Andrea Schreier, Director

Profile picture

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Director of the Genomic Variation Lab
Alumna of the Graduate Group of Ecology

(530) 752-0664

Meyer 2235
One Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616

Curriculum Vitae


PhD in Ecology, UC Davis, 2012

MS in Wildlife Genetics, Purdue University, 2006

BS in Biology (chemistry minor), Hillsdale College, 2003

Research Interests

My research program is three-pronged. I apply genetic and genomic tools to 1) improve management and conservation of fish and wildlife species, 2) understand the role of polyploidy in vertebrate evolution, and 3) improve aquaculture sustainability to protect our fisheries resources. I have been working with sturgeon species for over a decade and am particularly interested in their conservation, ecology, and evolution.

Research Projects

Here is a list of my current research projects.  For more information on each project, click on the bolded text.  Previous projects are archived on the Past Projects page.

Assembling a complex polyploid genome to vertebrate whole genome duplication (WGD) and diploidization: Previous attempts to sequence the white sturgeon genome using typical short read methodologies have been unsuccessful due to the highly duplicated nature of the species’ polyploid genome. In collaboration with Matt Settles at the UC Davis Bioinformatics Core, I am using the “linked reads” approach of the 10X Genomics Gemcode platform to sequence and assemble a male white sturgeon genome. I will use these data to begin answering questions about gene fates after WGD and the process of diploidization in the sturgeon lineage. Data will also be pooled with long read sequencing data collected by Scott Blankenship of Cramer Fish Sciences to begin development of a reference genome sequence for the white sturgeon.

Sacramento perch population genetics and development of a captive breeding plan: We are re-evaluating genetic diversity and patterns of population structure in Sacramento perch, including waters in which perch have been sampled for the first time. These data will be used to inform a captive breeding plan for this species, under development by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

DNA barcoding of federally threatened valley elderberry longhorn beetle (VELB): We are collaborating with other UC Davis researchers to develop a diagnostic genetic marker that will differentiate the endangered VELB from a non-endangered subspecies, the California elderberry longhorn beetle. The diagnostic marker will be used to identify the origin of exit holes in areas where subspecies distributions overlap. This will improve the accuracy of US Fish and Wildlife survey methods for the rare and cryptic elderberry longhorn beetles.

Population genetics and inbreeding in the endangered San Fernando Valley spineflower: The endangered San Fernando Valley spineflower is only found in two isolated locations in southern California. We are developing SNP markers to examine genetic diversity and population structure within and among locations. We will also use these markers to do parentage analysis and estimate inbreeding coefficients in greenhouse experiments to evaluate inbreeding depression.

Genetic and genome size monitoring of Kootenai River white sturgeon conservation aquaculture program: I use neutral markers to monitor genetic diversity loss in a conservation aquaculture program for an endangered white sturgeon population suffering from decades of recruitment failure. Genetic data are also used for identification of individual broodstock and parentage analysis.  Flow cytometry and Coulter counter analysis is used to quantify the prevalence of spontaneous autopolyploidy in each year class. Recent work has examined how post-stocking mortality has affected the genetic composition of juvenile white sturgeon released into the Kootenai River.

Determining the cause of spontaneous autopolyploidy in sturgeon culture and how it affects individual performance: We’ve found that 10-15% of white sturgeon produced in conservation and commercial aquaculture experience a genome duplication and possess 1.5x the amount of DNA in their cells than “normal” 8N white sturgeon.  We are conducting experiments to determine the causes of this phenomenon in culture. We are also measuring the reproductive development, sex ratio, growth performance, and stress physiology of normal (8N) white sturgeon, spontaneous autopolyploid (12N) individuals, and their 10N progeny to determine whether a larger genome affects survival and fitness.  Based on our findings, hatchery managers will be able to adapt their spawning and rearing practices to avoid production of or preferentially produce 12N sturgeon.




Recent Peer Reviewed Publications

Gille, D. A.*, J. P. Van Eenennaam, T. R. Famula, A. D. Schreier, K. Beer, P. Struffenegger, B. Renschler, S. Bishop, and S. I. Doroshov. 2017. Finishing diet, genetics, and other culture conditions affect ovarian adiposity and caviar yield in cultured white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus). Aquaculture 474:121-129.

Clark, Lindsay V. and A. Drauch Schreier. 2017. Resolving microsatellite genotype ambiguity in populations of allopolyploid and diploidized autopolyploid organisms using negative correlations between alleles. Molecular Ecology Resources. doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12639.

Hildebrand, L. R., A. Drauch Schreier, K. Lepla, S. O. McAdam, J. McLellan, M. J. Parsley, and V. L. Paragamian. 2016. Status of White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) throughout the species range, threats to survival, and prognosis for the future. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 32(Suppl 1):261-312.

Schreier, A., O. Langness, J. A. Israel, and E. Van Dyke. 2016. Further investigation of green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) Distinct Population Segment composition in non-natal estuaries and preliminary evidence of Columbia River spawning. Environmental Biology of Fishes. 99(12):1021-1032

Klimley, A., E. Chapman, J. Cech, D. Cocherell, N. Fangue, M. Gingras, Z. Jackson, E. Miller, J. Poletto, A. Schreier, A. Seesholtz, K. Sulak, M. Thomas, D. Woodbury, M. Wyman. 2015. Sturgeon in the Sacramento-San Joaquin watershed: new insights to support conservation and management. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Sciences 13(4).

Schreier, A., S. Stephenson, P. Rust, and S. Young.  Post-release genetic monitoring is necessary to evaluate genetic diversity conservation in captive and supportive breeding programs. Biological Conservation 192:74-81.

Gille, D. A., T. R. Famula, B. P. May, and A. D. Schreier.  2015.  Evidence for a maternal origin of spontaneous autopolyploidy in cultured white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus).  Aquaculture 435:467-474.

Schreier, A. D., B. May, and D. A. Gille. 2013. Incidence of spontaneous autopolyploidy in cultured populations of white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus. Aquaculture 416-417:141-145.

Drauch Schreier, A., B. Mahardja, and B. May. 2013. Variable patterns of population structure revealed across the range of the ancient octoploid white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142(5):1273-1286.

Nelson, T. C., P. Doukakis, S. T. Lindley, A. Drauch Schreier, J. E. Hightower, L. R. Hildebrand, R. E. Whitlock, and M. A. H. Webb. 2013. Modern technologies for an ancient fish: tools to inform management of migratory sturgeon stocks. PLoS ONE 8(8):e71552.

Drauch Schreier, A., B. Mahardja, and B. May. 2012. Hierarchical patterns of population structure in the endangered Fraser River white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus, and implications for conservation. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 69:1968-1980.

Drauch Schreier, A., J. Rodzen, S. Ireland, and B. May. 2012. Genetic techniques inform conservation aquaculture of the endangered Kootenai River white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus. Endangered Species Research 16:65-75.

Drauch Schreier, A., D. A. Gille, B. Mahardja, and B. May. 2011. Neutral markers confirm the octoploid origin and reveal spontaneous polyploidy in white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 27(Suppl 2): 24-33.

Anders, P., A. Drauch Schreier, J. Rodzen, M. Powell, and S. Narum. 2011. A review of genetic evaluation tools for conservation and management of sturgeons: Roles, benefits, and limitations. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 27(Suppl 2): 3-11.



Selected Limited Distribution Publications

Thorstensen, M. and A. Schreier. 2017. A comparison of genetic diversity and number of breeders represented by broodstock and repatriation sampling of white sturgeon in the Bliss to C.J. Strike Reach of the Snake River. Report to Idaho Power Company, Boise, ID. 21 pp.

Coen, A., and A. Schreier. 2017. Using non-invasive genetics to compare how a California highway affects gene flow in a disturbance-averse versus a disturbance tolerant species. Report to the National Center for Sustainable Transportation, Davis, CA. 21 pp.

Schreier, A., O. Langness, and B. May. 2014. DPS Assignment and Non-Natal Estuary Preferences of SDPS and NDPS green sturgeon. Report to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Vancouver, WA. 25 pp.

Schreier, A., S. Brandl, and B. May. 2013. Snake River white sturgeon genetic management plan. Report to the Idaho Power Company, Boise, ID. 60 pp.

Israel, J., A. Drauch, and M. Gingras. 2009. Life history conceptual model for white sturgeon. Report to Bay Delta Ecosystem Restoration and Improvement Program, Sacramento, CA. 54 pp.