Using DNA to Inform Conservation of Marine Species

Over the past 15 years, technological advances have greatly expanded our ability to use DNA to address biological and ecological problems. DNA can now help answer numerous questions with conservation implications, such as fine-scale population genetic structure and connectivity of organisms, how natural selection shapes species diversity, epigenetic processes that may underlie environmental memories, and the whereabouts of rare or invasive species. This talk will give an overview of a variety of projects using DNA to inform conservation of marine species including corals, clams, abalone, and crabs.

Dr. Jay Dimond earned his B.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont in 2002, followed by an M.S. in Biology at the University of Rhode Island studying the ecology of symbiosis in temperate corals in 2006. He worked as a biological collector at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA from 2005-2007, then took a year-long backpacking trip around the world. A position as a researcher studying symbiosis in sea anemones at WWU’s Shannon Point Marine Center brought him to Washington in 2008. He began his PhD at the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences in 2014, focusing on epigenetic processes in reef corals and sea anemones. As a postdoc with Puget Sound Restoration Fund from 2019-2021, he worked on conservation genetics of basket cockles and pinto abalone. Since 2019 he has served as Capstone Coordinator and Research Assistant Professor for the new Marine and Coastal Science Program at WWU.

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