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. (view my C.V.). The primary focus of my research is the application of genetics to the conservation of natural and domesticated populations (video). I work at FLBS and in the Montana Conservation Genomics Laboratory (MGCL) at the University of Montana (UM) with my colleagues, Fred Allendorf, Robb Leary, and Steve Amish. My research applies the principles and tools of population genetics to fish, wildlife, and a variety of other species, including nasty invasive species. (AIS video). Our lab has established exchange programs and collaborations between the University of Montana and the University of Porto in Portugal (CIBIO-UP) with Portuguese colleagues (e.g., Albano Beja-Pereira) to promote international education, research, and conservation. We have exciting collaborations with Clint Muhlfeld at the US Geological Survey, and Mike Schwartz at the Rocky Mountain Research Station. Many of our projects combine field sampling with the use of molecular genetic markers and novel data analysis approaches to understand and monitor landscape connectivity, adaptation to climate change, population viability, and biodiversity conservation. For more information, visit my Research pages.




  • 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:

  • Pierson, J.C., G. Luikart, and M.K. Schwartz. 2015. The application of genetic indicators in wild populations: potential and pitfalls for genetic monitoring. In Surrogates and Indicators in Ecology, Conservation and Environmental Management. Lindenmayer, DB; Pierson, JC and Barton P. (Eds.) CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne. CRC Press, London
  • 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.
  • 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.

Publications (selected): (*student) (^postdoc)

Visit NCBI for additional publications

  • *Garner B.A, ^B.K. Hand, *B. Addis, S. Amish, L. Bernatchez, J.T. Foster, K.M. Miller, P.A. Morin, S.R. Narum, S.J. O’Brien, *G. Roffler, J. Seeb, L.Seeb, W.D. Templin, P. Sunnucks, *J. Strait, K.I. Warheit, T.R. Seamons, J. Wenburg, J. Olsen, and G. Luikart. 2015. Genomics in conservation: case studies for bridging the gap between data and application. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, in press.
  • ^Kovach, R., C.C. Muhlfeld, ^B.K. Hand, D. Whited, A.A. Wade, P.W. DeHaan, R. Al-Chokhachy, and G. Luikart. 2015. Climatic and habitat variation is related to genetic diversity in bull trout: implications for vulnerability to climate change. Global Change Biology, 21: 2510–2524. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12850
  • ^Kovach, R., C.C. Muhlfeld, M.C. Boyer, W. Lowe, F.W. Allendorf, and G. Luikart et al. 2015. Dispersal and selection mediate hybridization between a native and invasive species. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.2454.
  • ^Hand, B.K., W.H. Lowe, ^R.P. Kovach, C.C. Muhlfeld, and G. Luikart. 2015. Landscape community genomics: understanding eco-evolutionary processes in complex environments. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 30:161–168.
  • *Kardos, M., G. Luikart, R. Bunch, S. Dewey, W. Edwards, S. McWilliam, J. Stephenson, F.W. Allendorf, J.T. Hogg, and J. Kijas. 2015. Genome sequencing reveals selective sweeps for horn size and other traits in bighorn sheep. Molecular Ecology, In press.
  • 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.
  • *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
  • *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 newfrontier in disease ecology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 24: 21-30.
  • 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

  • Conservation Biology; Population Genetics; Ecology; Fish and Wildlife Management; Landscape Genomics

Courses Taught

  • BIOB 452 Conservation Ecology (3 credit summer field course; undergraduate and graduate students)
  • BIOB 480  Conservation Genetics (3 credit course; undergraduate and graduate students, USFWS and other agency personnel)
  • BIOL 495/594 Population Genetic Data Analysis Course (3 credit course; graduate students, postdocs and faculty) previous course; current course
  • BIOB 595 Population Genetics seminar (1 credit; undergraduate and graduate 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: 11/23/2015 12:04 pm