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Ecological Genetics Meeting Summary

Forestry and Natural Resources > Ecological Genetics Meeting Summary

 Ecological Genetics Symposium


Our department hosted a meeting on ecological genetics. This meeting will culminate in the publication of a book entitled "Molecular Insights into Natural Resource Conservation and Management". The meeting was held:

5-8 October 2008
at Purdue University 

Sponsored by Department of Forestry and Natural Resources "Ecological Genetics" Signature Area

Symposium Itinerary

Book Overview and Meeting Participants

Applied Ecological Genetics


Program Agenda

Our forthcoming book, to be published in 2009 by Cambridge University Press:
Molecular insights into natural resource conservation and management, edited by Professors DeWoody, Bickham, Michler, Nichols, Rhodes, and Woeste in the Department of Forestry & Natural Resources at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN, USA). Click here for more information about the Purdue meeting associated with this book.

About the authors/editors:
Drs. DeWoody, Bickham, Michler, Nichols, Rhodes, and Woeste all study the genetics of natural resources; see for our webpage at Purdue University. We study forestry, fisheries, and wildlife and find that similar issues arise in these disparate fields. For example, one real-life intersection of our research programs occurred when the forest geneticists began asking how many sires contributed pollen to a nut-bearing hardwood tree. As it turns out, fisheries geneticists had already studied this problem from the perspective of a male fish guarding a nest full of developing embryos and had created computer programs to estimate the number of females who contributed eggs to his nest. Another such intersection of research across disciplines lies in the study of genetic processes in small populations. For example, the same conceptual and analytical approaches being used to elucidate the genetic consequences of wildlife reintroductions are being employed to evaluate losses of genetic diversity in hardwood tree species subjected to severe habitat fragmentation.

We are well-positioned to direct and crystallize an edited volume on the genetics of our natural resources. We teach several courses that directly pertain to our book’s content. These include Conservation Genetics (DeWoody), Molecular Ecology and Evolution (DeWoody), and Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics (Nichols). Several of us (DeWoody, Michler, Rhodes) have served as “genetics” editors for leading conservation and management journals (e.g., Journal of Wildlife Management, North American Journal of Fisheries Management, Plant Breeding Reviews). Furthermore, we have published literally scores of papers on the genetics of our natural resources. For a listing of over a hundred of our papers since 2003, see .

The chapters of our book are listed below; each chapter will consist of several key elements, including:
a) a brief history (review) of the topic and major conceptual developments in the field
b) an overview of the relevant molecular and analytical/computational approaches
c) a brief forecasting (preview) of future research directions
d) one or more applied cases studies (authored Boxes) that complements the chapter

Chapter 1. Editors (DeWoody, Bickham, Michler, Nichols, Rhodes, and Woeste)
Title: Ecological genetics of our natural resources

Chapter 2. David Hillis, John Bickham, and Rodney Honeycutt
Title: The importance of biotic discovery to conservation
Box/case study: Amy B. Baird Genetic identification of cryptic species: an example in Rhogeessa

Chapter 3. Barbara Schaal and Wesley J. Leverich
Title: Gene flow in rice
Box/case study: Robert Devlin and Fredrik L. Sundström (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) Environmental risk assessment of genetically engineered salmon

Chapter 4. Thomas G. Whitham, Catherine A. Gehring, Luke M. Evans, Carri J. LeRoy, Randy K. Bangert, Jennifer A. Schweitzer, Gerard J. Allan, Robert C. Barbour, Dylan G. Fischer, Bradley M. Potts, and Joseph K. Bailey
Title: A community and ecosystem genetics approach for conservation biology and management
Box/case study: Jeff Holland (Purdue) Landscape genetics of insect pests of the American chestnut

Chapter 5. Andrew DeWoody, Matt Hale, and John Avise
Title: Sex determining genes and their utility in the conservation of fishes
Box/case study: Lisette Waits (U Idaho) Sex-identification and population size of grizzly bears using non-invasive genetic sampling

Chapter 6. Antoine Kremer, Valérie Le Corre, Rémy J. Petit, and Alexis Ducousso
Title: Historical and contemporary dynamics of adaptive differentiation in European oaks
Box/case study: Steve Palumbi (Stanford/Hopkins Marine Station) Genomic selection in corals and urchins

Chapter 7. Krista Nichols and David Neale
Title: Association genetics and conservation: revealing the genes underlying adaptive phenotypes in natural populations
Box/case study: Jake Gratten, Alastair J Wilson, Allan F McRae, Dario Beraldi, Peter M Visscher, Josephine M Pemberton and Jon Slate (University of Sheffield, UK) Using gene mapping to understand microevolution: coat colour in Soay sheep

Chapter 8. Kelly Zamudio and Rick Harrison
Title: The dual role of hybridization in the origin and conservation of biodiversity
Box/case study: Marjorie Matocq (UNLV) Conserving patterns of diversity generated by hybridization in mammals

Chapter 9. Jim Hamrick
Title: Pollen and seed movement in disturbed tropical landscapes
Box/case study: Joseph D. Busch, Jennifer McCreight, and Peter Waser (Purdue) Allelic recharge in populations recovering from bottleneck events

Chapter 10. Robin S. Waples, Michelle M. McClure, Thomas C. Wainwright, Paul McElhany, and Peter Lawson
Title: Integrating evolutionary and ecological considerations in recovery planning for Pacific salmon
Box/case study: Kermit Ritland (U British Columbia) Discovery of the SNP polymorphism underlying the white "Spirit Bear" of British Columbia and its implications for conservation

Chapter 11. Jamie Ivy and Bob Lacy
Title: Genetic management of captive breeding programs for wildlife conservation
Box/case study: Yousry El-Kassaby (U British Columbia) Pedigree reconstruction: an alternative to systematic breeding

Chapter 12. O. Eugene Rhodes and Emily Latch
Title: Wildlife reintroductions: conceptual development and application of theory
Box/case study: Lisa Worthen, Keith Woeste, and Charles Michler (Purdue) Perspectives from ecological genetics: restoration of the American chestnut

Chapter 13. Paul L. Leberg, N. R. Giridhar Athrey, Kelly R. Barr, Denise L. Lindsay, and Richard F. Lance
Title: Implications of landscape alteration for the conservation of genetic diversity of endangered species
Box/case study: Julie Etterson and Rebecca M. Holmstrom (University of Minnesota) Dune restoration introduces genetically distinct American beachgrass, Ammophila breviligulata, into a threatened local population

Chapter 14. Lee Shughart, Chris Theodorakis, & John Bickham
Title: Evolutionary toxicology
Box/case study: Stan Wullschleger and David Weston (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Microarrays and the molecular stress phenotype: potential use of emerging approaches in ecotoxicology

Time-frame for completion:
Each author is expected to complete a rough draft of their chapter by July 2008 and then circulate a complete draft of their chapter to the other authors in September 2008, prior to the October 2008 meeting. In essence, we will have the authors provide reviews of each other’s chapters in a round-robin fashion; further external reviews will be solicited if necessary. At the meeting, authors will share ideas, criticisms, and new data that will be incorporated into the final versions by late December 2008. We need to have the book to Cambridge by 1 January 2009.