John Pollinger

Project Scientist, Center for Tropical Research and Director of the Conservation Genetics Resource Center Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Center for Tropical Research

UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

La Kretz Hall, Suite 300 Box 951496

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496

Tel: (310) 948-7911

Mobile: (310) 206-3987


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Research Interests

  • The development and refinement of analysis methods for conservation genetics and their application to key conservation issues for animals and plants
  • In my roles as a research fellow for Professors Bob Wayne and Tom Smith and the Center for Tropical Research, and as associate director for the UCLA Conservation Genetics Resource Center, I support a number of key conservation projects by providing genetic characterization, analyses and genetics expertise/advice.
  • Current studies include:
    • A noninvasive population study of the Isle Royale National Park gray wolves using scat samples, supporting Rolf Peterson and Leah Vucetich of Michigan Tech and the National Park Service
    • The effect of urban fragmentation on bobcat, mountain lion and coyote social structure, territory size, etc. in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area National Park and surrounding areas, supporting Seth Riley of the National Park Service
    • A population and subspecies status resolution study of the high elevation red fox in Lassen Volcanic National Park, supporting John Perrine of UC Berkeley and the National Park Service
    • Supporting social structure and mating system studies of the endangered Ethiopian wolves using noninvasive sampling, supporting Deborah Randall and the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit of Oxford University
    • Development of noninvasive genetic characterization methods for California Elk species and populations for the California Department of Fish and Game (Jim Banks and Ken Levine of California DFG)
    • Examination of the phylogenetic, phylogeographic and overall evolutionary relationships among the wolf-like canid (genus canis) species, subspecies, races and hybrids, by developing new diagnostic genetic markers to resolve their evolutionary paths
    • Elucidation of speciation mechanisms in the hermit (genus phaethornis) hummingbirds of South America, including impact of geographic barriers and sympatric resource partitioning
    • Development and application of informative nuclear DNA sequences to help resolve phylogenetic relationships and origins of the 17 penguin (order sphenisciformes) species
  • In addition, my interests 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