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MMNS CONSERVATION GENETICS LAB

Contact Sheena Feist (sheena.feist@mmns.state.ms.us)

About the Lab

Here at the MMNS Conservation Genetics Lab we use molecular techniques to investigate the systematics, population dynamics, ecology, and behavior of Mississippi organisms in order to address conservation issues and resolve management questions.   

Projects of Interest

o   Conservation Genetics

§  Monitoring genetic diversity following declines or translocations

§  Investigating genetic impacts of population declines

§  Defining conservation management units

o   Population Genetics

§  Identifying genetic structure and variation among populations

§  Inferring patterns of gene flow

§  Estimating population size

o   Landscape Genetics

§  Investigating genetics impacts of land use change and/or habitat disturbances

§  Identifying barriers to movement

o   Behavioral  Ecology

§  Using genetic patterns to make inferences about behavior
      (e.g. dispersal  tendencies, social and familial networks, etc.)

o   Wildlife Forensics

§  Identifying species from forensic evidence (hairs/feathers, blood, etc.)

Genetic Resource Catalog

In addition to conducting research, the MMNS Conservation Genetics Lab houses a genetic resource collection, where tissue samples representing a diverse array of taxa are reposited. 

This collection provides an historical and contemporary record of genetic diversity within and among Mississippi organisms. 

Through this collection, MMNS will serve in-house researchers as well as the larger scientific community by providing available tissue samples for projects dedicated to the conservation and management of Mississippi wildlife, and/or for projects that further the understanding of Mississippi wildlife through genetic approaches.