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US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Brad St. Clair

Research Geneticist
Corvallis, OR
Phone: 541-750-7294


Current Research

My research is primarily aimed at understanding the genetic basis of how plants are adapted to their environments.  Current research is focused on exploring responses of Douglas-fir populations from a wide range of source environments planted in a reciprocal transplant study using a wide range of test site environments.  Results from this study will be valuable for understanding responses to climate change and exploring management options for adapting to future climates. In addition, I am developing Web-based tools that will help managers choose appropriate seed sources given different climate change scenarios. One of those tools is an archive for data from earlier provenance studies that will help prevent loss of this valuable information and promote collaboration to look at the data in new ways. Another major research focus are studies of geographic genetic variation in several grass species and implications for restoration after disturbances.

Research Interests

My research interests are primarily concerned with describing and understanding geographic variation in how plants are adapted to their environments and the implications for management including reforestation, restoration, tree improvement, gene conservation, and responses to climate change. Species of interest include forest trees as well as grasses and forbs used in restoration projects.  This research has contributed to guidelines for the movement of plant populations, genetic conservation needs, and natural and managed responses to climate change.

Past Research

My past research has focused on geographic genetic variation of Douglas-fir and implications for choice of seed sources. This work indicates that Douglas-fir populations are unlikely to be well-adapted to future climates, and that populations adapted to climates at the end of the 21st century would come from considerably lower elevations and from much further south.  Other past research has concerned the conservation of genetic resources, tree breeding strategies, intergenotypic competition, ideotype breeding, and realized genetic gains. 

Why This Research is Important

Ensuring the productivity, health, and sustainability of forests and grasslands requires knowledge of how plants are adapted to past, current, and future environments.

Education

  • Oregon State University, Ph.D. Forest Genetics, 1989
  • University of Wisconsin, M.S. Forest Genetics, 1984
  • University of California Berkeley, B.S. Forestry, 1980

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Last updated on : 10/06/2014