Piper Schwenke joined the Conservation Biology Division in 2000 with five years experience as a forensic molecular geneticist. She brought her experience in expert witness testimony, human forensic DNA analysis, and body fluid identification. Piper earned a B.S. at Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1992 majoring in Biology and Psychology. Currently Piper is working on a graduate degree at the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences with Lorenz Hauser.
Piper's primary role at the NWFSC is to provide forensic DNA analyses and consultation for NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement on criminal cases involving salmon, rockfish, and marine mammals. Piper's research interests are in developing robust molecular genetic assays in order to identify species and populations of protected marine vertebrates for forensic applications. Her graduate research interest is in hybridization of Puget Sound copper, quillback, and brown rockfish. She is developing several species specific SNP markers in rockfish to investigate genetic introgression in Puget Sound rockfish.