Many of the ocean’s most fascinating species are under threats ranging from over fishing and habitat destruction to global climate change. How can knowledge of the DNA of these species help in their protection? Written into the genomes of any species are records about what species it is, where it lived, what it is adapted to, and what future conditions it might be able to survive. I’ll illustrate some of these points with new genomic data from New England invasive crabs, west coast sea urchins and Pacific corals. The tools of genomics open up detailed study of adaptation for many species for which genetic data were never previously available.
Stephen R. Palumbi received his Ph.D. from University of Washington in marine ecology. He is Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Harold A. Miller Professor in Marine Sciences at Stanford University. His research group studies the genetics, evolution, conservation, population biology and systematics of a diverse array of marine organisms.