AFS GENETICS SECTION
Volume 18, Issue 4
President’s Message • Hybridization Symposium Proposal
Minutes of the 2005 AFS Genetics Section Annual Meeting
Fish in the News
Tech Job Announcement • Aquatic Genetics PhDships
Submit News to AFSGS • Upcoming Events
Hello Section Members,
The Genetics Section is again considering sponsoring one or more symposia
at next year’s annual meeting to be held in Lake Placid, New York from 10-14
September 2006. Please submit your ideas for symposia to me by 9 January
2006; the initial AFS submission deadline for symposium proposals is 13 January.
Symposium organizers will be notified of acceptance or refusal by 3 February, and
organizers of those accepted must submit a complete list of all confirmed speakers
and titles to AFS by 24 February. (According to the AFS website, abstracts for
contributed presentations are due 10 February.) Guidelines for symposium abstract
and presentation format can be found in the October issue of Fisheries, on p. 42
(see also the AFS website, http://www.fisheries.org, for the latest updates).
President-Elect Ed Heist has provided a brief description of a proposed
symposium on hybridization below. Please let Ed or me know if you are interested
in contributing to this or another symposium and, if so, provide us with a tentative
title. We welcome other wide-ranging ideas in fish genetics!
The rest of the Section’s recent activities are covered below in the minutes
from the Anchorage meeting in September.
As always, feel free to contact me anytime about Section or Society matters,
and I’ll do my best to address your concerns.
Jeff Hard, AFS Genetics Section President
Hybridization Symposium Proposal
“The Role of Hybridization in Evolution, Ecology, and
Conservation of Fishes”
Suggested Symposium for AFS 2006, Lake Placid, NY
Hybridization has important implications for management, conservation, and
evolution of fishes. Hybridization can be harmful when it erodes the genetic
distinctiveness between species or reduces the frequency of adaptive phenotypes,
sometimes leading to the extinction of species with relatively small population
sizes. Human activities, including stock transfer, habitat alteration, and
exploitation may increase the incidence of hybridization, although the magnitudes
of these effects are hard to quantify. The presence of hybrids also complicates
management decisions and legislation. Hybridization can also be a natural
component of the evolution of fish communities by fostering the exchange of genes
among nascent species that are not fully reproductively isolated and may also result
in the evolution of new species. In this symposium we will seek to bring together
experts from a variety of disciplines including genetics, morphology, management,
and conservation to discuss the impacts of hybridization on natural populations of
fishes. Topics for discussion include the detection of hybridization and identification
of hybrids using molecular and morphological tools, the impact of hybridization on
endangered species and endangered species policies, strategies for preserving the
genetic integrity of native fishes through elimination of hybrids and non-native
fishes, the role of hybridization in the evolution and speciation of fishes, and case
studies of the management practices and roles that natural and manmade hybrid
fishes play in aquatic ecosystems.
Ed and Jeff welcome help on this symposium, particularly in organizing, logistics
and presentation ideas. If you would like to volunteer, please contact him! - Editor
Fisheries and Illinois Aquaculture Center
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Program Manager, Population Biology
Conservation Biology Division
Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the AFS Genetics Section
September 12, 2005
Brandon Barthel, Meredith Bartron, Joel Carlin, Julie Claussen, Jeff Hard, Ed Heist,
Orlay Johnson, Andrew Kinziger, Bernie May, Kathleen Neely, Jennifer Nielson,
David Philipp, Ruth Phillips, Wes Porak, Kristina Ramstad, Aaron Schrey, Jim Seeb,
Lisa Seeb, Jeff Stein, Bill Templin, Fred Utter , Bob Wattendorf
1) Call to Order - President Jeff Hard (JJH) called the meeting to order at 5PM.
More than 15 Section members were present; thus quorum was established.
2) President’s Introductory Remarks – JJH attended the Governor’s Board
meeting and noted the following topics were discussed:
a) The Fisheries InfoBase program was on track for listing all AFS publications
online and searchable by late October. There were plans to include some
AFS books as well.
b) A resolution was discussed to develop a committee on “Fisheries
Development and Sustainability” to be composed of AFS members from
multiple disciplines and units.
3) Secretary/treasurer’s report – Kitty Griswold was unable to attend the
meeting but provided JJH with a written report. The report is as follows:
As of 7/29/2005 the Genetics Section has a balance of $4935.40. We began the
fiscal year (08/01/04) with $3049.00. The Genetics Section received income from
three sources- member dues, the Great Lakes symposium, and a SNP Workshop
held in Anchorage, Alaska by Jim and Lisa Seeb. Member dues accounted for $985,
the Great lakes symposium accounted for $1,204, and the SNP workshop netted
approximately $700 to the section. Expenses fell into three categories, awards
($100), website fees ($200) and student scholarships ($800). Because the Section
was in a good financial position this year, two scholarships were awarded.
Jim Seeb noted that the SNP workshop was a good recruiting tool for the section.
There were 55 attendees at the meeting. Information about the workshop will be
posted on the Section web site.
4. Standing Committees
Nominating Committee – In her role as past president of the section Lisa Seeb
will be looking for nominees for Secretary/Treasurer and President-Elect.
Program Committee – The section was sponsoring or co-sponsoring three
symposia at the Anchorage meeting:
1) The Evolution and Ecology of Biocomplexity as a Key to Fisheries
Sustainability, moderated by Lorenz Hauser, Lisa Seeb, Jim Seeb, and Jeff
2) The Future of Conservation Genetics: Integrating Molecular and
Quantitative Genetic Approaches, moderated by Jeff Hard and Paul Moran
3) Science Bridging Five Nations: The Bering-Aleutian Salmon International
Survey, moderated by Jim Seeb, Jack Helle, and Kate Myers. The second
half of the Bering-Aleutian symposium was dominated by genetics
5. Ad Hoc Committees
Newsletter Committee – JJH thanked Joel Carlin for increasing the number of
newsletters to four per year and encouraged new submissions for the next
newsletter due out October or November, 2005.
Membership – Ed Heist (EJH) reported that membership currently stood at 196
members not including eleven new members recruited at the SNP workshop. EJH
noted that it was important that the Section retain membership above 200
members to retain voting rights with the Society. Jennifer Neilson (JLN) noted that
there a new membership database will be in place soon at Bethesda allowing the
Section president to check membership online.
Web-site – JJH noted that Jeff Stein has done a lot of work and made
considerable improvement to the Section web page. Jeff Stein noted that the web
page consists almost entirely of the newsletter and encouraged members to submit
material for the web page directly to him.
1) Wright Award – JHH noted that because of the good financial standing of the
section there were two travel awards given this year. Winners of the Wright
Travel Award were Kristina Ramstad of the University of Montana and Aaron
Schrey of Southern Illinois University.
2) Phelps Award – The Phelps Award committee, which was comprised of Fred
Utter, Bernie May, and Ken Currens, announced that the winning manuscript
was “Reproductive performance of growth-enhanced transgenic coho salmon”
by Cindy Bessey, Robert H. Devlin, N. Robin Liley, and Carlo Biagi, Trans.
Am. Fish. Soc. 133 (5): 1205-1220.
Publications – JHH noted that there are a number of new books out by AFS
including “The Behavior and Ecology of Pacific Salmon and Trout” by Thomas Quinn,
“Black Carp: Biological Synopsis and Risk Assessment of an Introduced Fish” by Leo
G. Nico, James D. Williams, and Howard L. Jelks, and “Monitoring Stream and
Watershed Restoration” edited by Philip Roni. A publication is in preparation as a
result of the 2004 Propagated Fish in Resource Management meeting, which was
attended by section member Anthony Gharrett. Also the genetics text “Population
Genetics: Principles and Applications for Fisheries Scientists” edited by Eric
Hallerman is still selling well and the perennial question of whether the section
would receive royalties from this publication was raised.
6. Old Business
Lisa Seeb noted that the SNP workshop was a success and suggested that another
should soon be planned, perhaps in a different part of the country.
As discussed at the 2004 meeting the “Florida Genetics Policy in the use of Finfish”
was reviewed by section members JHH, EJH, John Epifanio and Fred Utter. Wes
Porak noted that Mike Tringali is spearheading the revision process in preparation
for a November 3 meeting.
7. New Business
World Fisheries Congress – JLN noted that proceedings are in preparation from
the last congress. The next meeting will be in Sapporo, Japan in 2008 and may
have a science-oriented component.
Symposia for Lake Placid 2006 – EJH suggested a symposium entitled “The
Role of Introgressive Hybridization in Evolution, Ecology, and Conservation of
T-shirts – No new business regarding t-shirts. It was noted that the Ray Troll
artwork used at the Anchorage meeting were property of AFS and could potentially
be used as part of the design for a section t-shirt.
8. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 6:00 PM.
Fish in the News
Tiny Catfish Species Pulls Back From Near-Extinction
November 14, 2005; Release from: Knoxville News Sentinel
A species of tiny catfish once thought extinct has rebounded in Great Smoky
Mountains National Park and Cherokee National Forest after nearly two decades of
The 3-inch smoky madtom was only discovered in Abrams Creek in the Smokies in
1957 — after a routine fish kill was conducted to reduce the rough fish population
and improve trout fishing. Scientists thought they had wiped out the newly
The fish was believed to be extinct until 1980, when a group of researchers from
the University of Tennessee discovered them in Citico Creek in the Cherokee
"A species thought to be extinct was rediscovered," said Jim Herrig, an aquatic
biologist for the forest. "We now have two strong populations, one in Citico, one in
Abrams, and we're making good progress on Tellico (River)."
The madtom's recovery efforts began in 1986, when eggs were collected from the
Citico by Conservation Fisheries, a private, nonprofit hatchery in Knoxville. They
began releasing the raised fish in both the Tellico River in the Cherokee National
Forest and Abrams Creek.
After years of frustration, scientists are starting to see the return, with snorkeling
surveys revealing high numbers of fish less than a year old in all three sites.
On Sept. 21, biologists observed five wild-spawned smoky madtoms in the Tellico.
They have only been stocking that site for two years.
"This has been a historic summer for the smoky madtom," said Pat Rakes of
Conservation Fisheries. "For the first time since the species was thought to be
extinct, there are three known reproducing populations."
"Snorkeling Abrams Creek used to be the most frustrating thing in the world," said
J.R. Shute with the fisheries. "Now we go there and see more wild-spawned fish
than we do our own."
Scientists also are working to bring back some other small, federally listed fishes:
the yellowfin madtom, duskytail darter and spotfin chub.
DNA Technician Position Available at U Florida
I am looking for an energetic, well-organized person to join me at a new
conservation genetics lab located at the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic
Sciences in the University of Florida in Gainesville. The molecular technologist will
contribute to a variety of conservation genetic projects involving a wide-variety of
terrestrial and aquatic organisms. Examples include the study of the genetics of
endemism, landscape genetics, and various phylogenetic and phylogeographic
Specific responsibilities will be standard molecular lab work (e.g. DNA isolation,
PCR, sample preparation for sequencing, editing sequence data and scoring
fragment markers). Skills in construction and cloning of microsatellite and gene
libraries, using genomic software and search tools, and running phylogenetic and
population genetic software are required. General responsibilities will include
maintaining databases, overseeing lab duties, assisting in student training, and
ordering supplies. Opportunities to assist in fieldwork will also be available. Pre-
requisite is a M.Sc. in a molecular biology field or a minimum of a B.Sc. in related
field with at least one year of experience in a molecular biology or molecular
systematics environment, with working knowledge of standard molecular lab
protocols. Neatness, attention to detail, good organizational skills and ability to
manage people are a must. Occasional weekend/evening hours will be necessary.
Gainesville is a historic mid-sized (120,000) college town with plenty to offer those
interested in the outdoors, wildlife, and the arts. Gainesville is within two hours of
Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and Tallahasee, and one hour from either coast.
This is a three-year position, thereafter renewable on an annual basis upon
availability of funding. Salary is $30,000 plus benefits.
Applications accepted through 15 January 2006. Start date is expected to be
February or March 2006.
Inquiries should be made to Dr. Jim Austin at email@example.com until the end of
2005; in Gainesville in January 2006 (see http://fishweb.ifas.ufl.edu/).
Please send (email) a letter expressing interest, your CV and names of three
references. Applicants will also be required to formally apply through the University
of Florida employment site: http://jobs.ufl.edu/
James Austin Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Corson Hall Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853-2701 firstname.lastname@example.org
PhD Students Wanted for Aquatic Genetics Projects!
U Bath - Crustacean Phylogenetics
Full-time 3 year PhD position in crustacean phylogenetics, Department of Biology
and Biochemistry, University of Bath, UK.
We are looking for a highly motivated student interested in participating in an
integrative research project aimed at reconstructing the phylogeny of the
Crustacea. Among the arthropods, the crustaceans hold special status as the
morphologically and ecologically most diverse group. However, a consensus on
their high level relationships remains elusive. Moreover, recent phylogenetic
evidence hints at the possibility that the most species-rich arthropod group, the
hexapods (including insects), has evolved from somewhere within the crustaceans.
This project will simultaneously attempt to resolve the broad relationships within
the Crustacea, and determine the phylogenetic position of the hexapods within the
crustaceans. The student will mainly focus on generating and analysing a large
molecular data set comprising multiple genes for a large and diverse sample of
crustaceans and their close relatives. The accumulated data will be combined with
published molecular evidence, as well as evidence from morphology and fossils. The
project will provide all the essential practical and theoretical training necessary for
the candidate to become a modern comparative biologist.
Candidates should have a degree in Biology, Biochemistry, or a closely related
discipline. Excellent lab skills are essential. The project will be supervised by Dr.
Matthew Wills (email@example.com) and dr. Ronald Jenner (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Those interested can send informal inquiries, or a cv with 2 references via e-mail or
mail to Matthew Wills or Ronald Jenner at the Department of Biology and
Biochemistry, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK.
Application deadline is 16 January 2005.
Evolutionary Genetics - UNC Chapel Hill.
The Department of Biology at UNC-CH has recently added a number of new faculty
in the area of evolutionary genetics (and other areas of evolutionary biology) and
we encourage applications for graduate study next fall.
Evolutionary genetics lies at the interface of molecular biology and organismal
biology. Those interested in such an interdisciplinary approach can pursue research
in multiple different laboratories spanning these techniques. See the following web
site detailing this program interface and links to the faculty: http://www.
Snail population genetics - U Melbourne
Mediterranean white and conical snails (Cernuella virgata, Theba pisana and
Cochlicella spp.) are significant pests of grain crops in coastal regions of southern
Australia. Existing control methods, including burning of stubble prior to sowing
crops, cabling to dislodge snails from aestivation sites, biological control (parasitoid
of conical snails only) and chemical control have been only partially successful. A
method of snail control that reduces our reliance on chemical pesticides and is
species-specific would be highly desirable. The current project will investigate the
genetic structure of the pest snail populations and reproductive strategy, in order to
determine the suitability for future genetic control methods. The project is a joint
venture between CSIRO, The University of Melbourne and the Grains Research and
The PhD student will be based at the University of Melbourne Department of
Genetics and will receive training in field work, molecular techniques and population
genetics. The student will be required to undertake field work in South Australia
and this necessitates a valid Drivers Licence. Applicants will have a bachelor’s
degree with honours in biological science (specifically genetics). This is a full-time
scholarship with a maximum of 3 years funding available, contingent on satisfactory
progress. The stipend is valued at AUD$25,000 per annum. To obtain further
information contact Dr Belinda Appleton (email@example.com) or Dr Rod
Applications including a curriculum vitae citing relevant studies and/or experience,
a short statement of research interests, the names and addresses of three
professional referees, and a copy of an official academic record/transcript should be
forwarded as soon as possible to Dr Belinda Appleton, Department of Genetics, The
University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia, 3010 or via email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Closing date for applications: Monday 19th
Your Newsletter Submission Goes Here !
We welcome submissions for section newsletters (Submission Deadline for the next
issue is Jan 31). Tell us of your new job, grant or species. Or, perhaps there is a
suggestion you would like to make to make the newsletter better? Please send
news, concerns, issues, etc. to the Newsletter Editor at email@example.com.
Calendar of Upcoming Events
Jan 4-8 — 2006 Annual Meeting of SICB, the Society for Integrative and
Comparative Biology. Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL. Symposia
include “Genomic and Proteomic Approaches in Crustacean Biology.” See
Jan 9 — Submit your AFS Genetics Symposium proposal ideas to Jeff Hard at
Jan 9 — Full proposal target dates for NSF program in both Population and
Evolutionary Processes and Systematic Biology. See www.nsf.gov
Jan 10 — Abstract deadline for 20th annual meeting of the Society for
Conservation Biology, Conservation Without Borders, June 24–28 in San
Jose, California. See http://conbio.net/2006/Index.cfm.
Jan 15 — Grant application deadline for the NSA Student Research Grant from
the Northwest Scientific Association. See http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/
Jan 25 — Salmon 2100 Project: Alternative Futures for Wild Pacific Salmon in
Western North America, Portland, OR. Contact Robert Lackey, lackey.
Jan 31 — Submission deadline for AFS Genetics Society Newsletter. Send
articles / ideas to the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan 31 — Travel award deadline for 20th annual meeting of the Society for
Conservation Biology, Conservation Without Borders, June 24–28 in San
Jose, California. See http://conbio.net/2006/Index.cfm.
Feb 1 — Abstract deadline for IX International Symposium on Genetics in
Aquaculture (ISGA) to be held June 26-30 at Montpelier, France. See
Feb 13-16 — Aquaculture America 2006, Las Vegas, Nevada. See
www.was.org/Meetings/pdf/AA206RegBrochure.pdf, Contact 760/432-4270.
Feb 15 — Abstract deadline for VIIth International Congress on the Biology of
Fish, to be held 18-22 July at Fairmont Hotel, St. John’s Newfoundland
Canada. See http://www.mun.ca/biology/icbf7/index.html.
Feb 15 — Abstract deadline for the 1st European Congress of Conservation
Biology to be held 22-26 August, Eger, Hungary. See http://www.
Feb 15 — Full proposal target date for NSF program in Biological Oceanography.
Feb 20-24 — Ocean Sciences 2006, the joint meeting of ASLO, AGU, TOS.
Honolulu, Hawaii. See www.agu.org/meetings/os06/.
Mar 1 — Abstract deadline for Ecological Society of America’s annual meeting,
Memphis Tennessee. See http://www.esa.org/memphis/.
Mar 1 — Early registration deadline for IX International Symposium on Genetics in
Aquaculture (ISGA) to be held June 26-30 at Montpelier, France. See
Mar 6-8 — Annual meeting of the Northwest Scientific Association, Grove Hotel,
Boise Idaho. See http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/org_NWS/NWSci_Home.htm.
Mar 15 — Early registration deadline for VIIth International Congress on the
Biology of Fish, to be held 18-22 July at Fairmont Hotel, St. John’s
Newfoundland Canada. See http://www.mun.ca/biology/icbf7/index.html.
Mar 15 — Remind your students! Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid graduate student grant
application deadline. Visit the http://www.sigmaxi.org/programs/
giar/index.shtml for details.
Mar 31 — Grant application deadline for the Society of Systematic Biologists’ Mini-
PEET Awards to Enhance Transfer of Taxonomic Knowledge. See
Mar 31 — Grant application deadline for the Society of Systematic Biologists
Awards for Graduate Student Research. See http://systbiol.org/
Apr 13-15 — 53rd annual meeting of SWAN, the Southwestern Association of
Naturalists, Universidad de Colima, Colima, Col. México. See
Apr 21-23 — The evolutionary biologists of the Pacific Northwest will meet at EVO-
WIBO 2006 at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, Washington. See
Apr 30 — Early registration deadline for the 1st European Congress of
Conservation Biology to be held 22-26 August, Eger, Hungary. See
May 9-13 — Aquaculture 2006, Joint meeting of the European Aquaculture
Society and the World Aquaculture Society. Florence, Italy. See
May 23-27 — "Get your kicks in 2006" Annual meeting of the Society for the
Preservation of Natural History Collections. Sheraton Old Town,
Albuquerque, New Mexico. See http://www.spnhc.org/.
Jun 4-9 — American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Summer
Meeting: Global Challenges Facing Oceanography and Limnology, Victoria,
British Columbia, Canada. See http://aslo.org/meetings/victoria2006/.
Jun 23-27 — Evolution 2006, the joint meeting of the American Society of
Naturalists, the Society of Systematic Biologists and the Society for the
Study of Evolution, at State University of New York at Stony Brook, New
York. See http://life.bio.sunysb.edu/ee/sse2006/.
Jun 24–28 — 20th annual meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology,
Conservation Without Borders, in San Jose, California. See
Jun 26-30 — IX International Symposium on Genetics in Aquaculture (ISGA),
Montpelier, France. See