Amanda (Mandi) Finger, PhD, Associate Director

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Project Scientist
Associate Director, Genomic Variation Lab

(530) 752-6351 twitter @mandifinger

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

Curriculum Vitae


B.S., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Santa Cruz, 2003

Ph.D., Graduate Group in Ecology, UC Davis, 2012

Research Interests

I have a broad range of interests and enjoy collaborating with agency biologists and other researchers to use genetic tools to manage threatened and endangered species. Some of these species include the Owens pupfish, Paiute cutthroat trout, Lahontan and Owens tui chub, Delta smelt, and longfin smelt. I am also interested in using newer technologies, such as environmental DNA sampling and next-generation sequencing to achieve broader conservation goals, both for individual rare and threatened species and for community biodiversity.

Research Projects

Current Research

Genetic management of a hatchery population of the Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus)

Vernal Pool fairy shrimp conservation and biodiversity using eDNA

Population genetic structure of longfin smelt (Spirinchus thaleichthys) from California to Alaska using RADsequencing

Ne estimation and monitoring of Delta smelt in the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary

Using RAD-seq to inform the reintroduction of the threatened Paiute cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii seleniris)

Genetic analysis of Lahontan cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii henshawi) in the Walker Basin, California and Nevada

Genetic structure and diversity within and among Relict Dace (Relictus solitarius) populations (in collaboration with Nevada Department of Wildlife and US  Fish and Wildlife Service

Past Research

Conservation genetics of the Arroyo chub (Gila orcuttii)

Using genetic parentage analysis to examine mating strategies of Delta smelt in a conservation hatchery (in collaboration with the FCCL)

Conservation genetics of the Owens pupfish (Cyprinodon radiosus) (in collaboration with California Department of Fish and Wildlife)

Conservation genetics of the Lahontan tui chub (Siphateles bicolor ssp.) (in collaboration with Nevada Department of Fish and Wildlife)


In prep/internal review

Mahardja, B., Hobbs, J.A., Ikemiyagi, N., Healey B., Benjamin, A., and Finger, A.J. Role of Freshwater Floodplain-Tidal Slough Complex in the Persistence of the Endangered Delta Smelt (planned submission to PLoS ONE)

Finger, A.J., Mahardja, B.M., Benjamin, A., Lindberg, J., Ellison, L., Fisch, K., Hung, T-C., May, B.P.Evidence of domestication selection in a conservation hatchery for Delta Smelt” (planned submission to Journal of Heredity)

Finger, A.J., Saglam, I., Baxter, R., Benjamin, A., and Hobbs, J. “Conservation genetics of longfin smelt (Spirhinchus thaleichthys).” (in preparation)


Benjamin, A., Saglam, I.K., Mahardja, B., Hobbs, J., Hung, T-C., and Finger A.J. (2018) “Use of single nucleotide polymorphisms identified backcrossing and species misidentifications among three San Francisco Estuary Osmerids” Conservation Genetics (pdf)

Saglam, I., Prince, D. J., Ali, O., Miller, M. R., Meek, M.H., Neville, H., Peacock, M. Mellison, C., Somer, W., May, B. P., and Finger, A.J. “Genomic analysis reveals evolutionary distinctiveness of Paiute Cutthroat Trout (O. c. seleniris.” (pdf)

Finger, A. J., Schumer G., Benjamin, A., Blankenship S. “Effective population size of Delta Smelt using microsatellites” (

Benjamin, A., O’Brien, J., May, B., and Finger, A. J. (2016) Conservation genetics of an urban desert fish: the Arroyo chub (Gila orcuttii). Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 145(2):277-286 (pdf)

Lew, R. M., Finger, A. J., Baerwald, M. R., Goodbla, A., May, B. and Meek, M. H. (2015) Using next-gen sequencing to assist a conservation hatchery: A SNP panel for the genetic management of endangered Delta Smelt. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 144:767–779 (pdf)

LaCava M., Lindberg, J.L., Fisch, K. M., May, B. P. and Finger, A. J. (2015) Spawning behavior of cultured delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus). North American Journal of Aquaculture 77(3): 255-266. (pdf)

Finger, A. J. and May, B. P. (2015) Conservation genetics of a desert fish species: The Lahontan tui chub (Siphateles bicolor ssp.). Conservation Genetics, 16:743-758. (pdf)

Finger, A. J., Parmenter, S. P. and May, B. P. (2013) Conservation of the Owens Pupfish: Genetic effects of multiple translocations and extirpations. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142:1330-1443. (pdf)

Finger, A. J., Anderson, E. A., Stephens, M. R., and May, B. P. (2011) Application of a method for estimating effective population size and admixture using diagnostic SNPs: Implications for conservation of threatened Paiute cutthroat trout in Silver King Creek, California. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 68:1369-1386. (pdf)

Finger, A. J., Stephens, M. R., Clipperton, N. C. and May B. P. (2009) Characterization of Six Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms Distinguishing Lahontan and Paiute cutthroat trouts. Molecular Ecology Resources 9:759-763. (pdf)

Finger, A. J., Fishes of the Tuolumne River, book chapter in Confluence v1.0 eds. Jeffrey Mount, Sabra Purdy. University of California press, creative commons licensing. (V. 1.0).

Manuscripts in Progress

Finger, A. J., Schumer, G., Benjamin, A., and Blankenship, S. “Genetic effective population size of Delta Smelt using microsatellite data.” (submitted to San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, April 2016)

Finger, A. J., Prince, D., Meek, M. H. May, B. P. “RAD-seq analysis of the threatened Paiute cutthroat trout” (internal review, planned submission to Molecular Ecology Resources)

Finger, A. J., Mahardja, B. M., Benjamin, A., Saglam, I. K. “Range wide diversity and genetic structure of longfin smelt using RAD sequencing”