John Pollinger

Affiliate ResearcherUCLA Center for Tropical Research

Center for Tropical Research
Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

University of California, Los Angeles
Lakretz Hall, Suite 300, Box 951496
619 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496

Research Interests

As the Director of the UCLA Conservation Genetics Resource Center and as Associate Director of the Center for Tropical Research (CTR), I lead and support the development and refinement of characterization and analysis methods for conservation genetics and their application to key conservation issues for animals and plants, for the CTR, the UCLA community and external researchers and other conservation stakeholders including NGOs and government agencies. My interests also include finding solutions to identification and protection of key ecosystems and reserves critical to preserving current animal and plant diversity and future evolutionary potential and identifying sustained support mechanisms to assure their stable existence and preservation.

In addition to my current research efforts and interests in conservation biology, I am interested in the development and application of advanced materials and component/device technologies for aerospace propulsion and structures, and solar energy capture and fuel generation using solar energy. These interests are an extension of my earlier materials science education and previous research, engineering and manufacturing efforts for aerospace and energy applications as a technologist for AlliedSignal/Honeywell Aerospace.

Please also see the webpage for the Conservation Genetics Resource Center.

Positions Held

Director, UCLA Conservation Genetics Resource Center  


Associate Director, UCLA Center for Tropical Research       


Project Scientist, UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
    and Institute of the Environment and Sustainability         


UCLA Coordinator, California Cooperative Ecosystems Study Unit (CESU) 


Visiting Scientist, Broad Institute, Dog Genome Project            

Fall 2005

Chair, Ceramics Committee, International Gas Turbine Institute   


Research Fellow, UCLA Center for Tropical Research            


Research Fellow, UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology    


Technology Manager and Principal Scientist, Honeywell Intl., Torrance, CA    


Technology Leader and Principal Scientist, Honeywell Intl., Torrance, CA      


Research Engineer, AC Spark Plug, General Motors Research, Flint, MI                 


Selected Publications

2011 vonHoldt BM,  Pollinger JP, Earl DA, Knowles JC, Boyko AR, Parker H, Geffen E, Pilot M, Jedrzejewski W, Jedrzejewska B, Sidorovich V, Greco C, Randi E, Musiani M, Kays R, Bustamante CD, Ostrander EA, Novembre J, and Wayne RK. A genome-wide perspective on the evolutionary history of enigmatic wolf-like canids. Genome Research. Accepted.
2011 Smith TB, Thomassen HA, Freedman AH, Sehgal RNM, Buermann B, Saatchi S, Pollinger JP, Mila B, Pores D, Valkiunas G, Wayne RK. Patterns of divergence in the olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea (Aves: Nectariniidae) across the African rainforest-savanna ecotone. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. In press.
2011 Thomassen HA, Fuller T, Buermann W, Milá B, Kieswetter CM, Jarrín-V P, Cameron SE, Mason E, Schweizer R, Schlunegger J, Chan J, Wang O, Peralvo M, Schneider CJ, Graham CH, Pollinger JP, Saatchi S, Wayne RK, Smith TB. Mapping evolutionary process: a multi-taxa approach to conservation prioritization. Evolutionary Applications. In press.
2010 Vonholdt BM, Stahler DR, Bangs EE, Smith DW, Jimenez MD, Mack CM, Niemeyer CC, Pollinger JP, Wayne RK.   A novel assessment of population structure and gene flow in grey wolf populations of the Northern Rocky Mountains of the United States. Molecular Ecology 19(20):4412-4427.
2010 Fuller TL, Saatchi SS, Curd EE, Toffelmier E, Thomassen HA, Buermann W, DeSante DF, Nott MP, Saracco JF, Ralph CJ, Alexander JD , Pollinger JP, Smith TB.  Mapping the risk of avian influenza in wild birds in the US. BMC Infectious Diseases 10.
2010 vonHoldt BM, Pollinger JP, Lohmueller, KE, Han, E, Parker, HG, Quignon, P, Degenhardt JD, Boyko AR, Earl  DA, Auton A, Reynolds A, Bryc K, Brisbin A, Knowles JC, Mosher DS, Spady TC, Elkahloun A, Geffen E, Pilot M, Jedrzejewski W, Greco C, Randi E, Bannasch D, Wilton A, Shearman J, Musiani M, Cargill M, Jones PG, Qian Z, Huang W, Ding Z, Zhang Y, Bustamante CD, Ostrander EA, Novembre J, Wayne RK. Genome-wide SNP and haplotype analyses reveal a rich history underlying dog domestication. Nature. doi:10.1038/nature08837.
2010 Randall DA; Pollinger JP; Argaw K, Macdonald DW, Wayne RK. Fine-scale genetic structure in Ethiopian wolves imposed by sociality, migration, and population bottlenecks. Conservation Genetics 11(1):89-101.
2010 Thomassen HA, Buermann W, Mila B, Graham CH, Cameron SE, Schneider CJ, Pollinger JP,  Saatchi S, Wayne RK, Smith TB. Modeling environmentally associated morphological and genetic variation in a rainforest bird, and its application to conservation prioritization. Evolutionary Applications 3(1):1-16.
2009 Slater GJ, Thalmann O, Leonard JA, Schweizer RM, Koepfli KP, Pollinger JP, Rawlence NJ, Austin JJ, Cooper A, Wayne RK. Evolutionary history of the Falklands wolf. Current Biology 19(20):R937-938.
2009 Njabo KY, Cornel AJ, Sehgal RNM, Loiseau C, Buermann W, Harrigan RJ, Pollinger JP,  Valkiunas G, Smith TB. Coquillettidia (Culicidae, Diptera) mosquitoes are natural vectors of avian malaria in Africa. Malaria Journal 8, article 193.
2009 Pease KM, Freedman AH, Pollinger JP, McCormack JE, Buermann W, Rodzen J, Banks, J, Meredith E, Bleich VC, Schaeffer RJ, Jones K, Wayne RK. Landscape genetics of California mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus): the roles of ecological and historical factors in generating differentiation. Molecular Ecology 18(9):1848-1862.  
2008 Smith TB, Mila B, Grether GF, Slabbekoorn H, Sepil I, Buermann W, Saatchi S, Pollinger JP.  Evolutionary consequences of human disturbance in a rainforest bird species from Central Africa Molecular Ecology 17 (1): 58-71.
2008 vonholdt BM, Stahler DR, Smith DW, Earl DA, Pollinger JP, Wayne RK. The genealogy and genetic viability of reintroduced Yellowstone grey wolves Molecular Ecology 17 (1): 252-274.
2007 Brown DM, Brenneman RA, Koepfli KP, Pollinger JP, Mila B, Georgiadis NJ, Louis EE,  Grether GF, Jacobs DK, Wayne RK.  Extensive population structure in the giraffe. BMC Biology 5:57 13 pgs.
2007 Chaves JA, Pollinger JP, Smith TB, LeBuhn G.  The role of geography and ecology in shaping the phylogeography of the speckled hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys) in Ecuador. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 43 (3): 795-807.
2007 Randall DA, Pollinger JP, Wayne RK, Tallents LA, Johnson PJ, Macdonald DW. Inbreeding is reduced by female-biased dispersal and mating behavior in Ethiopian wolves Behavioral Ecology 18 (3):579-589.
2006 Haydon DT, Randall DA, Matthews L,  Knobel DL, Tallents L, Gravenor MB, Williams SD, Pollinger JP, Cleaveland S, Woolhouse MEJ, Sillero-Zubiri C, Marino J, Macdonald DW, and Laurenson MK. Low-coverage vaccination strategies for the conservation of endangered species. Nature443 (7112):692-695.
2006 Riley SPD, Pollinger JP, Sauvajot RM, York EC, Bromley C, Fuller TK, and Wayne RK. A Southern California freeway is a physical and social barrier to gene flow in carnivores. Molecular Ecology 15 (7): 1733-1741.
2005 Pollinger JP, Bustamante CD, Fledel-Alon A,, Schmutz S, Gray MM, and Wayne RK. Selective sweep mapping of genes with large phenotypic effects. Genome Research 15:1809-1819.
2005 Lindblad-Toh K, Wade CM, Mikkelsen TS, Karlsson EK, Jaffe DB, Kamal M, Clamp M, Chang JL, Kulbokas EJ, Zody MC, Mauceli E, Xie XH, Breen M, Wayne RK, Ostrander EA, Ponting CP, Galibert F, Smith DR, deJong PJ, Kirkness E, Alvarez P, Biagi T, Brockman W, Butler J, Chin CW, Cook A, Cuff J, Daly MJ, DeCaprio D, Gnerre S, Grabherr M, Kellis M, Kleber M, Bardeleben C, Goodstadt L, Heger A, Hitte C, Kim L, Koepfli KP, Parker HG, Pollinger JP, Searle SMJ, Sutter NB, Thomas R, Webber C, Lander ES. Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype structure of the domestic dog. Nature 438 (7069): 803-819.
2003 Carruthers WD, Pollinger JP, Becher PF, Ferber MK, and van Roode M. Future Needs and Developments in Structural Ceramic Materials for Gas Turbines (Ch 30 pp 743-766), in Progress in Ceramic Gas Turbine Development: Volume 2, edited by M. Roode, M.K. Ferber, and D.W. Richerson. ASME Press, NY.
2002 Joray R, Yu B, Lange F, Pollinger JP. Optimization of an aqueous commercial silicon nitride slurry for colloidal isopressing. J. European Ceramic Society 22: 1061-1066.
1999 Ghosal S, Emami-Naeini A, Harn YP, Draskovich BS and Pollinger JP. A physical model for the drying of gelcast ceramics. J. Am Ceram. Soc. 82: 513-520.
1998 Glass SJ, Mahoney FM, Quillan B, Pollinger JP and Loehman RE. Refractory oxynitride joints in silicon nitride. Acta Materiala 46: 2393-2399.
1994 Chang JC, Lange FF, Pearson DS, Pollinger JP. Pressure sensitivity for particle packing of aqueous alumina slurries vs interparticle potential. J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 77: 1357-1360.
1987 Pollinger JP and Messing GL. Synthesis of oxide powders by plasma vaporization of solutions. In Advances in Ceramics, Vol. 21: Ceramic Powder Science, eds. RA Haber et al. The American Ceramic Society, Columbus, p217-227.
1988 Pollinger JP and Messing GL. Metastable solid solution extension of Mullite by rapid solidification. J. Mater. Res. 3: 375-379.
1984 Pollinger JP and Messing GL. Microstructural analysis of rapidly solidified alumina. Emergent process methods for high-technology ceramics - Materials Science Research, v 17, ed. R.F. Davis, H. Palmour III, and R.L. Porter. Plenum Press, NY, p 505-517.

CTR Bird

Center for Tropical Research | UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
La Kretz Hall, Suite 300 | 619 Charles E. Young Dr. East | Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496

The Center for Tropical Research, located on the third floor of La Kretz Hall, is part of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles. For general inquiries, contact Christa Gomez, CTR Office Manager, at (310) 206-6234, or by email at Visitors are always welcome.

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