Northwest Fisheries Science Center


Dr. Krista Nichols
Project Lead
Staff Directory

Selection, Adaptation and Human-Induced Evolution

Organisms adapt to their environments, often quite rapidly, whether these environments are natural or are influenced by human activity. Understanding how the processes of selection and evolution occur in pristine and altered environments is central to determining how to reduce the adverse impacts of humans on natural diversity and productivity. Our research in this area is focused primarily on two major questions: What are the long-term evolutionary consequences of commercial fishing for viability and yield? How will marine and anadromous organisms adapt to climate change? We are employing state-of-the-art modeling approaches to address these questions for a variety of commercially exploited fishes, and are striving to provide guidance for sustainable fishing practices.

Representative publications:

Allendorf, F. W., and J. J. Hard. 2009. Human-induced evolution caused by unnatural selection through harvest of wild animals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 106 (Supplement 1): 9987-9994.

Bromaghin, J. F., R. M. Nielson, and J. J. Hard. 2011. A model of Chinook salmon population dynamics incorporating size-selective exploitation and polygenic inheritance of correlated traits. Natural Resource Modeling 24:1-47.

Ford, M.J., J. J. Hard, B. Boelts, E. LaHood, and J. Miller. 2008. Estimates of natural selection in a salmon population in captive and natural environments. Conservation Biology 22:783-794.

Hard, J. J. 2004. Evolution of chinook salmon life history under size-selective harvest. Pages 315-337 in Hendry, A. P., and S. C. Stearns (Eds.), Evolution Illuminated: Salmon and their relatives. Oxford University Press.

Hard, J. J., M. R. Gross, M. Heino, R. Hilborn, R. G. Kope, R. Law, and J. D. Reynolds. 2008. Evolutionary consequences of fishing and their implications for salmon. Evolutionary Applications 1:388-408.

Hard, J. J., W. H. Eldridge, and K. A. Naish. 2009. Genetic consequences of size-selective fishing: implications for viability of Chinook salmon in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region of Alaska. American Fisheries Society Symposium 70:759-780.

Kendall, N.W., J. J. Hard, and T. P. Quinn. 2009. Quantifying six decades of fishery selection for size and age at maturity in sockeye salmon. Evolutionary Applications 2:523-536.

Kodama, M., J. J. Hard, and K. A. Naish. 2012. Temporal variation in natural selection on body length and date of return in a wild population of coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12:116.

O'Malley, K. G., M. J. Ford, and J. J. Hard. 2010. Clock polymorphism in Pacific salmon: evidence for variable selection along a latitudinal gradient. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277:3703-3714.

Reed, T. E., R. S. Waples, D. E. Schindler, J. J. Hard, and M.T. Kinnison. 2010. Phenotypic plasticity and population viability: the importance of environmental predictability. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277:3391-3400.

Waples, R. S., D. J. Teel, J. M. Myers, and A. R. Marshall. 2004. Life-history divergence in Chinook salmon: historical contingency and parallel evolution. Evolution 58:386-403.