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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Richard Cronn

Research Geneticist
3200 SW Jefferson Way
United States

Phone: 541-750-7291
Fax: 541-750-7329
Contact Richard Cronn

Current Research

  • Defining daily, seasonal and annual changes in gene expression in conifers (the Douglas-fir Transcriptome Observatory)
  • Linking spatial genetic differentiation in Port-Orford Cedar to migration, climatic and selective pressure from pathogens.
  • Defining the recent colonization history of Yellow Cedar across SE Alaska
  • Developing genetic markers for plants and animals of management concern.

Research Interests

  • studying the genetic basis of adaptation through the integration of genomic (transcriptomic) and quantitative variation
  • studying the population and evolutionary genetic history of North American members of the pine family
  • defining mutation rates in conifers to understand their significance in adaptive processes
  • defining patterns of neutral differentiation as a foundation for understanding quantitative variation in restoration plant species.

Past Research

  • population and evolutionary genetics of wild cottons
  • gene evolution and gene expression in polyploid plant genomes
  • biochemistry of antiretroviral agents targeting immune deficiency viruses

Why This Research is Important

Genes -- the DNA codes present in all living organisms -- are the basis of adaptive traits that make species resilient to a changing climate and an array of diseases. The genes of plants are poorly understood, and this is especially true for genes that help plants adapt to changes in seasonal and annual weather. This research applies new genomics methods to address a fundamental question: What genes do plants use to sense seasonal changes in light quality, temperature, and water availability? By defining genes that have a large impact on growth and health, we can use this information to guide breeding methods and plant selections that result in broadly adapted trees that contribute to resilient forest communities.


  • Iowa State University, Evolutionary and population genetics , 1997

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Genetic Analysis Shows the Scale and Pattern of Spatial Genetic Variation in Yellow-Cedar

Genetic analysis shows that yellow-cedar is a diverse and highly mobile species.


Genetic studies reveal population structure of fisher predate management

This research is being used to aid management decisions about whether these populations warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act. Sci ...


New genome sequencing method reveals a species evolutionary history

Organelle genomes from plants, animals, and fungi are used as genetic markers to track maternal diversity, historical migration, and maternally ...


Last updated on : 11/09/2015