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Mike Ford, Ph.D.

Research Scientist
Office of the Science Director
Office: (206) 354-0658
Email: mike.ford@noaa.gov

Mike Ford, Ph.D.

Research Scientist


Mike Ford joined the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in 1995.  He was the Director of the Conservation Biology Division from 2003 - 2021, and is currently a Senior Scientist.  As a graduate student, Mike studied the genetics of speciation in fruit flies.  Upon coming to the NWFSC, he focused initially on using molecular methods to study local adaptation in salmon, before focusing for many years on research to study interactions between hatchery and wild salmon.  Mike has led and participated on multiple ESA status review teams for salmon and whales, and has been involved with various aspects of recovery planning for salmon and southern resident killer whales. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in population genetics from Cornell University.

Current Research

Mike's current research projects include: estimating the relative reproductive success of hatchery and naturally produced salmon and steelhead; developing and applying mathematical models to predict rates of domestication; using molecular markers to study natural selection, gene flow, mating patterns and population structure; applying population viability concepts to salmon and killer whale conservation; and using molecular markers to study marine mammal prey preferences and mating patterns.