I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Nevada, Reno where I have an active research program in Conservation Science with an emphasis in Conservation Genetics. My students and I work on a wide variety of taxa including threatened and endangered fish, amphibian, mammal and plant species. My funding comes primarily from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), but is also supported by other federal agencies including the US Geological Survey and US Forest Service, in addition to NGOs such as Trout Unlimited.
I have a large research program focusing on the conservation biology of Lahontan cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii henshawi), a subspecies of cutthroat trout listed as threatened under the United States Endangered Species Act (ESA) funded primarily by USFWS. Under this umbrella I work with USFWS biologists to implement a genetic management strategy for the Lahontan National Fish Hatchery brood stock used in recovery activities and to conduct genetic effectiveness monitoring for restoration strategies for wild LCT populations. I also act as a scientific advisor on multiple GMU based recovery teams for this subspecies.
Drs. Carlos Garza and Victoria Prichard (Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA) and I developed SNPs markers for detection of rainbow-cutthroat hybrids, hybrids among subspecies of cutthroat and markers to assess diversity within and among Lahontan cutthroat trout populations. I am also currently collaborating with Drs Helen Neville (Trout Unlimited), Gordon Luikart (University of Montana) and Mike Miller (UC Davis) on developing SNP markers to identify adaptive trait loci associated with temperature tolerance in Lahontan cutthroat trout and continue to work as a collaborative member on a NASA Earth Sciences Applications: Ecological Forecasting grant awarded to Trout Unlimited.
I have recently begun to work on the conservation genetics of the endangered Moapa dace (Moapa coriacea) and the Ash Meadows Amargosa pupfish (Cyprinodon nevadensis mionectes) with funding from USFWS and collaboration with USGS BRD scientists. These are genetic effectiveness monitoring projects of restoration activities for these species.