Faculty and Staff - Judith M. Rhymer
5755 Nutting Hall, Room 206
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5775
I am particularly interested in the application of genetic techniques to the conservation and management of a wide variety of rare species, i.e., Conservation Genetics. Some of the first steps in field of conservation genetics are to resolve any taxonomic uncertainties and to identify potential Management Units within species. Projects in my lab have addressed taxonomic concerns in birds, small mammals, and invertebrates asking the question “does current taxonomy adequately reflect actual patterns of diversity in nature?” In addition, I have done population genetics studies on turtles and freshwater mussels to aid managers in developing conservation plans for these rare species. Molecular genetic analyses can also contribute to conservation by determining the extent of hybridization of introduced species with native species, detecting illegal trade of endangered species, and by providing additional ecological information. My studies have focused primarily on Maine’s rare species (e.g., Wood turtles, Blanding’s turtles, Clayton’s copper butterfly, threatened species of freshwater mussels, Penobscot meadow vole), but also on species of management concern such as American woodcock.