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This profile was last updated on 5/28/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. Chris Brinegar

Wrong Dr. Chris Brinegar?

Faculty Member


Employment History

  • Ecology, Environmental Science and Biochemistry Teacher
  • Adjunct Associate Professor In the Division of Natural Sciences
  • Visiting Professor In the Natural Sciences Department
    Technical University of Loja
  • Associate Professor
    San Jose State University
  • Redwood Ecologist
    San Jose State University
  • Professor of Biological Sciences, Director, SJSU Conservation Genetics Laboratory
    San Jose State University
  • Visiting Professor
    Kathmandu University
  • Thanks Professor
    Sempervirens Fund
  • Professor and Director
    Biotechnology Education and Research Institute at San Jose State University


  • Ph.D. , crop physiology
  • B.S. , chemistry
    Notre Dame
  • M.S. , food science
    Cornell University
20 Total References
Web References
UMF faculty member Chris ..., 28 May 2014 [cached]
UMF faculty member Chris Brinegar awarded distinguished Fulbright Fellowship
FARMINGTON - Chris Brinegar, adjunct associate professor in the UMF Division of Natural Sciences, has recently been awarded a Fulbright teaching/research fellowship by the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for a one-year stay in Loja, Ecuador, beginning this June.
He will be a visiting professor in the natural sciences department at the Technical University of Loja, a small Catholic university in the Andes Mountains of southern Ecuador, where he will teach conservation genetics.
Brinegar's research specialty is in plant phylogeography, which is the study of the geographic distribution of genetic lineages in plant populations. Phylogeographic data can shed light on plant species evolution and is also used to assess biodiversity and to identify populations in need of conservation.
While in Ecuador, he will conduct research on the population genetics of two threatened tree species: cinchona and nogal. The cinchona tree was harvested to near extinction in Ecuador for the quinine in its bark prior to the discovery of synthetic anti-malarial drugs. It currently exists in scattered remnant populations. Nogal (Andean walnut) is on the endangered species list due to overharvesting for its prized hardwood.
Brinegar has taught ecology, environmental science and biochemistry at UMF since 2006. This is his second Fulbright fellowship. In 2008, he spent a semester as a visiting professor at Kathmandu University in Nepal. In 2012, he was awarded a grant by the Save the Redwoods League to help expand scientific knowledge of the biology and ecology of coast redwood forests.
Highlights of SLRR Biological Survey, 21 Jan 2010 [cached]
Sempervirens Fund thanks Professor Chris Brinegar and the students of his Redwood Forest Ecology course at San Jose State University for conducting this research and preparing this report.
Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society: Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturers, 1997-1998, 1 Jan 1997 [cached]
Chris BrinegarDepartment of Biological Sciences
Chris Brinegar holds a B.S. in chemistry from Notre Dame, an M.S. in food science from Cornell, and a Ph.D. in crop physiology from Wisconsin.He was a research associate at an agricultural biotechnology company before joining the biology faculty at San Jose State University, where he is now an associate professor.He also directs the SJSU Biotechnology Education and Research Institute and is a botany/ecology instructor with the university's Field Studies in Natural History program.Dr. Brinegar's interests range from agricultural biotechnology to forest ecology, and his current research involves the use of DNA fingerprinting to study the genetic diversity of the California coast redwoods.
The Unique Sequoia Sempervirens, 1 April 2001 [cached]
by Chris Brinegar, Ph.D.
Dr. Brinegar is a noted redwood ecologist and retired Professor of Biology at San Jose State University. His question and answer column appears in every issue of The Mountain Echo , the quarterly redwood newsletter for Sempervirens Fund members.
Got Questions? Dr. Brinegar welcomes your questions about the biology and ecology of the indigenous redwood forest. He regrets that he cannot answer questions about redwoods grown as ornamentals or in non-native habitats , and he advises that questions about disease, pruning or structural damage from redwood roots should be directed to a professional arborist in your local area. E-mail your questions to Dr. Brinegar.
But there is no other region in the United States where coast redwoods will grow nearly as well as on the California coast. [Editor: For more on this topic, see Dr. Brinegar's essay: Growing Redwoods in Non-Native Habitats.]
Santa Cruz CNPS Events & Activites, 20 Mar 2004 [cached]
Chris Brinegar Professor of Biological Sciences, San Jose State UniversityDirector, SJSU Conservation Genetics Laboratory
Redwood Forests: If You've Seen One, You Haven't Seen Them All
Chris Brinegar is a native of Indiana and received his PhD in Agronomy & Crop Physiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983.As a post-doctoral fellow at the ARCO Plant Cell Research Institute, his work focused on the molecular biology of plant hormone receptors.His research interests switched to redwood ecology and genetics shortly after joining the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences at San Jose State University in 1987.He now directs the SJSU Conservation Genetics Laboratory and uses molecular approaches to study the population and reproductive biology of redwoods, fish, spotted owls, spineflowers, and other sensitive species that are native to the California coast.His column, "Ask the Redwood Doctor," appears in the Sempervirens Fund's newsletter.
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