USGS Western Ecological Research Center

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San Diego Field Station

Conservation Genetics

Molecular and genetic research techniques have become powerful tools for conservation biology and environmental monitoring. Genetic studies can help conservation biologists determine and prioritize populations of species in need of protection, identify source populations for reintroduction efforts, quantify biodiversity across a landscape, and monitor the effects of anthropogenic landscape change on population genetic structure and regional evolutionary potential.

Researchers at the San Diego Field Station are using genetic techniques to investigate the population structure of several species of conservation concern and to reveal links between southern California geography and patterns of genetic diversity across different species groups. Our partners and clients include U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, California Department of Parks and Recreation, California Dept. of Fish and Game, and Arizona Dept. of Game and Fish.

In our laboratory, and through collaboration with the San Diego State University Microchemical Core Facility and other partners, we routinely perform genetic studies using PCR, DNA sequencing and genotyping techniques.

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