|Christian Smith samples steelhead. Photo credit: USFWS|
Rebecca Smith from our Pacific Region shares a profile of Regional Geneticist Christian Smith.
Christian Smith’s passion for conservation genetics first expressed itself in the forests and beaches of British Columbia. The Pacific Region’s newest regional geneticist grew up in the Gulf Islands, and first connected with nature when his grandmother took both him and his brother on nature walks and pointed out plants and animals.
It was a very rich experience for my brother and me,” says Smith.
A seven-year veteran at the Abernathy Fish Technology Center, Smith now leads a “genetic dream team” of scientists that use advanced technology to help the Service decipher the genetic code for such imperiled aquatic species as salmon and Devil’s hole pupfish, and make smart, cost-effective conservation decisions.
The center and its Applied Research Program in Conservation Genetics is rapidly establishing itself as a regional and, increasingly, national agency leader and go-to facility when scientists need genetic analyses for hatchery populations or ESA-listed fish.