Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Rick Gustafson - Staff Profile

Federal, NOAA Fisheries
Job Title:
Research Fish Biologist


Rick is a research fishery biologist in the Center's Conservation Biology Division. He joined NOAA Fisheries in 1995. Prior to 1995, Rick was an assistant research professor in the Center for Theoretical and Applied Genetics, Institute of Marine Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University where his research interests included ecology, reproduction and larval development of nearshore and deep-sea marine mollusks; molluscan systematics; and aquaculture of marine organisms. Rick received his B.S. in biological sciences from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, M.S. in zoology from the University of Maine-Orono, and Ph.D. in biology from the University of Victoria, BC.

Current Research

Rick is a member of the Center's Genetics and Evolution Program and the Quantitiave Genetics and Diversity Team. Rick led the sockeye salmon, Cherry Point Pacific herring, gadid marine fish, and eulachon smelt status reviews and co-authored black abalone, Puget Sound Pacific herring and Puget Sound rockfish status reviews for species petitioned under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. His research in recent years has been directed toward:  1) understanding historical and contemporary genetic population structure of sockeye salmon and Pacific hake in the Pacific Northwest;  2) identifying both extant and extinct Pacific salmon populations and ESUs; and 3) documenting changes in life-history, abundance, and exploitation of eulachon in the Pacific Northwest through analysis of two centuries of historical data.