arboretum in southern England and led to an undergraduate degree in forestry and arboriculture. He studied at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in Scotland and worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, in London before making his way to Canada and the University of British Columbia for his PhD with Prof. Sally Aitken. Ian’s PhD research investigated the genetic impacts of selective breeding on the climatic adaptation of conifers in western Canada, and the implications of selective breeding for future climatically adaptive forest management strategies. Ian worked as a scientist and senior arborist for an environmental consulting company in Vancouver before returning to academia. At Texas A&M he works with Drs. Loopstra, Cassola and West in ECCB implementing a USDA-funded project that integrates genomic, growth, physiology and climate data to identify genetic markers associated with drought tolerance that can be incorporated into established loblolly pine breeding programs in the western gulf region.
Research Interests and Specializations
Dr MacLachlan is motivated by finding solutions to defined, applied problems that are directly relevant to tree and forest management. To this end, Ian’s primary research interest is in trying to establish simple, effective connections between molecular genetics and applied forest management solutions. His specialisms include forest population and association genetics, the climatic adaptation and genecology of trees, and phenotypic and genomic variation in polygenic traits related to growth, phenology and physiology in conifers.