Molecular Ecology Laboratory

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Molecular ecology is the study of the earth and its ecosystems through genetic methods.  The main objectives of the USGS Alaska Science Center molecular ecology research program are to:

  • Identify and fill gaps in our knowledge about species and population diagnosis, biodiversity, and health of wildlife and their habitats to inform decision making by management agencies
  • Provide state-of-the-art molecular science applications and protocols for USGS, Department of Interior, and other partners.

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Publications

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Year Published: 2021

Using next generation sequencing of alpine plants to improve fecal metabarcoding diet analysis for Dall’s sheep

ObjectivesDall’s sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) are important herbivores in the mountainous ecosystems of northwestern North America, and recent declines in some populations have sparked concern. Our aim was to improve capabilities for fecal metabarcoding diet analysis of Dall’s sheep and other herbivores by contributing new sequence data for arctic and...

Williams, Kelly E.; Menning, Damian M.; Wald, Eric J.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Rattenbury, Kumi L.; Prugh, Laura R.

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Year Published: 2021

Metabarcoding of environmental samples suggest wide distribution of eelgrass (Zostera marina) pathogens in the north Pacific

Seagrass meadows provide important ecological services to the marine environment but are declining worldwide. Although eelgrass meadows in the north Pacific are thought to be relatively healthy, few studies have assessed the presence of known disease pathogens in these meadows. In a pilot study to test the efficacy of the methods and to provide...

Menning, Damian M.; Gravley, Hunter A; Cady, Melissa N.; Pepin, Daniel J; Wyllie-Echeverria, Sandy; Ward, David H.; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2021

Whole‐genome resequencing reveals persistence of forest‐associated mammals in Late Pleistocene refugia along North America’s North Pacific Coast

AimNumerous glacial refugia have been hypothesized along North America's North Pacific Coast that may have increased divergence of refugial taxa, leading to elevated endemism and subsequently clustered hybrid zones following deglaciation. The locations and community composition of these ice‐free areas remains controversial, but whole‐genome...

Colella, Jocelyn P.; Lan, Tianying; Talbot, Sandra L.; Lindqvist, Charlotte; Cook, Joseph A.