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Paul Wilson – Forensic scientist


Dr. Paul Wilson

Canada Research Chair in DNA Profiling,
Forensics & Functional Genomics Trent University,
Peterborough, Ontario

Species Dr. Paul Wilson Studies

  • caribou, polar bears, Canada lynx and wolves

Dr. Wilson’s Research Interests

  • DNA profiling and genomic characterization in the interest of natural resource management and conservation for wildlife and species-at-risk, respectively

What do Conservation Genetic scientists do?
The primary job of a Conservation Geneticist is to survey populations of wildlife and species-at-risk to determine the number of conservation units to be managed, conserved, or protected and evaluate their overall genetic health. This is done by looking at DNA markers similar to those used in forensic science to identify individuals, and genes responsible for adaptation.

How do they do it?
Most of their work is in a laboratory where with the aid of high-tech robotic instruments, they analyse samples of blood, hair, bone, scat, or tissue. This helps them develop DNA markers for individual and species identification as well as survey the genome for adaptive genes. In addition to conservation applications, these same DNA markers can be used by wildlife forensic scientists, including Dr. Wilson, in court, speaking as expert witnesses in wildlife crime cases.

Who do they work for?
Conservation Geneticists and Wildlife forensic scientists generally work at universities, and with various government agencies.