SAFS Fall Seminar Series Launches Thursday October 3rd!

The School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences Fall Seminar Series launches next Thursday with Associate Professor Kerry Naish‘s presentation: “The allure of bigger, better, faster: four stories of genomic diversity, selection, and fitness in Pacific salmon“.  Please join us at 4pm in the FSH Auditorium with a social to follow.

Below you can find more details about the seminar next week.

For a complete schedule of the seminar series please visit

All seminar in this series are also on the SAFS Events Calendar:

chinook salmonphoto credit: USFWS photo/Dan Cox

Abstract: One of the oldest problems in evolutionary biology – determining the relationships between genetic variation, the expression of the phenotype and fitness – is especially challenging in wild and outbred populations. Yet describing these relationships is particularly relevant to investigating adaptation and predicting response to natural and human-induced change. Remarkable advances in DNA sequencing technology has led to what has been termed “open access genomics” (bigger, better, faster), and has introduced new ways of investigating the link between genotype and phenotype. Here, I describe our group’s efforts in addressing some key questions in adaptation, conservation and management of Pacific salmon. Specifically, characterization of the genomes of Chinook and coho salmon and cutthroat-rainbow hybrids has given us insight into processes involved in salmonid genomic evolution, following an ancestral whole genome duplication event. Implementation of the molecular tools associated with these studies have allowed us to investigate adaptive evolution in Columbia River Chinook salmon populations, determine the genomic basis of hybrid fitness in impacted cutthroat populations in Montana, explore the results of domestication selection in an aquaculture strain of coho salmon, and test models of hatchery management in Chinook salmon. Taken together, these studies provide a basis for developing informative approaches to understanding evolutionary responses of fitness traits to ongoing change, one of the least understood aspects of the management of fish populations.

Biography: Kerry grew up in Zimbabwe, and completed her undergrad at the University of Cape Town, her masters at Rhodes University in South Africa and her PhD at the University of Wales, Swansea in the UK. She completed postdocs at University of Guelph, Canada and the Northwest Fisheries Science Centre, NOAA. She then joined the faculty in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, where she is currently an Associate Professor. During her time, she has worked on genetic-related issues in a range of aquatic organisms, and has been in some cool (and warm) places as a result.





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