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Conservation in the Age of the Genome: Applications of Molecular Genetics to Wildlife Ecology, Management, and Epidemiology

  • Friday, December 8, 2017
  • 1:30 PM–2:30 PM
  • Science Building 010

William Miller, PhD Candidate, PA Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Research Unit

Genetic aspects of population health have long been considered by conservation biologists, although they have historically lacked the tools and resources to study these aspects directly.  The advent of accessible molecular technologies has continued to foster the synthesis of genetics and ecological conservation in recent years and has made the genetic management of populations an increasingly prominent topic in wildlife conservation.  Conservation genetics is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the preservation and maintenance of genetic diversity in natural populations, which can have important implications for conservation and management.  Conservation geneticists are concerned with how the loss of genetic diversity can influence the persistence and viability of at-risk populations.  Additionally, molecular tools have provided a framework for better understanding many important ecological characteristics of organisms, such as the demographic history, structure, and adaptive capacity of populations.  William Miller, a Ph.D. candidate in the Ecology Program at The Pennsylvania State University, will introduce the diverse field of conservation genetics and provide several case studies from his own research highlighting the utility of molecular techniques to wildlife ecology, conservation, and management.  

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