USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station
Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Conservation of Biodiversity

Photo of M. Conkle

M. Thompson Conkle
Research Geneticist Emeritus


B.S., Forestry, 1959, Michigan State University, East Lansing
M.S., Forest Genetics, 1962, North Carolina State University, Raleigh
Ph.D, Forest Genetics, 1977, University of Califonia, Berkeley

Research Interests/Duties

Personal research involves determining the amount and distribution of diversity in tree populations to understand evolutionary relationships. We use allele frequencies of numerous isozyme genes as tools for genetic population research. The number of genes available for analysis topped out at around 60 for forest trees. But statistical theory is still developing; active areas of tree research center on racial and species differences with potential to identify centers of diversity and derived populations, population founders effects, population bottlenecks over evolutionary time, and breeding systems. The data from isozymes assist in developing strategies for sustaining unique genetic populations and maintaining high levels of genetic diversity in local populations.

Selected Publications
  • Ledig, F. T., Conkle, M. T., Bermejo-Velazquez, B., Equiluz-Piedra, T., Hodgskiss, P. D., Johnson, D. R., and Dvorak, W. S.. 1999. Evidence for an extreme bottleneck in a rare Mexican pinyon: genetic diversity, disequilibrium and the mating system in Pinus maximartinezii. Evolution [53]:91-99..
  • Montalvo, A. M., Conrad, S. G., Conkle, M. T., and Hodgskiss, P. D.. 1997. Population structure, genetic diversity and clone formation in Quercus chrysolepis (Fagaceae). American Journal of Botany 84 :1553-1564.
  • Conkle, M. T.. 1992. Genetic diversity--seeing the forest through the trees. New Forests 6 :5-22.

Last Modified: Feb 2, 2015 06:20:24 PM