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Genetics / Genomics

The Leetown Science Center is a national leader in the application of genetics and genomics approaches to support the management of imperiled species. Our scientists have developed molecular markers (e.g., microsatellites and single-nucleotide polymorphisms) for dozens of rare, threatened, and endangered organisms, ranging from small invertebrates to large marine mammals. The molecular tools developed at LSC allow researchers to examine patterns of connectivity, and the impacts of isolation and genetic drift on population resilience. Our work has proven to be instrumental for delineating biologically-appropriate management units, and identifying at-risk populations and genetic strongholds. LSC scientists are routinely consulted by state and federal management agencies to guide restoration activities and management strategies. The conservation genetics program at LSC provides critical science to guide the conservation and recovery of federal trust species.