Alaska Sea Grant

Genetics symposium
Genetics of Subpolar Fish and Invertebrates

20th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium

Westmark Baranof Hotel
Juneau, Alaska, USA
May 29–31, 2002

Contact: Sherri Pristash,

Registration Information
Updated 14 December 2001

Register online for this conference

* Symposium Background
* Program/Agenda
* Proceedings
* Location and Facilities
* Registration
* Sightseeing
* Organizing Committee
* Sponsors
*About Wakefield Series and Endowment

Symposium Background

The past decade has seen significant research progress in the development and application of molecular and quantitative genetic methods in characterizing the major units of biodiversity in economically important subpolar fishes and invertebrates. DNA-based methods have been widely applied to resolve interspecific and intraspecific genetic markers for addressing evolutionary and ecological issues as well as resource management and conservation issues.

Population genetic studies now include many marine species; quantitative methods for genetic stock identification (GSI) of fishes in mixed stock fisheries have advanced markedly; boundaries of numerous Pacific salmon ESUs were defined, in part, from analysis of genetic differences between populations; genetic considerations have begun to play a significant role in fisheries resource management; genetic-based experiments have contributed to our knowledge of the biology and life histories of fish and invertebrate species; genome mapping projects have been initiated for a variety of species; and molecular methods have expanded our abilities to study quantitative traits.

This symposium will allow participants to learn about advances in genetic studies in these and other areas, and to chart the direction of research on genetics of subpolar fish and invertebrates for the coming decade.

The goal of the genetics symposium in May 2002 is to bring together geneticists and fishery resource managers to share recent research advances, synthesize new findings, and discuss future research avenues on fish and invertebrates in subpolar regions. The International Symposium on Genetics of Subpolar Fish and Invertebrates will be held in Juneau, Alaska, 29-31 May 2002. This meeting will be the 20th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium and will build upon the information reported in the 1993 International Symposium on Genetics of Subarctic Fish and Shellfish. Proceedings of that meeting were published in 1994 as Supplement 1 to Volume 51 of the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.


The registration desk will be open at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 29. The program will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 29, and conclude the afternoon of Friday, May 31. There will be a reception after the presentations on Wednesday, May 29, and a social after presentations on Thursday, May 30.

Oral presentations are divided into the following sessions:

  • Molecular genetics and phylogenetics
  • Genetic variability
  • Aquaculture genetics
  • Genetic structure of populations

Dr. Alan Templeton, Department of Biology, Washington University, will be our keynote speaker. Dr. Templeton has conducted both theoretical and empirical research on species ranging from drosophila to elephants, including fish. (The art on the genetics conference brochure is based on Templeton's nested clade anlysis.)

The agenda is on the Alaska Sea Grant Web site and will be updated as needed.

The program includes presentations by researchers from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Northern Ireland, Norway, Russia, and the United States.

The official language of the symposium is English. Participants needing interpretation or translation services should provide their own.


The proceedings of the 2002 symposium will be published as a dedicated issue of the journal Environmental Biology of Fishes, by Kluwer Academic Publishers. Environmental Biology of Fishes is a peer-reviewed, primary international journal.

Proceedings of all Wakefield symposia have been published. Information on availability and ordering is on our web site.

Location and Facilities

The symposium will be held in Juneau, the state capital of Alaska. In May temperatures can range from 40°F to near 60°F. Be prepared for wet, cool weather, although May is one of the driest months in Juneau and we expect to have some sunny days.

All symposium sessions will be held at the Westmark Baranof Hotel. Built to rival the most lavish hotels of its time, the Baranof offers a range of guest amenities and has a gourmet restaurant and coffee shop. Visit the hotel's Web site for specific information.

Guest room accommodations are available for symposium participants at a special rate of $106.00* per night for single or double occupancy (*plus 12% tax). Be sure to make your reservations by April 25, 2002, and mention the Wakefield Genetics Symposium to get this special rate. Make reservations with Westmark central reservations, or call the hotel directly:

Westmark Baranof Hotel
127 North Franklin St.
Juneau, AK 99801
800-544-0970 (toll-free central reservations)
206-301-5247 (fax central reservations)
907-586-2660 (voice, Baranof Hotel)


The registration fee is $165.00 US if paid on or before April 25, or $190.00 if paid after April 25, 2002. The fee covers light continental breakfast and break refreshments daily; a reception on Wednesday, May 29; a social on Thursday, May 30; symposium materials; and the published proceedings book. You are urged to register and pay your fees in advance so that adequate materials are available.

Make checks payable to University of Alaska Sea Grant. Payment may also be made by Visa or MasterCard. If it becomes necessary to cancel your registration, fees will be refunded at 75% if notice is received by May 14, 2002.

To register for the symposium, fill out and return our printable registration form to the symposium coordinator, or register online using our secure form.

For further information contact:

Sherri Pristash
Symposium Coordinator
University of Alaska Sea Grant
PO Box 755040
Fairbanks, AK 99775-5040
907-474-6701 (voice) • 907-474-6285 (fax)


Juneau is nestled between mile-high peaks and the Gastineau Channel. With its lush green forests, rocky beaches, and icy glaciers, Juneau has stunning views and great outdoor adventures just waiting for you.

Juneau abounds with scenic trails. Mountain trails through rainforests and alpine meadows provide panoramic views of the Juneau area and its glaciers, while other trails access isolated beaches. Trails range in difficulty from easy to arduous, depending on the preference of the hiker. Local scientists and grad students will be available to guide interested symposium participants.

For sightseeing and cultural opportunities you may wish to take advantage of while in Juneau, visit the following Web sites:

Organizing Committee
  • Brenda Baxter
    University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Sea Grant College Program
  • A.J. Gharrett, Chair
    University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fisheries Division
  • Rick Gustafson
    National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
  • Jennifer Nielsen
    United States Geological Service, Biological Resources Division
  • Sherri Pristash
    University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Sea Grant College Program
  • Jim Seeb
    Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Gene Conservation Laboratory
  • Lisa Seeb
    Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Gene Conservation Laboratory
  • W.W. Smoker
    University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fisheries Division
  • Gary Thorgaard
    Washington State University, School of Biological Sciences
  • Richard Wilmot
    National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Science Center

  • University of Alaska Sea Grant
  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game
  • National Marine Fisheries Service
  • North Pacific Fishery Management Council
  • Wakefield Endowment, University of Alaska Foundation

About the Lowell Wakefield Symposium Series and Endowment

The University of Alaska Sea Grant College Program has been sponsoring and coordinating the Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium series since 1982. These meetings are a forum for information exchange in biology, management, economics, and processing of various fish species and complexes, as well as an opportunity for scientists from high-latitude countries to meet informally and discuss their work.

Lowell Wakefield was the founder of the Alaska king crab industry. He recognized two major ingredients necessary for the king crab fishery to survive—ensuring that a quality product be made available to the consumer, and that a viable fishery can be maintained only through sound management practices based on the best scientific data available. Lowell Wakefield and Wakefield Seafoods played important roles in the development and implementation of quality control legislation, in the preparation of fishing regulations for Alaska waters, and in drafting international agreements for the high seas. Toward the end of his life, Lowell Wakefield joined the faculty of the University of Alaska as an adjunct professor of fisheries, where he influenced the early directions of the university's Sea Grant Program. The symposium series is named in honor of Lowell Wakefield and his many contributions to Alaska's fisheries.

In 2000, Frankie Wakefield, Lowell's wife, made a gift to the University of Alaska Foundation to establish an endowment to continue this series. Additional donations to this endowment are encouraged in order to extend the support to the symposia. Donations may be made along with symposium registration (see the registration form).

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