On a path from Florida Scrub-Jays to Trinidadian guppies and back again—Sarah Fitzpatrick’s journey of researching genetic rescue in fish, eventually using it as a conservation method for birds familiar from her youth, makes for a fascinating read.
An article featured in the winter 2020 issue of Audubon Magazine, “The Key to Saving Florida Scrub-Jays May Run in the Family,” weaves together familial threads, born decades ago at Archbold Biological Station, that stitched together Fitzpatrick’s innovative research on genetic rescue as a conservation tool and the plight of the imperiled Florida Scrub-Jays, long studied by her father, John Fitzpatrick.
“It was becoming clear that the scrub-jays could benefit from [genetic rescue]. Although Sarah preferred fish to birds, she didn’t hesitate to return to her roots. Seeing an opportunity to apply her work, she, [Nancy] Chen, and her dad decided to collaborate to save the species that once perched on her head.”