Molecular Ecology and Genetic Analysis (MEGA) Team

SteelheadWe are biologists that use population genetic data and analytical techniques to address a broad array of questions in ecology, evolution, behavior, conservation, and management of marine and anadromous organisms. Our work is based on the collection and analysis of statistically robust molecular population genetic datasets. We actively implement novel methods for the acquisition and analysis of molecular data, providing inference for both specific and general problems in biology. Most of our current research involves salmon, trout and groundfish, but we also work on marine mammals and other fishes, and much of our methodology development is more broadly applicable. Our work supports federal, state and local efforts to conserve and manage marine, anadromous and coastal species and populations, particularly in California.

The MEGA Team operates as a cooperative research unit of NOAA and University of California staff, postdoctoral researchers, graduate, and undergraduate students. It was formed as a result of the move to the UC Santa Cruz Marine Sciences Campus of the now defunct Tiburon lab of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in 2000 and the concurrent expansion of the division to include both state of the art laboratory facilities and new staff and programs. We operate a modern molecular biology laboratory, equipped with instrumentation and automation for high throughput DNA extraction, thermal cycling, DNA sequencing, microsatellite and SNP genotyping capacity. We also maintain a collection of nearly half a million tissue samples and DNA extracts of fishes and mammals, primarily salmonids and rockfishes from California. We also provide expertise in the analysis and interpretation of genetic data for a variety of applications and provide educational opportunities to graduate and advanced undergraduate students through faculty appointments at the University of California.

Much of our work is collaborative with other agencies, research groups, and individuals. We invite you to contact us to discuss such collaboration.

Team members