Stephen R. Palumbi, Ph.D.

Stanford University
120 Ocean View Blvd.
City, State, Zip
Pacific Grove, California 93950
Award Year


Steve Palumbi is a professor of biology at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, California. Palumbi used his Pew fellowship to develop more rapid, cost-efficient, nonradioactive genetic test procedures to identify threatened species of cetaceans found in products taken from whale meat markets. Using technology developed for forensic and biomedical screening, he identified several techniques for identifying species of cetaceans. As a result, Palumbi also developed methods for identifying individual whales from market samples, using a combination of mitochondrial and nuclear markers. He can trace products from an individual whale by comparing them to archived material from its initial capture. Use of such genetic tools allows the focus of management efforts to be the individual, rather than the species or stock, and enables the tracing of particular whales from fishery to market. These methods will facilitate detailed monitoring programs of international mechanisms for managing whaling and traffic in illegal whale products.

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