Dr. Michael Kinnison

Curriculum Vitae (click here)

Dr. Michael Kinnison is Professor of Evolutionary Applications at the University of Maine.  He grew up in New Hampshire and obtained his BS in Marine and Freshwater Biology from the University of New Hampshire in 1993.  He received his MS (1997) and later a PhD (1999) from the University of Washington studying the evolution of Chinook salmon populations historically introduced to New Zealand in the early 1900s. After graduating he became the first Croasdale Fellow in Vertebrate Biology at Dartmouth College and joined the faculty of the University of Maine in 2002.

His research focuses primarily on evolution occurring over contemporary time scales, particularly in response to human disturbances affecting wild populations of fishes and other vertebrates.  In addition to research into the tempo and mode of such evolution itself, he is active in research into the reciprocal influences of such evolution on the ecological dynamics of populations, communities and ecosystems.  These eco-evolutionary dynamics are not just an important synthesis in ecology and evolution, but provide a critical functional link between human influences on biodiversity and consequences for conservation and restoration.  Research on these evolutionary and eco-evolutionary themes has involved field surveys, meta-analyses, lab and field experiments with various fishes, including Chinook salmon, guppies, white perch and mosquitofish.

In addition to these more directly evolutionary and eco-evolutionary themes, he has had a long term involvement in research in support of conservation of aquatic species and ecosystems in general.  This includes work on the population genetics and adaptations of endangered Atlantic salmon, Arctic charr, brook trout, vernal pool amphibians and island salamanders, and on the migratory ecology and population dynamics of endangered salmon, shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon in the Gulf of Maine.  Recently he has taken up work on environmental DNA (eDNA) detection and genomics.  He has served on several advisory boards related to management and restoration of threatened fish species.