What is your name and what is your role at the lab?
I’m Paige Minton-Edison, a faculty research assistant in the Epps Lab. We are a wildlife population and conservation genetics lab.
What project are you currently working on?
For the past eight years, I have worked on a multi-year, collaborative Columbian blacktailed deer project that generates genotypes for ODFW using microsatellite markers. We analyze about 4,000-6,000 samples each year.
What have you enjoyed most about working at the lab?
I have enjoyed the opportunity to add to the knowledge and conservation of blacktailed deer in western Oregon with the mindset that the data I provide will hopefully allow future generations to see blacktailed deer in the wild.
How does your work at the lab impact the OSU community? How does your work impact the broader world?
My work in the lab gives state and local wildlife managers the genetic tools to have a better understanding of the number of blacktailed deer in specific regions in Western Oregon and devise potential management strategies based on such information.
In a broader sense, blacktailed deer are one of many species that are of interest to those who want to preserve and protect our natural world. The field of population and conservation genetics aids in keeping the natural world healthy. Through this type of research, scientists are able to determine key aspects about the current state of populations — such as genetic diversity or gene flow among or between groups of animals. Having this knowledge allows for decisions to be made in order to conserve species and helps catch potential genetic issues before they arise and decimate — or cause major decline to wildlife populations.