CCMAR ● Campus de Gambelas ● Faro ● Portugal ● email:

Shawn Narum leads a research group involved in population and ecological genomics of multiple fish species in the Columbia River and Pacific Northwest USA. He works at the interface of academic and applied research where genomic tools are utilized for long-term preservation of once abundant aquatic resources in this region. In particular, species of Pacific salmon are a vital component of communities in the western USA ranging from California to Alaska and have sustained Native American tribes in the region for several centuries. Salmon are keystone species in aquatic ecosystems in need of careful conservation, yet remain as some of the few remaining sources of wild caught food for human consumption. Extensive research efforts have been underway for decades to better understand how to best conserve and manage this declining resource, and genomic tools have begun to contribute greatly.

As abundance and diversity of native fishes have declined throughout the Columbia River in the last century, there is high conservation priority for several species in this system.  Conservation management of distinct stocks requires understanding of not only neutral genetic structure, but also the genomic basis for functional traits that contribute to complex life histories.  A combination of neutral and adaptive genetic markers can be critical tools for genetic monitoring and tracking of specific stocks so that managers can adjust harvest to focus on healthy stocks and reduce impact on endangered stocks.  It is also necessary to evaluate various hatchery release strategies used to supplement natural stocks in order to determine the most effective manner to increase abundance without reducing fitness of wild stocks.  I will demonstrate how these different concepts are being incorporated into fisheries management in the Columbia River with a combination of genomic approaches such as RAD-seq, Pool-seq, and GTseq that utilize NextGen sequencing.

Integrating Genomics with Fisheries Conservation and Management in the Columbia River, USA