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Conservation and the Genomics of Populations

Third Edition

Fred W. Allendorf, W. Chris Funk, Sally N. Aitken, Margaret Byrne, and Gordon Luikart
Illustrated by Agostinho Antunes

Publication Date - 10 May 2022

ISBN: 9780198856573

784 pages
9.7 x 7.4 inches

In Stock


The relentless loss of biodiversity is among the greatest problems facing the world today. The third edition of this established textbook provides an updated and comprehensive overview of the essential background, concepts, and tools required to understand how genetics can be used to conserve species, reduce threat of extinction, and manage species of ecological or commercial importance. This edition is thoroughly revised to reflect the major contribution of genomics to conservation of populations and species. It includes two new chapters: "Genetic Monitoring" and a final "Conservation Genetics in Practice" chapter that addresses the role of science and policy in conservation genetics.

New genomic techniques and statistical analyses are crucial tools for the conservation geneticist. This accessible and authoritative textbook provides an essential toolkit grounded in population genetics theory, coupled with basic and applied research examples from plants, animals, and microbes. The book examines genetic and phenotypic variation in natural populations, the principles and mechanisms of evolutionary change, evolutionary response to anthropogenic change, and applications in conservation and management.

Conservation and the Genomics of Populations helps demystify genetics and genomics for conservation practitioners and early career scientists, so that population genetic theory and new genomic data can help raise the bar in conserving biodiversity in the most critical 20 year period in the history of life on Earth. It is aimed at a global market of applied population geneticists, conservation practitioners, and natural resource managers working for wildlife and habitat management agencies. It will be of particular relevance and use to upper undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in conservation biology, conservation genetics, and wildlife management.

New to this Edition

  • Thoroughly revised to reflect the major new contribution of genomics to conservation of populations and species
  • Increased emphasis on genomics includes two new co-authors providing a greater range of expertise with the application of genomics to conservation
  • Features two completely new chapters: one on "Genetic Monitoring" and a closing chapter entitled "Conservation Genetics in Practice", guest authored by Helen R. Taylor and addressing the role of science and policy in conservation genetics


  • Provides the conceptual understanding to apply genetics and genomics to problems in conservation
  • Achieves a balance between theory, empirical data, and statistical analysis with practical examples
  • Each chapter features an invited Guest Box written by a world expert in that topic

About the Author(s)

Fred W. Allendorf, Regents Professor Emeritus, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Montana,W. Chris Funk, Professor, Department of Biology, Colorado State University,Sally N. Aitken, Professor and Associate Dean, Research and Innovation, Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia,Margaret Byrne, Executive Director, Biodiversity and Conservation Science, Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions, Government of Western Australia,Gordon Luikart, Professor, Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana

Fred W. Allendorf is a Regents Professor Emeritus at the University of Montana, USA. He was awarded the Molecular Ecology Prize in 2015, and he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Science in 2019. He is a past President of the American Genetic Association, and former Director of the Population Biology Program of the US National Science Foundation. He has taught conservation genetics throughout the world, including the University of Western Australia, the Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Costa Rica, the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica, and the National Zoological Garden of South Africa.

W. Chris Funk is a Professor in the Department of Biology and Director of the Global Biodiversity Center at Colorado State University, USA. He has published over 100 articles on the conservation genomics and evolutionary ecology of amphibians, fish, birds, mammals, and stream insects in North and South America. He is a Leopold Leadership Fellow and was a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidad del Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. He is actively involved in improving the incorporation of genetics into international conservation policy as a member of the IUCN Conservation Genetics Specialist Group, GEO BON Genetic Composition Working Group, and SCB Conservation Genetics Working Group.

Sally N. Aitken is a Professor in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, Canada. She leads the Centre for Forest Conservation Genetics. Her research integrates genomic, phenotypic, and climatic data to understand the processes driving local adaptation to climate, and how management can facilitate the adaptation of populations to new climates and other threats. She received the Canadian Forestry Scientific Achievement Award in 2009, the International Union of Forest Research Organization's Scientific Achievement Award in 2014, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2017.

Margaret Byrne is Executive Director of Biodiversity and Conservation Science in the Western Australian Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia and Curtin University in Western Australia. She serves on the Australian Academy of Sciences National Committee for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, and the Management Committee for the Genetics Society of Australasia. She undertakes conservation genetics research to inform biodiversity conservation strategies for rare and threatened species and for management of landscapes, including climate adaptation. She leads a strong science group providing an evidence-based approach to conservation management and policy in Western Australia.

Gordon Luikart is a Professor at the University of Montana, USA. He has published numerous articles on the conservation and genetics of fish, mammals, and insects. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Latrobe University in Melbourne Australia, and won a Bronze medal as top scientist in France's CNRS. He was named one of the “Most Influential Scientific Minds” in 2014 by Thomson Reuters for publishing highly-cited papers. He taught conservation genetics in Portugal, South Africa, and globally on-line. He actively works to incorporate genetics into conservation as a member of the IUCN Conservation Genetics Specialist Group, and GEO BON Genetic Working Groups.


"This textbook is foremost a great reference for upper level undergraduate or graduate courses, as well as a good go-to reference for conservation genetic professionals. As a teaching resource, the plentiful boxes and guest boxes that present recent literature and contextual examples provide great platforms for student discussion and improved comprehension." -- Conservation Genetics

"The book nicely complements the theory with real-world examples and provides important background reading, which I would recommend to each student starting a conservation genomics project. Informed conservationists will also benefit from the overview on what is possible with today's technologies. The authors did an excellent job in summarizing the recent developments and included the most recent discussion in the literature." -- Evolutionary Applications

"This book provides a solid background on theory and concepts and demonstrates how they underpin the interpretation of genomic data. This is a strength that will see this book stay as one of the few key textbooks in conservation genetics in the future. It is straight to the point and ideal for those coming to grips with the world of conservation genomics." -- Biodiversity and Conservation

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Phenotypic Variation in Natural Populations
    3. Genetic Variation in Natural Populations
    4. Population Genomics
    5. Random Mating Populations: Hardy-Weinberg Principle
    6. Small Populations and Genetic Drift
    7. Effective Population Size
    8. Natural Selection
    9. Population Subdivision
    10. Beyond Individual Loci
    11. Quantitative Genetics
    12. Mutation
    13. Hybridization
    14. Invasive Species
    15. Exploited Populations
    16. Climate Change
    17. Inbreeding Depression
    18. Demography and Extinction
    19. Population Connectivity
    20. Units of Conservation
    21. Conservation Breeding and Restoration
    22. Genetic Identification
    23. Genetic Monitoring
    24. Conservation Genetics in Practice, guest chapter author Helen R. Taylor
    COMPANION WEBSITE MATERIALS (Available at www.oup.com/companion/AllendorfCGP3e )
    Appendix: Probability, Statistics, and Coding

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