State Fisheries Genomics Lab


The State Fisheries Genomics Lab conducts fisheries genetics research that addresses the science and management needs of the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  We provide leadership in the production of genetic data, the development of science-based tools and information from those data, and the formulation of science-based recommendations based on the genetic information. 

Our research spans both the freshwater and marine environments focusing on species of ecological, evolutionary, or economic importance.

Deacon Rockfish

Less than 10 years ago, the Deacon Rockfish (Sebastes diaconus) was distinguished as a separate species from the Blue Rockfish (Sebastes mystinus). As little is known of this recently described species, we investigated population structure among fish sampled off the Oregon coast; information relevant to the management of this species.


Half-Pound Steelhead

Adult steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) return from the ocean to spawn in two phases: a summer run and a winter run. In the Rogue River, juveniles also briefly return to freshwater as “half-pounders.” We used genetic tools to demonstrate that Rogue half-pounders contribute to both summer and winter runs as adults. 


Klamath Basin Genetic Studies

We are gathering baseline genetic data on Oncorhynchus mykiss (e.g. steelhead, rainbow trout and redband trout) in the Klamath Basin prior to the largest dam-removal project in global history. This baseline will be used to monitor native redband trout populations and their interactions with recolonizing steelhead post-dam removal.


Rogue River Chinook Salmon Studies

Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) return to freshwater in the spring and fall, providing important recreational and subsistence fisheries on their way upstream. We use genetic markers to distinguish between spring and fall run Chinook salmon and document where these two seasonal run types spawn in the Rogue River.


Albacore Genetic Studies

Pacific Albacore (Thunnus alalunga) are believed to be separated by the equator into two populations (North and South). By measuring genetic variation, we were able to identify three genetically distinct groups: North Pacific, South Pacific, and North-South hybrids with mixed ancestry between the two populations.  



Kathleen O'Malley, Associate Professor and State Fisheries Geneticist
HMSC - COMES - Newport Exp Sta
254 Marine Studies Bldg
2030 SE Marine Science Dr.
Newport, OR 97365

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