Gordon Luikart

Gordon Luikart

Professor - Conservation Ecology & Genetics

Send Email: gordon.luikart@umontana.edu

Office Phone:  406-982-3301   x249


  • Ph.D., 1997, University of Montana, Organismal Biology and Ecology
  • M.S., 1992, University of Montana, Zoology
  • B.S., 1988, Iowa State University, General Biology with minor in Animal Ecology

Research Interests

My general research interests are in ecology, population genetics, and conservation biology (CV). The primary focus of my research is the application of genetics to the conservation of natural and domesticated populations (see video). I work at FLBS and in the Montana Conservation Genetics Laboratory at the University of Montana (UM) with my colleague, Fred Allendorf. My research applies the principles and tools of population genetics to fish, wildlife, and a variety of other species including aquatic invasive species (AIS video). I have established exchange programs and collaborations between UM and the University of Porto in Portugal (CIBIO-UP) with my colleague Albano Beja-Pereira. I have collaborations in conservation and genetics with Mike Schwartz and others at the Rocky Mountain Research Station. Many of our projects use molecular genetic markers and novel data analysis approaches to understand and monitor patterns of genetic variation, landscape connectivity, and viability in natural populations. To see information on our research projects, click here.


  • Allendorf, F.W. and G. Luikart. 2007. Conservation and the Genetics of Populations. Blackwell. Pp. 642. [2nd Edition available in late 2012] Available at Amazon.com
  • Allendorf, F.W., G. Luikart, S. Aitken. 2013. Conservation and the Genetics of Populations [Second Edition]. Wiley-Blackwell. Pp. 642. [3rd edition commissioned for 2016]
Book chapters:
  • Geffen, E., G. Luikart, and R. Waples. 2006. Impacts  of modern molecular techniques on conservation biology. Chapter 4 In: Key Topics in Conservation Biology, Eds: D.W.  Macdonald and K. Service, Blackwell Publishing.
  • Schwartz, M.K., G. Luikart, K.S. McKelvey, and S. Cushman. 2009. Landscape genomics: a brief perspective. Chapter 19 in S.A. Cushman and F. Huettman (eds). Spatial Complexity, Informatics and Animal Conservation, Springer, Tokyo.
Publications (selected): (*students):
  • Muhlfeld C.C., R.P. Kovach, *L.A. Jones, M.C. Boyer, R.F. Leary, W.H. Lowe, G. Luikart, and F.W. Allendorf.  2014. Invasive hybridization in a threatened species is accelerated by climate change. Nature Climate Change, DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2252.
  • Andrews, K.R., and G. Luikart. 2014. Recent novel approaches for population genomics data analysis. Molecular Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/mec.12686.
  • Hohenlohe, P.A., M.D. Day, S.J. Amish, M.R. Miller, *N. Kamps-Hughes, M.C. Boyer, C.C. Muhlfeld, F.W. Allendorf, E.A. Johnson, and G. Luikart.  2013. Genomic patterns of introgression in rainbow and westslope cutthroat trout illuminated by overlapping paired-end RAD sequencing.  Invited paper on next generation sequencing. Molecular Ecology. 22:3002–3013.
  • Landguth, E.L., C.C. Muhlfeld, R.S. Waples, *L. Jones, W.H. Lowe, D. Whited, J. Lucotch, H. Neville, and G. Luikart.  2011.  Combining demographic and genetic factors to map population vulnerability in stream species.  Molecular Ecology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/13-0499.1.
  • *Kardos, M., G. Luikart, and F.W. Allendorf.  Measuring individual inbreeding in the age of genomics: marker-based measures are better than pedigrees. Accepted pending revisions. 
  • *Hand, B.K., S. Chen, N. Anderson, A. Beja-Pereira, P. Cross, M. Ebinger, H. Edwards, B. Garrett, M. Kardos, H. Edwards, M. Kauffman, E.L. Landguth, A. Middleton, B. Scurlock, P.J. White, P. Zager, M. Schwartz, and G. Luikart.  2013. Sex-biased gene flow among elk in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management. 5:124-132. http://dx.doi.org/10.3996/022012-JFWM-017
  • *Cosart, T, A. Beja-Pereira, S. Chen, J. Shendure, and G. Luikart.  2011.  Exome-wide DNA capture and next generation sequencing in domestic and wild species.  BMC Genomics,  12:347-355.
  • Allendorf F.W., P.R. England, G. Luikart, G.A. Ritchie, N. Ryman. 2010.  Genetic effects of harvest on wild animal populations. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 6:327-337.
  • Luikart, G., N. Ryman, D.A. Tallmon, M.K. Schwartz, and F.W. Allendorf. 2010.  Estimating census and effective population sizes:  Increasing usefulness of genetic methods.  Invited Review, Conservation Genetics. In press.
  • Luikart, G., K. Pilgrim, J. Visty, V.O. Ezenwa, and M.K. Schwartz. 2008. Candidate gene microsatellite variation is associated with parasitism in wild bighorn sheep. Biology Letters, 4:228-231.
  • Archie, E.A., G. Luikart, and V. Ezenwa. 2009. Infecting epidemiology with genetics: A new frontier in disease ecology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 24: 21-30. 
  • *Antao, T., A. Lopes, R.J. Lopes, A. Beja-Pereira, and G. Luikart. 2008. LOSITAN: A workbench to detect molecular adaptation based on an Fst-outlier method. BMC Bioinformatics,  9:323.
  • Schwartz, M.K., G. Luikart, and R.S. Waples. 2007. Genetic Monitoring as a promising tool for conservation and management. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 22:25-33.
  •  Beja-Pereira, A., P.R. England, N. Ferrand, A. Bakheit, M.A. Abdalla, M. Mashkour, J. Jordana, P. Taberlet, and G. Luikart.  2004.  African origins of the domestic donkey.  Science, 304:1781.
  • Luikart G.,  P.R. England, D. Tallmon, S. Jordan, and P. Taberlet.  2003. The power and promise of population genomics: from genotyping to genome typing.  Nature Reviews Genetics, 4:981-994.



Field of Study

  • Population Genetics, Ecology, Conservation Biology, Landscape Genomics

Courses Taught

  • BIOB 452 Conservation Ecology (3 credit summer field course; undergrad & grad students)
  • BIOB 480  Conservation Genetics (3 credit course; undergrads, grad students, USFWS and other agency personnel)
  • BIOL 495/594  Population Genetic Data Analysis Course  (3 credit course; grad students, postdocs & faculty) http://popgen.eu/congen2007 ; http://popgen.eu/congen2013
  • BIOB 595 Population Genetics seminar (1 credit; undergrads and grad students)
  • BIOL 495/594  Essential Concepts in Microbiology, Ecology, Genetics and Evolution (3 credits; I taught the Genetics and Evolution modules)



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updated: 3/30/2015 12:22 pm