US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
You are here: Home / People / Profile


The sites listed below are external or third-party sites which the Forest Service has provided for reference only.


Bryce Richardson

Bryce A. Richardson

Research Geneticist Plant
1221 South Main Street
United States

Phone: 208-883-2322
Contact Bryce A. Richardson

Current Research

My current research focuses on molecular and quantitative genetics of shrub and tree species. This research includes understanding the evolutionary relationships, population genetic structure, and adaptive genetic variation. Current projects include the following species: big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) and aspen (Populus tremuloides). This research employs various genetic techniques: common garden trials to measure adaptive variation in quantitative traits, next-generation sequencing to develop molecular markers and annotate genes, and genecology to develop association between traits and climate variables to infer seeds zones for current and future climates.

Research Interests

My research interests include population genomics, genecology, and phylogenetics of plants. I am particularly interested in using genetic approaches to address ecological interactions between plants and the environment.

Past Research

Much of a species demographic and evolutionary history is recorded into the DNA and phenotypic traits. Genetic research has an extremely broad use for basic and applied research. Molecular genetic data provide the insight into evolutionary relationships between plant taxa and assess intraspecific genetic diversity and structure. These data are critical in identifying unique or at risk populations, understand barriers to gene flow, and evaluate past climate change on demographics and biogeography. Genetics data can also assess environmental adaptation. Common gardens trials measure genetic responses to climate. This data is used to develop of seed zones for plant species. Knowledge of where to collect and plant seeds is critical to restoration success, sustainability of ecosystems and efficient use of funding.

Why This Research is Important

Knowledge of how plants are adapted to their environments is fundamental to ecological restoration and mitigating impacts from climate change. This research has applications for the development of current and future seed transfer zones, ensuring seed banks capture the genetic diversity of a species and other tools that enable restoration of natural ecosystems.


  • College of Idaho, Caldwell, ID, B.A. Biology 1996
  • University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, M.S. Forest Resources 2001
  • Washington State University, Pullman, WA, Ph.D. Plant Pathology 2006

Professional Experience

  • Research Geneticist, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Forest Service, USDA
    2009 - Current
  • Biological Science Technician, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Forest Service, USDA
    1999 - 2009
  • Teaching Assistant, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho
    1999 - 1999

Professional Organizations

  • Society of Ecological Restoration, Member (2011 - Current)
    Contribute to scientific exchange.
  • United Nations, Food And Agriculture Organization, North American Forestry Commission, Forest Genetic Resources Work Group Representative (2011 - Current)
    The goal of the commission is to develop collaborative projects to address forest and plant genetic needs for restoration and conservation.

Awards & Recognition

  • Rocky Mountain Research Station, Best Scientific Publication, 2016
    Publication: Will phenotypic plasticity affecting flowering phenology keep pace with climate change?
  • Merit award, 2014
    Superior performance in fiscal year 2014 in conducting research and publishing valuable papers
  • Merit award, 2012
    Superior performance in contributing to RMRS GSD program through productive output and effective teamwork.
  • Rocky Mountain Research Station, Best Publication for Early Career Scientist , 2010
    Awarded for: Congruent climate-driven genecological responses from molecular markers and quantitative traits for western white pine (Pinus monticola). International Journal of Plant Sciences

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Research Helps Conserve and Restore Shrub Dominated Ecosystems

Helping to make prudent, research-based decisions to improve shrublands in the Interior West


Research to Guide Restoration in Changing Climates

Understanding how climate affects species and populations of plants are critical for contemporary ecosystem management and future planning.


Sagebrush Scent Identifies Species and Subspecies

Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) is the dominant plant species across much of the western United States and provides critical habitat and fo ...


Science-based Guidelines for Restoration and Conservation of Sagebrush Ecosystems

Helping to make prudent, research-based decisions to improve shrublands in the Interior West.


Techniques to Ensure the Right Sagebrush Seed is Put in the Right Place

Wildfire, invasive weeds, and climate change are threatening sagebrush ecosystems including the flora and fauna that are dependent upon them. Bo ...


The Great Basin Native Plant Project

Demand for native plant seed is increasing, especially in federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Manageme ...


Last updated on : 10/01/2021