Aviva Fiske

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MS Student
Graduate Group of Ecology

afiske@ucdavis.edu

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

Education

BA, Biology, Bowdoin College

Research Interests

Conservation genetics, sustainable fisheries, aquaculture

Research Projects

I am working on validating a technique used to identify ploidy in White Sturgeon. Previous work
suggests that ploidy may affect sturgeon fertility and caviar quality, and thus accurate
determination of ploidy is important to caviar producers. Reliable ploidy characterization is also
important for conservation hatcheries, due to the potential lowered fertility of certain ploidy
groups. The measurement of red blood cell long axis length to determine ploidy is a technique
that has been effective in other species but has not yet been validated in sturgeon. My work aims
to demonstrate in what situations this technique might be used most effectively, and when it is
less accurate. Comparing the accuracy this relatively cheap method of ploidy determination to
techniques using expensive instruments will allow caviar producers and conservation hatcheries
to choose which method best fits their needs.