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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Tom Ledig

Tom Ledig

Geneticist, Senior Scientist Emeritus

Phone: 707-648-3402
Contact Tom Ledig

Research Interests

My research is primarily in conservation genetics and evolutionary biology, specifically, (1) the conservation genetics and mating systems of rare Mexican spruces and pinon pines and (2) the recent evolutionary history and biogeography of Californian conifers. We use isozymes and field tests to investigate natural populations of forest trees. In the conservation of plant species, the choice to protect or neglect often depends on taxonomic status, and our research frequently begins with phylogenetic questions and proceeds to studies of genetic structure and mating systems. We reconstruct evolutionary history and determine the processes (selection, mutation, genetic drift, migration) that shape a species' genetic structure. The objective is to develop principles for the conservation of biodiversity, based on studies of the genetic structure of endemics, which are models for species fragmented by loss of habitat.

A line of research that is of secondary interest is provenance and progeny testing of eucalypt species for renewable biomass energy crops on abandoned agricultural land in California. The research on Mexican conifers and eucalypts necessarily involves a number of international collaborators.

I am an adjunct professor in the Department of Plant Science, University of California-Davis. I am also a member of the Forest Genetic Resources Working Group (FGRWG) of the North American Forest Commission/FAO/UN http://www.fs.fed.us/global/nafc/genetics/aboutus.htm. The role of the FGRWG is to advise the North American Forest Commission (the chiefs of the Canadian, U.S., and Mexican agencies responsible for forests) with respect to genetic resources. The Group's primary objectives are to encourage and promote collection, exchange, and dissemination of information, and to coordinate programs of research, conservation, and training among the countries of North America


  • North Carolina State University, Genetics; minor mathematics and statistics , 1967
  • North Carolina State University, Genetics; minor forestry , 1965
  • Rutgers University, Forestry; minor statistics, cumlaude , 1962


Last updated on : 05/08/2015