Chris Brinegar

Chris Brinegar is a conservation geneticist with primary interests in the biodiversity and phylogeography of forest plants. His projects have focused on plant species of northern California, including a range wide genetic study of the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), and most recently on threatened tree species of southern Ecuador. After completion of degrees from the universities of Notre Dame, Cornell and Wisconsin, he moved to California for a post-doctoral position in molecular biology at the Plant Cell Research Institute before accepting a faculty position at San José State University (SJSU) in 1987. In his 20-year career at SJSU, Brinegar directed the Conservation Genetics Laboratory and the Biotechnology Education & Research Institute.

After retiring from SJSU, Brinegar accepted an adjunct position in the Division of Natural Sciences at the University of Maine Farmington where he teaches ecology and biochemistry. He was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to Nepal in 2008 where he taught at Kathmandu University and collaborated on plant genetics projects. Brinegar received a second Fulbright fellowship in 2014-15 at the Technical University of Loja in Ecuador where he taught conservation genetics and conducted genetics research on remnant populations of the quinine tree (Cinchona officinalis) and wild highland papaya (Vasconcellea stipulata). Brinegar and his wife Bonnie live happily in the maple-birch-pine forests of western Maine.


Employment History

2006-present, Instructor and Adjunct Associate Professor (semi-retired), Division of Natural Sciences, University of Maine Farmington

1997-2006, Professor and Director, Conservation Genetics Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences, San José State University, San José, CA

1995-2001, Director, Biotechnology Education and Research Institute (BERI), College of Science, San José State University

1992-97, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, San José State University

1987-92, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, San José State University

1983-87, Post-doctoral Research Associate, ARCO Plant Cell Research Institute, Dublin, CA

Fellowships and Visiting Positions

2014-2015, Senior Fulbright Scholar, Department of Natural Sciences, Technical University of Loja, Loja, Ecuador

2008-2009, Senior Fulbright Scholar, Biotechnology Department, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Nepal

1992-93, Visiting Scientist, Moss Land Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA

1990, Visiting Scholar, National Academy of Sciences Exchange Program, Institute of Experimental Botany, Prague, Czechoslovakia

Honors and Awards

 Memberships and Boards

Presentations at Scientific Meetings (since 1990)


Other publications

Sigma Xi National Lecture Series Presentations (1996-1998)

Genetic Engineering in the Supermarket: North Dakota State University, University of North Dakota, Mesa State College, Carleton College, Temple University, University of Richmond, University of Nebraska, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, Eckerd College, Ridgecrest Community College, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Auburn University, Alcoa Aluminum Research Center, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, University of Southern Mississippi

Agricultural Biotechnology at the Crossroads: California Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, CA

Lessons from the Redwood Forest: Carlton College

History and Ecology of the California Coast Redwoods: University of New Mexico, Claremont McKenna College, Hoffman-LaRoche Pharmaceuticals, Eckerd College, University of California-Santa Cruz, San Jose State University

Consulting and Advising


Conference Secretariat
Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology (RIBB)
Biomedicum Research Campus Building,
Saptakhel-9, Balkumari, Lalitpur, Nepal.
Phone: +977 9841600889 (Suvechhya), +977 9841804369 (Prajwal)