USGS - science for a changing world

Alaska Science Center

white dothome: white dotscience: white dothighlights: white dotmaps, products & publications: white dotpartners & education: white dotcontact us:   white dotinternal:






John M. Pearce

Title: Supv. Wildlife Biologist
Address: 4210 University Dr., Anchorage, AK 99508-4626
Phone: (907) 786-7094
Fax: (907) 786-7021

Image of John M. Pearce

Education and/or Training

Ph.D.2008University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AKBiology
M.S.1996University of Idaho, Moscow, IDZoology
B.S.1990Lewis and Clark College, Portland, ORBiology

Areas of Specialization and/or Research Interests

Since 1990, I have worked at the Alaska Science Center (ASC-BSO) as a wildlife biologist on a variety of bird projects focusing on species of shorebird, waterfowl, and landbird. Since 1994, I have worked in the ASC-BSO Molecular Ecology Laboratory in order to add a genetics component to our study of wild birds. Currently, we use nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers to: investigate differences among breeding and wintering populations of birds; examine behaviors and movements of birds; and apply results from these studies to the monitoring of wild bird species.

Professional Experience

2011 - presentChief, Wetlands and Terrestrial Ecology Branch, USGS, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska
1999 - 2011Wildlife Biologist, USGS, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska
1997 - 1999Geneticist, USGS, Alaska Biological Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska
1990 - 1997Biological Science Technician, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Biological Service, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska

Professional Activities and/or Memberships

American Ornithologists' Union
Cooper Ornithological Society

Honors and/or Awards

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey performance awards in 1991-1995, 1997-1998 and 2000-2011 for contributions made during field and laboratory projects.

Significant Recent Publications

Pearce, J. M., J. M. Eadie, J-P. L. Savard, T. K. Christensen, J. Berdeen, E. J. Taylor, S. Boyd, A. Einarsson, and S. L. Talbot. 2014. Comparative population structure of cavity-nesting sea ducks. Auk 131(2):195-207. doi: 10.1642/AUK-13-071.1

McNew, L., C. Handel, J. Pearce, T. DeGange, L. Holland-Bartels, and M. Whalen. 2013. Changing Arctic ecosystems—The role of ecosystem changes across the Boreal–Arctic transition zone on the distribution and abundance of wildlife populations. U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2013–3054, 2 p.

Van Hemert, C., J. Pearce, K. Oakley, and M. Whalen. 2013. Wildlife Disease and Environmental Health in Alaska. U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2013-3027, 4 p.

Reeves, A. B., J. M. Pearce, A. M. Ramey, C. R. Ely, J. A. Schmutz, P. L. Flint, D. V. Derksen, H. S. Ip, and K. A. Trust. 2013. Genomic analysis of avian influenza viruses from waterfowl in Western Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 49(3):600-610. doi: 10.7589/2012-04-108

Ely, C. R., J. S. Hall, J. A. Schmutz, J. M. Pearce, J. Terenzi, J. S. Sedinger, and H. S. Ip. 2013. Evidence that life history characteristics of wild birds influence infection rates and exposure to influenza A viruses. PLoS One, 8(3): e57614. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057614

Pearce, J., T. DeGange, P. Flint, T. Fondell, D. Gustine, L. Holland-Bartels, A. Hope, J. Hupp, J. Koch, S. Talbot, D. Ward, and M. Whalen. 2012. Changing Arctic Ecosystems—Measuring and forecasting the response of Alaska's terrestrial ecosystem to a warming climate. U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012-3144, 4 p.

Ramey, A. M., C. R. Ely, J. A. Schmutz, J. M. Pearce, and D. J. Heard. 2012. Molecular detection of hematozoa infections in Tundra Swans relative to migration patterns and ecological conditions at breeding grounds. PLoS One 7(9):e45789. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0045789

Yamaguchi, N., J. W. Hupp, P. L. Flint, J. M. Pearce, Y. Shigeta, T. Shimada, E. N. Hiraoka, and H. Higuchi. 2012. Habitat use and movement patterns of Northern Pintails during spring migration in northern Japan: the importance of agricultural lands. Journal of Field Ornithology 83(2):141-153. doi: 10.1111/j.1557-9263.2012.00364.x

Peters, J. L., K. A. Bolender, and J. M. Pearce. 2012. Behavioral vs. molecular sources of conflict between nuclear and mitochondrial DNA: the role of male-biased dispersal in a Holarctic sea duck. Molecular Ecology 21:3562-3575. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05612.x

Millen, H. T., J. C. Gonnering, R. K. Berg, S. K. Spencer, W. E. Jokela, J. M. Pearce, J. S. Borchardt, and M. A. Borchardt. 2012. Glass wool filters for concentrating waterborne viruses and agricultural zoonotic pathogens. Journal of Visualized Experiments 3930.

Pearce, J.M., D.R. Ruthrauff, and J.S. Hall. 2012. Paired serological and RRT-PCR analysis of avian influenza prevalence in Alaskan shorebirds. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 48(3):812-814.

Tsukamoto, K., P. C. Javier, M. Shishido, D. Noguchi, J. Pearce, H-M. Kang, O. M. Jeong, Y-J. Lee, K. Nakanishi, and T. Ashizawa. 2012. SYBR green based real-time reverse transcription PCR for typing and subtyping of all hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes of avian influenza viruses and comparison to standard serological subtyping tests. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 50:37-45. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01195-11

Reeves, A. B, J. M. Pearce, A. M. Ramey, B. W. Meixell, and J. A. Runstadler. 2011. Interspecies transmission and limited persistence of low pathogenic avian influenza genomes among Alaska dabbling ducks. Infection, Genetics, and Evolution 11:2004-2010. DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2011.09.011.

Ramey, A.M., J. M. Pearce, A. B. Reeves, J. Christian Franson, M. R. Petersen, and H. S. Ip. 2011. Evidence for limited exchange of avian influenza viruses between seaducks and dabbling ducks at Alaska Peninsula coastal lagoons. Archives of Virology 156:1813-1821.

Hupp, J. W., N. Yamaguchi, P. L. Flint, J. M. Pearce, K. Tokita, T. Shimada, A. M. Ramey, S. Kharitonov, and H. Higuchi. 2011. Variation in spring migration routes and breeding distribution of Northern Pintails that winter in Japan. Journal of Avian Biology 42:289-300..

Pearce, J. M., A. B. Reeves, A. M. Ramey, J. W. Hupp, H. S. Ip, M. Bertram, M. J. Petrula, B. D. Scotton, K. A. Trust, B. Meixell, and J. A. Runstadler. 2011. Interspecific exchange of avian influenza virus genes in Alaska: The influence of trans-hemispheric migratory tendency and breeding ground sympatry. Molecular Ecology 20:1015 - 1025.

Solovyeva, D. and J. M. Pearce. 2011. Comparative mitochondrial genetics of North American and Eurasian mergansers with an emphasis on the endangered scaly-sided merganser (Mergus squamatus). Conservation Genetics 12:839-844.

Ramey, A.M., J.M. Pearce, C.R. Ely, L.M. Sheffield Guy, D.B. Irons, D.V. Derksen and H.S. Ip. 2010. Transmission and reassortment of avian influenza viruses at the Asian - North American interface. Virology, 406:352-359.

Ramey, A. M., J. M. Pearce, P. L. Flint, H. S. Ip, D. V. Derksen, J. C. Franson, M. J. Petrula, B. D. Scotton, K. M. Sowl, M. L. Wege, and K. A. Trust. 2010. Intercontinental reassortment and genomic variation of low pathogenic avian influenza viruses isolated from Northern Pintails (Anas acuta) in Alaska: Examining the evidence through space and time. Virology 401:179-189. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2010.02.006

Yamaguchi, N., J. Hupp, H. Higuchi, P. Flint, and J. Pearce. 2010. Satellite-tracking of Northern Pintail Anas acuta during outbreaks of the H5N1 virus in Japan: Implications for virus spread. Ibis 152:262-271.

Pearce, J.M., Ramey, A.R., Ip, H.S., Gill, R.E. Jr. 2010. Limited evidence of trans-hemispheric movement of avian influenza viruses among contemporary North American shorebird isolates. Virus Research, 148:44-50. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2009.12.002

Flint, P. L., K. Ozaki, J. M. Pearce, B. Guzzetti, H. Higuchi, J. P. Fleskes, T. Shimada, and D. V. Derksen. 2009. Breeding season sympatry facilitates genetic exchange among allopatric wintering populations of Northern Pintails in Japan and California. Condor, 111:591-598. doi: 10.1525/cond.2009.090100

Pearce, J. M., K. G. McCracken, T. K. Christensen, and Y. N. Zhuravlev. 2009. Migratory patterns and population structure among breeding and wintering Red-breasted (Mergus serrator) and Common mergansers (M. merganser). Auk 126:784-789. doi: 10.1525/auk.2009.08182

Pearce, J. M., and M. R. Petersen. 2009. Post-fledging movements of juvenile Common Mergansers (Mergus merganser) in Alaska as inferred by satellite telemetry. Waterbirds, 32:133–137. doi: 10.1675/063.032.0116

Pearce, J. M., A. M. Ramey, P. L. Flint, A. V. Koehler, J. P. Fleskes, J. C. Franson, J. S. Hall, D. V. Derksen and H. S. Ip. 2009. Avian influenza at both ends of a migratory flyway: Characterizing viral genomic diversity to optimize surveillance plans for North America. Evolutionary Applications, 2:457-468. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-4571.2009.00071.x

Pearce, J. M., D. Zwiefelhofer, and N. Maryanski. 2009. Mechanisms of population heterogeneity among molting Common Mergansers on Kodiak Island, Alaska: Implications for genetic assessments of migratory connectivity. Condor, 111:283-293. doi: 10.1525/cond.2009.080043

Ip, H. S., P. L. Flint, J. C. Franson, R. J. Dusek, D. V. Derksen, R. E. Gill Jr., C. R. Ely, J. M. Pearce, R. B. Lanctot, S. M. Matsuoka, D. B. Irons, J. B. Fischer, R. M. Oates, M. R. Petersen, T. F. Fondell, D. A. Rocque, J. C. Pedersen and T. C. Rothe. 2008. Prevalence of influenza A viruses in wild migratory birds in Alaska: Patterns of variation in detection at the crossroads of international flyways. Virology Journal 5:71. doi: 10.1186/1743-422x-5-71

Koehler, A. V., J. M. Pearce, P. L. Flint, J. Christian Franson, and H. S. Ip. 2008. Genetic evidence of intercontinental movement of avian influenza by a migratory bird: The Northern Pintail (Anas acuta). Molecular Ecology, 17:4754-4762. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294x.2008.03953.x

Pearce, J. M., P. Blums, and M. S. Lindberg. 2008. Site fidelity is an inconsistent determinant in population structure of the Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus): evidence from genetic, mark-recapture, and comparative data. Auk 125: 711-722. doi: 10.1525/auk.2008.07154

Pearce, J.M. 2007. Philopatry: A return to origins. Auk 124:1085-1087.doi: 10.1642/0004-8038(2007)124[1085:PARTO]2.0.CO;2

Hupp, J.W., J.M. Pearce, D.M. Mulcahy, and D.A. Miller. 2006. Effects of abdominally implanted radiotransmitters with percutaneous antennas on migration, reproduction, and survival of Canada geese. Journal of Wildlife Management 70, 812-822. [Abstract][PDF]

Pearce, J. M.. 2006. Minding the gap: Frequency of indels in mtDNA control region sequence data and influence on population genetic analyses. Molecular Ecology 15:333-341. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2005.02781.x

Pearce, J. M. and S. L. Talbot. 2006. Demography, genetics and the value of mixed messages. Condor 108:474-479. doi: 10.1650/0010-5422(2006)108[474:DGATVO]2.0.CO;2

Pearce, J. M., J. A. Reed, and P. L. Flint. 2005. Geographic variation in survival and migratory tendency among North American Common mergansers. Journal of Field Ornithology, 76:109-216. doi: 10.1648/0273-8570-76.2.109

Pearce, J. M., S. L. Talbot, M. R. Petersen, and J. R. Rearick. 2005. Limited genetic differentiation among breeding, molting, and wintering groups of the Threatened Steller's eiders: The role of historic and contemporary factors. Conservation Genetics 6:743-757. doi: 10.1007/s10592-005-9034-4

Pearce, J. M., S. L. Talbot, B. J. Pierson, M. R. Petersen, K. T. Scribner, D. L. Dickson, and A. Mosbech. 2004. Lack of spatial genetic structure among nesting and wintering king eiders. Condor 106:229-240.

Hupp, J. W., G. A. Ruhl, J. M. Pearce, D. M. Mulcahy, and M. A. Tomeo. 2003. Effects of abdominally-implanted radio transmitters with percutaneous antennas on behaviors of Canada Geese. Journal of Field Ornithology, 74(3):250-256. doi: 10.1002/jwmg.220

Scribner, K. T., S. L. Talbot, J. M. Pearce, B. J. Pierson, K. S. Bollinger, and D. V. Derksen. 2003. Phylogeography of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) in western North America. Auk 120:889-907.

Talbot, S. L., J. M. Pearce, B. J. Pierson, D. V. Derksen, and K. T. Scribner. 2003. Molecular status of the Dusky Canada Goose (Branta canadensis occidentalis): A genetic assessment of a translocation effort. Conservation Genetics 4:367-381. doi: 10.1023/A:1024041702616

Pearce, J. M. 2002. First record of a Greater Shearwater (Puffinus gravis) in Alaska. Western Birds 33(2): 121-122. {pdf file 50 kb]

Scribner, K. T., M. R. Petersen, R. L. Fields, S. L . Talbot, J. M. Pearce, and R. K. Chesser. 2001. Sex-biased gene flow in Spectacled Eiders (Anatidae): infereces from molecular markers with contrasting modes of inheritance. Evolution. 55(10):2105-2115.

Pearce, J. M., B. J. Pierson, S. L. Talbot, D. V. Derksen, D. Kraege, and K. T. Scribner. 2000. A genetic evaluation of morphology used to identify harvested Canada geese. Journal of Wildlife Management 64(3):863-874.

Pierson, B. J., J. M. Pearce, S. L. Talbot, G. F. Shields, and K. T. Scribner. 2000. Molecular genetic status of Aleutian Canada geese from Buldir and the Semidi Islands, Alaska. Condor 102:172-180.

Scribner, K. T., and J. M. Pearce. 2000. Microsatellites: Evolutionary and methodological background and empirical applications at individual, population, and phylogenetic levels. Pages 235-273 in A. Baker (ed.), Molecular Methods in Ecology. Blackwell Science, Ltd., Oxford, U.K.

Buchholz, W., J. Pearce, B. Pierson, and K. Scribner. 1998. Dincleotide repeat polymorphisms in waterfowl (family Anatidae): Characterization of a sex-linked (Z-specific) and 14 autosomal loci. Animal Genetics 29:1-2. [pdf file 314 kb]

Pearce, J. M., D. Esler, and A. G. Degtyarev. 1998. Birds of the Indigirka River Delta, Russia: historical and biogeographic comparisons. Arctic 51:361-370.

Pearce, J. M., D. Esler, and A. G. Degtyarev. 1998. Nesting ecology of spectacled eiders (Somateria fischeri) on the Indigirka River Delta, Russia. Wildfowl 49:110-123.

Pearce, J. M., R. L. Fields, and K. T. Scribner. 1997. Nest materials as a source of genetic data for avian ecological studies. Journal of Field Ornithology 68:471-481. [pdf file 814 kb]

Pearce, J. M. 1996. Nest site selection and philopatry by felmale Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) on the Indigirka River Delta, Russia. M. S. Thesis, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho.

Websites of Interest

Sea Duck Research at the Alaska Science Center
Using satellite telemetry to assess the potential for virus movement across continents: Northern Pintails (Anas acuta) as a test species
Banding and Radio Telemetry Program

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information:
Page Last Modified: December 31 2013 09:24:18.