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Rob DeSalle, a curator at The American Museum of Natural History, and colleagues have recently used species identification methods to verify or reject the labeling of caviar origin. Such tests have been instrumental in getting sturgeons (the source of caviar) listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Prior to the test's development, there was no way to verify the contents of a container of caviar, leading authorities to be wary of prosecuting the illegal importation of caviar. With the development of species-identification procedures based on analyzing the DNA from single caviar eggs, enforcement of importation regulations became possible. see also Conservation Biologist; DNA Profiling; Gene Flow; Population Bottleneck; Repetitive DNA Elements.

Howard C. Rosenbaum and Rob DeSalle


DeSalle, R., and V. Birstein. "PCR Analysis of Black Caviar." Nature 381 (1996): 97-198.

biodiversity degree of variety of life

Conservation Geneticist

A career path in conservation biology can be taken in many different directions, many of which are not centered around genetics. In general, the science of conservation biology draws upon many traditional academic disciplines, combining them in a science dedicated to maintaining Earth's biodiversity. In recent years, however, genetics has taken on an increasingly important role in the field, for a genetic approach can be used to address questions concerning conservation of populations, species, and their habitats.

taxonomical derived from the science that identifies and classifies plants and animals endangered in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of a species' range threatened likely to become an endangered species

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