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Goals of the USGS Changing Arctic Ecosystem Initiative

Advancing Genomic and Physiological Parameters as Sensitive Biomarkers of Change

Working in the Molecular Ecology Lab - photo by USGSGenomic, physiological and biochemical sciences are fields of investigation that are rapidly evolving and rely on advanced technologies. The USGS CAE Initiative provides resources for innovative research approaches, methodologies, and techniques. Through this avenue, researchers are exploring topics such as the status and transmission of wildlife pathogens within and among ecosystems, the level of immune system response by wildlife to stress, and the mapping of future wildlife distributions based on historical genetic diversity.

Current projects:

    • Gene transcription in polar bears (Ursus maritimus): refining a diagnostic tool for polar bear and ecosystem health.

      Bowen, L., A. K. Miles, S. Waters, R. Meyerson, K. D. Rode, and T. C. Atwood. 2015. Gene transcription in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from disparate populations. Polar Biology. doi:10.1007/s00300-015-1705-0 [Details] [Full Publication]

    blank staff icon Project staff: Lizabeth Bowen and A. Keith Miles (USGS-Western Ecological Research Center), and Todd Atwood (USGS-Alaska Science Center).
    • Evaluation of next generation sequencing to quantify walrus diet from fecal material.
    blank staff icon Project staff: Chad Jay, Sarah Sonsthagen, and Sandra Talbot (USGS Alaska Science Center)

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