Joseph Travis (Chair) is the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Biological Science at Florida State University. Dr. Travis’s research and expertise is on understanding the interplay between ecological processes and adaptive evolution. His current work focuses on the ecology and evolution of live-bearing fishes such as guppies and mosquitofish. Dr. Travis began his career at Florida State as an assistant professor in 1980 and was promoted through the ranks, eventually serving as department chair (1991–1997) and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (2005–2011). He teaches the undergraduate course in evolution for majors in biological science and a graduate course in population ecology. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Oecologia, Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, and The American Naturalist, and he served as editor of The American Naturalist from 1998 to 2002. Dr. Travis served as vice president (1994) and president (2005) of the American Society of Naturalists and served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences from 2013 to 2018. He has also served on advisory boards for the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Dr. Travis was a member of the National Academies Committee that wrote Gene Drives on the Horizon: Recommendations for Responsible Conduct of Research. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his doctoral degree from Duke University.
Fred Allendorf is a Regents Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Montana. He was a professorial research fellow at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand, 2005–2012). He is an evolutionary geneticist who has spent his career applying the theory and molecular techniques of population genetics to problems in conservation. Much of his work in evolutionary genetics has been devoted to understanding the genetics of salmonid fishes following a whole-genome duplication event (tetraploidy). He was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Aarhus in Denmark and a NATO Fellow at Nottingham University in England. He was the program director of population biology at the National Science Foundation in 1989–1990, a senior Fulbright fellow in New Zealand in 2000–2001, and a senior Fulbright specialist at the University of Western Australia in 2013–2014. He was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1987, was elected president of the American Genetic Association in 1997, and has served on the editorial boards of several international journals (e.g., Evolution, Conservation Genetics, Molecular Ecology, and Conservation Biology). From 1992 to 1996, Dr. Allendorf served on the National Research Council’s Committee on the Protection and Management of Pacific Northwest Anadromous Salmonids, which reviewed information concerning the seven species of the genus Oncorhynchus in the Pacific Northwest. He received the American Fisheries Society’s Award of Excellence in recognition of his outstanding contributions to fisheries science and aquatic biology in 2011, and the Molecular Ecology Prize for lifetime achievements in the fields of molecular ecology and conservation genetics in 2015. He received a B.S. in zoology from Penn State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in fisheries and genetics from the University of Washington.
Diane K. Boyd is the Wolf and Carnivore Specialist at Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Kalispell, and an Affiliate Faculty member at the University of Montana, Missoula. Dr. Boyd has four decades of applied expertise on behavior and conservation of large carnivores, with a strong focus on wild wolf populations in North America. She began her career in 1977 with Dr. L. David Mech’s wolf research project in Minnesota. She moved to Montana in 1979 to study gray wolf recovery in the Rocky Mountains from the first natural colonizer to approximately 2,000 wolves today in the western United States. Her work has focused on dispersal, habitat use, prey selection, behavior, morphology, genetic relationships, and the social dimensions of wolf–human conflict resolution. She has collaborated on research on wolf recovery and ecology in the Rocky Mountains of the
United States, British Columbia, Alberta, and the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program. Dr. Boyd collaborated on wolf research projects in Italy and Romania. She has published numerous articles in scientific journals, invited book chapters, and articles in popular literature. She received her B.S. in wildlife management from the University of Minnesota and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Montana.
Liliana Cortés-Ortiz is a research associate professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. Before starting her career at the University of Michigan she was a professor at the Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico. She is an evolutionary biologist and primatologist who uses molecular genetics and genomics approaches to shed light on the mechanisms that generate and maintain primate diversity and the processes that drive primate evolution. Her current research focuses on investigating the factors driving the diversification of neotropical primates and the prevalence and importance of natural hybridization in the origin and maintenance of primate diversity. Her work ranges from field-based data and sample collection to laboratory-based genetic work and integrates morphological, behavioral, genetic, biogeographic, and evolutionary approaches to provide an integral framework to examine primate evolution. Some of this work is implemented in collaboration with scientists in Latin America, England, and the United States. She serves as the vice president for the neotropics of the primate specialist group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Dr. Cortés-Ortiz received a B.Sc. in biology from the Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico, a M.Sc. in neuroethology also from the Universidad Veracruzana, and a Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of East Anglia in England.
Lori S. Eggert is a professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri–Columbia. She and her students use genetic and genomic methods to address basic and applied questions in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology. At the historical level, studies in her lab use molecular data to determine the patterns of diversity within and among closely related species. By mapping those patterns onto the geographic distribution of species, she seeks to understand the relative roles of evolutionary processes such as geographic isolation, gene flow, natural selection, and genetic drift on patterns of speciation. Current projects include a study of the taxonomic distinctiveness and distribution of species and subspecies of smallmouth bass in the central interior highlands of the United States. At the contemporary level, landscape genetic studies in her lab use molecular data to understand the role of environmental variables on the current distribution of and diversity within species. Current projects include a study of population sizes, sex ratios, and connectivity of Asian elephants in Laos. Her research has involved a wide variety of taxa, including mammals, amphibians, birds, and fish, focusing primarily on species of conservation concern. Previously, Dr. Eggert had been a research and postdoctoral associate at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Dr. Eggert was a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on the Review of the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Management Program from 2011 to 2013. She received her B.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego, her M.S. in ecology from San Diego State University, and her Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, San Diego.
Diane P. Genereux is a research scientist in Vertebrate Genome Biology at the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. She develops mathematical and statistical methods to address questions in population genetics, epigenetics, and genomics. She is the scientific manager of the 200 Mammals Project, an international collaboration that is using comparative genomics to identify genomic variants that underlie human disease. Her earlier work uncovered population genetic factors that shape the global distribution of fragile X syndrome and yielded new molecular and statistical approaches to track epigenetic stability and change across
mammalian development. She has also contributed to the identification of genetic variants associated with canine compulsive disorder in dogs, and disease risk in managed populations. She is currently collaborating on a project comparing epigenetic and behavioral data from dog and wolf pups, with the goal of identifying genes and pathways associated with social development. Dr. Genereux has taught courses in evolution, genetics, epigenetics, molecular biology, and mathematical modeling and has written about genomics and epigenomics approaches for both medical textbooks and the popular literature. She received her B.A. in history and biology from Brown University in 1999 and her Ph.D. in mathematical genetics from Emory University in 2005.
Michael Lynch is the director of the Biodesign Center for Mechanisms of Evolution at Arizona State University. His research interests focus on the genetic mechanisms of evolution, particularly at the genomic and cellular levels, and on the development of methods for population genomic analysis. The lab focuses on a number of model systems, most notably the microcrustacean Daphnia, the ciliate Paramecium, and numerous other unicellular prokaryotic and eukaryotic species. Current research foci are the 5,000 Daphnia genomes project; the evolution of replication and transcription error rates; the consequences of genome duplication; the evolution of the transcriptional vocabulary; the evolution of multimeric protein structure; and long-term microbial evolution under regimes differing in population size, mutation rate, and degree of nutrient replenishment. All of this work is integrated with theory development. He has previously held faculty positions at the University of Illinois, University of Oregon, and Indiana University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a past president of the Genetics Society of America, the Society for the Study of Evolution, the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, and the American Genetics Association. Dr. Lynch was a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Scientific Issues in the Endangered Species Act (1993–1995) and the Ecosystems Panel (1997–2000). Three widely cited books that he authored are Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits (with Bruce Walsh, 1998), The Origins of Genome Complexity (2007), and Evolution and Selection of Quantitative Traits (with Bruce Walsh, 2018). He received his undergraduate degree in biology from St. Bonaventure University and a Ph.D. in ecology and behavioral biology from the University of Minnesota.
Jesús E. Maldonado has been a research geneticist at the Center for Conservation Genomics at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute since 1998. His research applies molecular genetics tools to answer basic and applied questions in conservation and evolutionary biology in mammals. Much of his research involves the assessment of genetic variation within and among populations and species to document levels of inbreeding and determine units of evolutionary, taxonomic, and conservation significance. He developed a research program that follows an academic model, and most of his projects over the past several years are based on collaborations established with students, postdoctoral fellows, and research scientists/curators at the Smithsonian and other academic institutions and conservation communities in Latin American, India, South East Asia, and Africa. This allowed him to build a strong conservation genomics program that is international in scope. Beyond the theoretical aspects of his research, outcomes from many studies have direct applications to helping address critical conservation issues in a variety of threatened and endangered mammals. He is also interested in studying micro-evolutionary processes that shape genetic variation and evolutionary trajectories as well as landscape genetics and genomics. During the past 19 years he has developed and used non-invasive genetic techniques and ancient DNA technologies for obtaining reliable information to study many elusive endangered mammal species, such as deer, squirrels, black bear, island fox, maned wolves, African wild dogs, and sea otters, among many other species. Dr. Maldonado has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals and has served in the editorial board of several journals, including the Journal of Mammalogy, Conservation
Genetics, PLOS ONE, Zookeys, and Therya. He received his B.S. in biology and M.S. in zoology from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in organismic biology, ecology, and evolution from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Rasmus Nielsen is the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Chair of Computational Biology at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. He is a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and the Department of Statistics and has served as the chair of the Center of Computational Biology at UC Berkeley. He is also a professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Copenhagen. His work is on statistical and population genetic analyses of genomic data, in particular, methods for describing population- and species-level processes such as migration and introgression and for inferring natural selection and the demographic histories of populations. Much of his current research concerns the statistical analysis of next-generation sequencing data in population genetics. Many of the methods he has developed have been used extensively by other researchers, including the phylogeny-based methods for detecting positive selection implemented in phylogenetic analysis by maximum likelihood, the methods for inferring demographic histories implemented in the “Isolation with Migration” (IM) and IMa programs, the method for detecting selective sweeps implemented in SweepFinder, and the methods for analyzing next-generation sequencing data implemented in Analysis of Next Generation Sequencing Data. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers, invited book chapters, and review papers, which have been cited more than 60,000 times by other researchers. He received his M.S. from the University of Copenhagen in 1994 and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1998.
Camilla Yandoc Ables is a senior program officer of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which she joined in March 2008. She has served as study director or as co-study director for a number of projects, including Strategic Planning for the Florida Citrus Industry: Addressing Citrus Greening Disease (2010), An Evaluation of the Food Safety Requirements of the Federal Purchase Ground Beef Program (2010), The Potential Consequences of Public Release of Food Safety and Inspection Service Establishment-Specific Data (2011), Analysis of the Requirements and Alternatives for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory Capabilities (2012), The Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle (2016), Strengthening the Safety Culture of the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry (2016), and A Review of the Citrus Greening Research and Development Efforts Supported by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation: Fighting a Ravaging Disease (2018). Dr. Ables has a B.S. in agriculture from the University of the Philippines and a Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Florida.
Jenna Briscoe is a research assistant of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She has worked on various past National Academies’ reports including Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects (2016), Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology (2017), Science Breakthroughs 2030: A Strategy for Food and Agricultural Research (2018), A Review of the Citrus Greening Research and Development Efforts (2018), and Forest Health and Biotechnology: Possibilities and Considerations (2019). She is currently pursuing an M.S. in environmental sciences and policy from Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Briscoe graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in 2013 with a B.A. in environmental studies and a minor in sociology. Previously, she worked at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science–Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, where she conducted water quality testing on pre-restored and restored streams.
Keegan Sawyer (study director) is a senior program officer of the Board on Life Sciences at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Her work addresses a wide range of research, policy, and communication questions across the broad spectrum of life science disciplines. She has a special interest in the interplay of environmental conditions and human health, ecosystem health, and public engagement in science. Dr. Sawyer is the director of the National Academies’ Standing Committee on Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions. She recently served as the project director for the Committee on Gene Drives Research in Non-Human Organisms: Recommendations for Responsible Conduct and the Committee on Value and Sustainability of Biological Field Stations, Marine Laboratories, and Nature Reserves in 21st Century Science, Education, and Public Outreach. She is committed to fostering discussions about research infrastructure, collaborative environments, and public engagement in science to support a healthier people and planet. Dr. Sawyer holds a B.S. (1999) in environmental biology from University of California Davis and an M.S. (2002) and Ph.D. (2008) in environmental sciences and engineering from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health.