Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

Field of Study

Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

John Planz


Bald and golden eagles are species of conservation concern in North America, and are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA; 16 U.S.C. 668-668d). Wildlife forensics utilizes short tandem repeat (STR) loci for identification purposes, however the loci currently used for bald and golden eagle in North America were developed from related species of European eagles. In this study, STR loci were sequenced using the Ion Torrent™ Personal Genome Machine (PGM™) Sequencer® (Life Technologies™, Carlsbad, CA) to characterize the alleles (e.g. the repeat motifs, presence of SNPs and indels). These methods were used to evaluate the discriminatory power of the loci for individualization and for species differentiation.


Howard, Taylor E., Allele characterization of fifteen short tandem repeat loci of North American golden (Aquila chysaetos) and bald (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) eagles using next-generation sequencing. Master of Science (Forensic Genetics), May 2014, 70 pp., 8 tables, 13 figures, 28 references.