Southwestern Native Aquatic Resource
and Recovery Center
Southwest Region

Research Unit

The Research Unit consists of a Molecular Ecology Laboratory and a Physiology & Pathobiology Laboratory and strives to provide natural resource managers with assistance to manage captive and wild populations using the best science available. This science is then provided to partners for incorporation into management practices so that management decisions are made using defensible and sound information. Cooperators include State, Tribal, University, NGO, and Federal (intra and interregional) groups.

Molecular Ecology Laboratory

The mission of the Molecular Ecology Laboratory is to address the genetic components of numerous multiregional Recovery Programs and to support Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation (FAC) Program Strategic Plan Goals ( ) at the Regional and National level. These Goals and associated objectives are attainable through the use of applied science in developing and applying conservation genetic principles to the management of wild populations and species produced and maintained at the Southwestern Native Aquatic Resources & Recovery Center.

The Molecular Ecology Laboratory at the Southwestern Native Aquatic Resources & Recovery Center includes a fully equipped genetic laboratory.

The Molecular Ecology Program services include:

  • Ensuring the genetic diversity of captive populations are representative of extant wild populations Estimating the genetic purity of captive and wild populations
  • Establishing genetic management plans for continued best practices captive management
  • Genetic monitoring to evaluate management actions
  • Identification of species, species presence/absence, and validation of species status

The Molecular Ecology Laboratory uses many tools to accomplish these objectives including microsatellite analysis, DNA sequencing, quantitative (qPCR) and real-time polymerase chain reaction, environmental DNA (eDNA) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

Physiology & Pathobiology Laboratory

The mission of the Physiology & Pathobiology Laboratory is to conduct applied research on physiological adaptations of aquatic species to changing environmental conditions and help refine captive practices that strive to maximize the health and longevity of captive and wild populations. The laboratory also works on developing methods to detect aquatic invasive species (AIS) and pathogen monitoring.

The Physiology & Pathobiology Program services include:

  • Research on reproduction of captive aquatic species to improve aquaculture and management techniques • Documentation of developmental life stages of aquatic species
  • Monitoring of pathogens in captive and wild populations using molecular techniques
  • Molecular diagnostic confirmation of pathogens associated with Fish Health cases using molecular techniques
  • Early detection of AIS species

If you require additional information on the lab, please contact Dr. Wade Wilson, (575) 734-5910 ext.113 or Paul Brown (575) 734-5910 ext.141.

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Last updated: November 28, 2017