Kristen M. Gruenthal


In terms of a cohesive theme to my research, I’ve focused on applying genetic and genomic tools and techniques to the management of high-value and/or depleted marine species.  After graduating with a BS in Biology from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, I began working in human medical genetics at the University of Utah Eccles Institute of Human Genetics in Salt Lake City, UT, and then MIT The Koch Institute (formerly Center for Cancer Research) in Cambridge, MA, on large-scale association and linkage studies of human ailments like heart disease, Tourette syndrome, and colon cancer.  Afterwards, I received my PhD in 2007 at the UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA, on the conservation genetics of California abalone and concurrently worked on various other projects, ranging from species identification of mytilid mussels to DNA barcoding of California fish.  My first postdoctoral appointment was at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI) in San Diego, CA, where I developed their genetics program, primarily focusing on the captive spawning dynamics of white seabass, a large marine finfish cultured for stock enhancement.  Within two years, I was a Research Scientist and, within three, given responsibilities as the Aquaculture and Fisheries Program Research Coordinator.  More recently, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the UW School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences in Seattle, WA, studying population connectivity and the potential for local adaptation in Pacific cod.  Currently, I am a contractor at the NOAA Fisheries Office of Aquaculture and working, in large part, toward validation of a predictive model called OMEGA that simulates the fitness risk associated with interactions between farmed and wild marine finfish.  Finally, I am also co-webmaster for the AFS Genetics Section website.