Ann Holmes

Profile picture

PhD Student
Graduate Group in Ecology

University of California, Davis
Department of Animal Science
2403 Meyer Hall
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616


BA (honors), Biology, Cornell University

MS (expected), Biology, San Francisco State University/Romberg Tiburon Center

Research Interests

Conservation genetics; molecular ecology; estuaries; marine ecology; fish; crustaceans; aquatic food webs

Research Projects

I am developing a method that uses DNA to detect endangered fish in the San Francisco Bay and Delta. Delta Smelt are ESA-protected fish endemic to the SF Bay-Delta. They are hard to locate using traditional monitoring methods such as trawl sampling. However, fish can be detected in the wild using the DNA they leave behind in water. This method is called environmental DNA (eDNA) monitoring.

eDNA monitoring may enable more targeted, less invasive, and less expensive monitoring of fish compared with traditional trawl sampling. Better detection of Delta Smelt could help inform conservation and water management strategies in California.

I use genetic methods such as quantitative PCR (qPCR) and high-throughput sequencing (HTS) that have broad application in conservation and management of aquatic species and ecosystems. My MS research (Kimmerer Lab, San Francisco State/Romberg Tiburon Center) used HTS to study plankton food web interactions in the San Francisco Estuary.

Recent presentions/posters:

Ecological Society of America (August 6-11, 2017), late-breaking poster session

Water Quality Health Indicator and Data Science Symposium, Cal EPA Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (June 29-30, 2017), invited presentation and poster

Interagency Ecological Program (IEP) workshop (March 3, 2017), invited presentation

Bay Delta Science Conference (November 15, 2016), presentation and poster