SEATTLE — The U.S. Geological Survey has named fish pathologist Dr. Jill Rolland the director of its Western Fisheries Research Center (WFRC), headquartered in Seattle.
Since 2010, Rolland has been the director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Center for Animal Health Programs. From 2007 to 2010, she was the center’s assistant director for aquaculture, swine, equine and poultry health programs. She joined the USDA in 2002 as a fish biologist in the aquatic animal health program of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and became the program manager in 2005. Rolland began her new job at the WFRC on Sept. 10.
Rolland previously worked part-time at the WFRC and also taught part-time at Shoreline Community College, north of Seattle.
She earned her M.S. and Sc.D. in fish health from the University of Bergen in Norway and her B.S. in Fisheries/Aquaculture from the University of Washington.
“The appointment of Dr. Rolland to head our Western Fisheries Research Center is certain to continue the excellent tradition of cooperation between the USGS and USDA in fisheries health,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. “We are so pleased to welcome her back to the USGS in this leadership role to help us find solutions for healthy and abundant fish, healthy ecosystems, and healthy aquatic environments.”
The WFRC is one of 18 USGS science centers engaged in biological research on critical natural resource issues facing the nation. Research in WFRC’s six laboratories -- in Seattle; on Marrowstone Island and in the Columbia River Gorge, Wash., in Klamath Falls and Newport, Ore., and Reno, Nev. -- focuses on the environmental factors responsible for the creation, maintenance, and regulation of fish populations and their interactions in aquatic communities and ecosystems.
Natural resources of particular interest to the center include Pacific salmon; western trout, char, and resident riverine fishes; desert and inland fishes; and aquatic ecosystems including Puget Sound and the Columbia and Klamath River basins. Current research includes studying fish populations and ecosystems and salmon-wildlife interactions within the Elwha River Restoration Project, the largest dam removal project in U.S. history.
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