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Ocean Water

Brandi Kamermans (Cron), Ph.D.

Postdoc at the International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks

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I am a postdoc at the University of Alaska Fairbanks at the International Arctic Research Center. I  study the declining salmon runs in the Kuskokwim River Basin using environmental DNA approaches. As a previous postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Geoscience at Pennsylvania State University, I earned experience as a geochemist and microbiologist. As a postdoctoral scholar at the Salish Sea Research Center, I collaborated with Lummi Nation, a Native American tribe in the Pacific Northwest. As a molecular biologist working for a tribal communities, I use traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) to compose community driven research questions. I utilize environmental DNA techniques to detect and quantify fish and harmful algae.

Research Interests

I coordinate with molecular biologists, ecologists, community members, and fisheries scientists to study aquatic species of interest to tribal communities in Alaska. I use quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to detect species and I fit data using statistical models. In my scientific career, I have become an expert in a variety of different molecular, genetic, and chemical analyses. At this stage in my career, I want to utilize my scientific background to validate qPCR as a tool for tribal resource management. 


It is my career goal to contextualize genetic research and make it relevant to indigenous communities. As well as provide them with the resources they need for both data sovereignty and governance.  


Boat sampling

Hooligan sampling

Once hearty 'hooligans' declining in the Salish Sea: A river spawning species of forage fish known as the longfin smelt is rare and getting rarer in the Salish Sea. Biologists are looking into the mysterious decline of the ‘hooligans’ of the Nooksack.

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