Spring Seminar Series, Thursday with Drs. Marine Brieuc and Kristen Gruenthal

Please join the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences for its Spring Seminar Series, this week featuring two SAFS researchers! The SAFS seminar series consists of weekly presentations by eminent academics, prospective faculty members and the School’s own faculty members. Seminars are free and open to the public.

Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 4 PM
Social immediately follows

University of Washington
Fishery Sciences Building
Room 102
1122 NE Boat Street
Seattle, Washington (map)

View the full seminar schedule.

For more information, please contact SAFS Front Desk, safsdesk@uw.edu, or 206-543-4270.


e0b4953bac690d5239_l_b96b3What do Random Forests have to contribute to understanding the evolution of aquatic species?

Characterizing the evolutionary processes influencing the diversity of life history traits and their genetic basis is particularly important in conservation. In cases where fitness differences between populations are impractical to measure, the genetic basis of local adaptation can be ascertained by applying genome-based approaches to populations sampled across contrasting natural environments. Run timing in Chinook salmon is a polygenic trait that shows evidence of rapid parallel evolution in some lineages, signifying a key role for this phenotype in the ecological divergence between populations. In this study, we used a novel approach, Random Forest, to detect markers linked to run timing across 14 populations from contrasting environments in the Columbia River and Puget Sound, USA. This approach permits detection of loci of small effect on the phenotype and takes into account interaction between loci, both phenomena typical of life history traits. By combining this method with principal component analysis and FST outlier analyses, we were able to determine that the predictors of run timing revealed both shared and unique evolutionary pathways in the trait across different lineages, characterized by minor allele frequency changes, and that there was evidence for selection on loci of large effect. The use of a polygenic framework has provided initial insight into how divergence in this trait has occurred in the wild.


Kristen GruenthalGenetics, life history, and the management of highly fecund marine species

Because of their great potential for reproduction, dispersal, and gene flow, highly fecund marine species can present unique challenges for conservation and management.  I will discuss various ways I have used genetic methods in attempts to tailor conservation, restoration, and enhancement strategies to the specific needs of highly fecund mollusks and finfish.  These applications have ranged from delineating stock boundaries, often a first step in management planning, to developing broodstock and cohort management for an established stock enhancement program, based on realized spawning dynamics.


The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at least 10 days in advance at 206-543-6450/V, 206-543-6452/TTY, 206-685-7264 (FAX); dso@u.washington.edu.

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