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HMSC Research Seminar- On the shoulders of giants: Under-appreciated studies in salmon biology with lasting influence.

Speaker: Robin Waples, University of Washington (NOAA Fisheries, retired)

Topic: On the shoulders of giants:  Under-appreciated studies in salmon biology with lasting influence.

In 1675 Isaac Newton wrote, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."  This idea epitomizes the way that science progresses by incremental steps, punctuated occasionally by major breakthroughs.  But often it is the case that neither these ‘giants’ nor their research are well-known or even routinely recognized.   I discuss four such studies conducted in Oregon that have had a profound influence on scientific developments in salmon biology in subsequent decades: 1) a 1960s study of southern Oregon Chinook salmon that was the first documentation of what has come to be known as the Portfolio Effect; 2) a 1970s study of Deschutes River steelhead that was the first attempt to empirically evaluate genetic differences between hatchery and wild fish; 3) a 1980s study of family size variation in Oregon coho salmon that helped pave the way for entirely new lines of research; and 4) a 1980s report on age structure and relative fecundity for Oregon Coast Chinook salmon that provided crucial empirical data to help parameterize models of the rates of genetic drift and loss of genetic variability in Pacific salmon.   


Dial-In Information

call +1-971-247-1195 US Meeting ID: 945 5573 1151

Thursday, March 16 at 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Hatfield Marine Science Center, Marine Studies Building Auditorium
2030 SE Marine Science Dr, Newport, OR 97365

Event Type

Lecture or Presentation

Event Topic



Community Members, Faculty and Staff, Student, Online





Hatfield Marine Science Center
Contact Name

Cinamon Moffett

Contact Email

Contact Phone


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