Carol Stepien is a Research Associate at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, who specializes in conservation ecology, genetics, and genomics. She also is an affiliate Full Professor of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University and holds a lifetime appointment as Distinguished University Professor of Ecology at the University of Toledo. Carol has published over 121 scientific papers and book chapters, and is a AAAS fellow, "For distinguished contributions to the fields of molecular evolutionary ecology and conservation genetics, particularly invasive and native populations, and mentorship of graduate and undergraduate students”. Carol’s research interests include genomic and genetic adaptations and patterns of marine and aquatic invertebrates and fishes in relation to biogeography and changing environmental conditions. Focus includes rare and endangered species and invasive species, in relation to habitat loss, temperature change, ocean acidification, exploitation, harmful algal blooms, and hypoxia. Recent approaches and techniques employed include environmental DNA, custom targeted metabarcoding of entire communities, high-throughput sequencing, RAD sequencing, digital droplet and qPCR, and their bioinformatic analyses.
Research areas: community biodiversity analysis, genetics and genomics, conservation biology, invasive species, environmental DNA, fisheries, oceanic and aquatic ecosystems