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Gordon Luikart, Professor of Conservation Ecology and Genetics

Location: Flathead Lake Biological Station

Phone: (406) 982-3301
Fax: (406) 982-3201


For more information, please visit my Flathead Lake Biological Station website at:


see FLBS (Flathead Lake Biological Station) and Gordon Luikart's web page hyperlinks to his Projects (under Luikart's "Resaerch Interests")


• 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 (  I work at the Flathead Lake Biological Station (FLBS) and in the Montana Conservation Genetics Laboratory at the University of Montana (UM) with my colleague with 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:  I have established exchange programs and collaborations between UM and the University of Porto in Portugal (CIBIO-UP) with 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, visith Luikart's FLBS web page click here.

Selected Publications


Allendorf, F.W., G. Luikart, S. Aitken. 2013. Conservation and the Genetics of Populations [Second Edition]. Wiley-Blackwell. Pp. 642.   [3rd edition commissioned for release in 2016/2017]


Schwartz, M.K., G. Luikart, K.S. McKelvey, and S. Cushman.  2009.  Landscape genomics: a brief perspective.  Chapter 19 in Spatial Complexity, Informatics and Animal Conservation, Eds: S.A. Cushman and F. Huettman. Springer, Tokyo.

Geffen, E., G. Luikart, and R.S. 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.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (in peer reviewed journals): (* 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.

*Cosart, T., A. Beja-Pereira, J. Johnson, and G. Luikart.  2014. ExonSampler: A computer program for genome-wide sequence sampling to facilitate new generation sequencing. Molecular Ecology Resources, DOI: 10.1111/1755-0998.12267.

Landguth, E.L., C.C. Muhlfeld, R.S. Waples, *L. Jones, W.H. Lowe, D. Whited, J. Lucotch, H. Neville, and G. Luikart.  2014.  Combining demographic and genetic factors to assess population vulnerability in stream species.  Ecological Applications,

Waples, R.A., T. Antao, and G. Luikart.  2014. Effects of overlapping generations on linkage disequilibrium estimates of effective population size.  Genetics, 197: 769–780. 

*Roffler, G.H., S.L. Talbot, G. Luikart, G.K. Sage, K.L. Pilgrim, L.G. Adams, M.K. Schwartz.  2014. Lack of sex-biased dispersal promotes fine-scale genetic structure in alpine ungulates.  Conservation Genetics, DOI 10.1007/s10592-014-0583-2.

*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.

*Kardos, M., G. Luikart, and F.W. Allendorf.  2014.  Evaluating the role of inbreeding depression in heterozygosity-fitness correlation: how useful are tests of identity disequilibrium?  Molecular Ecology Resources, 14, 519-530.

Waples, R.A., G. Luikart, D.A. Tallmon, and J. Faulkner.  Simple life history traits explain key effective population size ratios across diverse taxa.  Proceedings of Royal Society B.  280: 20131339 doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.1339.

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.

Pérez-Figueroa, A., R. Wallen, T. Antao, *J. Coombs, M.K. Schwartz, P.J. White and G. Luikart.  2012.  Conserving genetic variability in large mammals:  Effect of population fluctuations and variance in male reproductive success on genome-wide variation in Yellowstone bison.  Biological Conservation,  150:159-166.

*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.

Muhlfeld, C.C. J.J. Giersch, F.R Hauer, G.T. Pederson, G. Luikart, D.P. Peterson, C.C. Downs, and D.B. Fagre.  2011.  Climate change links fate of glaciers and a rare alpine invertebrate. Climate Change Letters, 106:327-345.

Allendorf, F.W., P. Hohenlohe, and G. Luikart.  2010. Genomics and the future of conservation.  Invited Review, Nature Reviews Genetics, 11:697-709.

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, 11: 355-373.

*Antao, T., A. Pérez-Figueroa, and G. Luikart.  2010.  Detecting population declines: High power of genetic monitoring using effective population size estimators.  Evolutionary Applications, 4:144–154.

Harris, R.B., J. Winnie, JR., S. Amish, A. Beja-Pereira, R. Godinho, and G. Luikart.  2010. Population estimation of argali (Ovis ammon) in the Afghan Pamir using capture-recapture modeling from fecal DNA.  Journal of Wildlife Management,  74:668–677.

Landguth, E.L., S.A. Cushman, M.K. Schwartz, K.S. McKelvey, M. Murphy, and G. Luikart.  2010.  Relationships between migration rates and landscape resistance assessed using individual-based simulations.  Molecular Ecology Resources,  10:854-862.;jsessionid=

England, P.R., G. Luikart, and R.S. Waples.  2010. Early detection of population fragmentation using linkage disequilibrium estimation of effective population size.  Conservation Genetics, 11:2425–2430.

*Da Silva, A., J.-M. Gaillard, N.G. Yoccoz, A.J.M. Hewison, M. Galan, T. Coulson, D. Allainé, *L. Vial, D. Delorme, G. Van Laere, F. Klein, and G. Luikart.  2009.  Heterozygosity-fitness correlations revealed by neutral and candidate gene markers in roe deer from a long-term study.  Evolution,  63:403-417.

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.

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.



Hand, B,K., W.H. Lowe, R.P. Kovach, C.C. Muhlfeld, and G. Luikart.  Landscape community genomics: understanding eco-evolutionary processes in complex environments. In review.

Hand, B.K., Kovach, R., C.C. Muhlfeld, D. Whited, and G. Luikart.  Climate variables explain genetic differentiation within metapopulations of steelhead trout: The Importance of Replication and Uncertainty Assessments in Landscape Genetics.  In review.

Hand, B.K., T.D. Hether, R.P. Kovach, C.C. Muhlfeld, S.J. Amish, M.Boyer, S.M. O’Rourke, M.R. Miller, W.H. Lowe, P.A. Hohenlohe, F.W. Allendorf, G.Luikart.  Genomics of introgression: discovery and mapping of thousands of species-diagnostic SNPs using RAD sequencing. Invited paper, In review.

Kovach, R., C.C. Muhlfeld, M. Boyer, W. Lowe, F.W. Allendorf, G.  Luikart et al.  Eco-evolutionary mechanisms influencing introgression of invasive genes into a threatened native trout species.  In review.

Kovach, R., C.C. Muhlfeld, B.K. Hand, D. Whited, and G. Luikart.  Predicting vulnerability of bull trout populations across the species range.  In review.

*Hand, B.K., D.W. Raiford, W. H. Lowe, P.C. Cross, N.J. Anderson, S. Chen, and G. Luikart.  Confronting uncertainty in landscape genetics: a case study of elk connectivity in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  In review.

*Kardos, et al. Genome sequencing reveals selective sweeps for horn size and other traits in bighorn sheep. In review.


Field of Study

• Population Genetics, Ecology, Conservation Biology, Landscape Genomics


• BIOB 452 Conservation Ecology (3 credit summer field course; undergrads and grad students)
• BIOB 480  Conservation Genetics (3 credit course; undergrads and grad students, USFWS (US Fish & Wildlife Service),  and other agency personnel)
• BIOL 495/594  Population Genetic Data Analysis Course  (3 credit course; grad students, postdocs & faculty) ;
• 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)


• Named one of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds in 2014”, by Thomson Reuters as one of the    most highly cited researchers publishing scientific papers between 2002 and 2013.
• Adjunct Professor (can supervise grad students), Wildlife Program, University of Montana, 2010-current
• Bronze medal, a top scientist in France CNRS (Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique), 2004-2005


See CV (and Selected Publications below)