Research Adjunct, Genomics & Microbiology Research Lab
11 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
- Ph.D. in Genetics and Genomics, Duke University
- B.S. in Genetics, University of Georgia
Heather's research is in the field of conservation genetics. She develops microsatellite panels to use for genetic tagging of endemic North Carolina fish species, the American Shad, Blueback Herring, and Walleye. For each species, she uses a panel of 12-14 microsatellite markers (areas in the genome containing tandem repeats) to create a specific genetic profile for each fish - much in the same way a forensic scientist would be able to identify a person using their DNA! These panels allow her to track parentage, migration, distinct populations, and effective population sizes. She works jointly with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission who use the genetic information to make decisions concerning their stocking and hatchery programs.