Video Tribute to Dr. Tim King

The Sturgeon community lost a patient mentor when Dr. Tim King, a Research Fishery Biologist with the USGS, passed away on September 30, 2016.


Tim’s interest in conservation genetics was extensive, and he was dedicated to applying molecular techniques to preserve and conserve imperiled species. His work investigating diversity and evolutionary processes led to the conservation and management of species including Atlantic Salmon, Brook Trout, and most notably the polyploid Sturgeons.


Tim led the charge to uncover and interpret the population structure of both Atlantic and Shortnose Sturgeon. He identified neutral microsatellite markers that led to the delineation of fine-scale population structure and allowed identification of both river-of-origin as well as evolutionarily similar groupings. His collaborative nature was evidenced through his participation in Status Reviews of both the Atlantic and Shortnose Sturgeons. His intuition on effective movement of east coast Sturgeons was later validated through regional telemetry efforts. His wisdom as a conservationist led to his consistent reminders to realize the significance of lineages instead of simple evolutionary distinctness.


Most recently, Tim’s curiosity led to his seeking information from the Sturgeon genome to identify heritable adaptations, making connections between ecological diversity, environmental stressors, and broad latitudinal distribution. Meanwhile his lab continued to identify and screen tissue samples to assist in the management of Sturgeons listed under the Endangered Species Act. His efforts contributed to a decade of progress in Sturgeon conservation and his work will serve as a baseline for many decades to come.


Conservation advocate, accomplished geneticist, friend and mentor, Tim’s memory will live on in the hearts and scientific work of his friends, colleagues, and future students in the Sturgeon world and beyond. 


A video tribute was created by NASPS Governing Board member, Hilary Meyer.  The video was shown at the NASPS annual meeting held at National AFS 2017.  The video can be viewed at the following link: