Kerry Naish’s research is focused on effective ways to conserve genetic biodiversity in aquatic organisms, so that they can effectively respond and adapt to ongoing environmental change. Conservation Genetics relies on the application of evolutionary principles to a range of applications such as designating population units for protection, captive rearing and reintroductions, and preventing negative effects associated with inbreeding and hybridization. Most of her research is conducted on anadromous Pacific salmon, because each species has developed a diverse set of life history strategies that are suited to the broad range environments in which they spawn, develop and migrate. Her research has implications for the conservation and management of fish populations, because we need to understand how these populations will respond to a changing environment.
In her own words
What advice would you have for students interested in marine biology?
Realize that Marine Biology is not one single field, but several, and there are many pathways to working in the marine sciences. For example, when I took genetics as an undergrad and loved it, I realized I could integrate my main interests. Be flexible. Addressing key issues in marine sciences requires broad thinking and interdisciplinary skills, so try to get as well rounded an education as possible. Quantitative and communication skills are a plus!