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Department of
Fish & Wildlife

College of Natural Resources

phone: (208) 885-6434

875 Perimeter Drive MS 1136
Moscow, ID 83844-1136
Lisette Waits, FWS department head

Lisette Waits

Office: College of Natural Resources 103D
Phone: (208) 885-7823
Email: lwaits@uidaho.edu
Mailing Address: Fish and Wildlife Sciences
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1136
Moscow, Idaho 83844-1136

College of Natural Resources
Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences
Department Head
Affiliate faculty member CATIE Costa Rica

With UI Since 1997

  • Research/Focus Areas
    • Conservation Biology
    • Conservation Genetics
    • Molecular Ecology
    • Landscape Genetics
    • Endangered Species Ecology and Management
  • Biography

    Lisette grew up in rural Georgia with dreams of one day becoming a scientist and studying wild animals. After obtaining a doctorate at the University of Utah working on genetic diversity and structure of grizzly bears, she traveled to Grenoble, France, to start a postdoc at the Universite Joseph Fourier studying the conservation genetics of brown bears in France and Scandinavia.  Since joining the faculty at the University of Idaho, Lisette has focused on the conservation genetics, systematics, molecular ecology and landscape genetics of wild populations with particular focus on endangered carnivores.  Lisette was a co-founder of the Laboratory for Ecological, Evolutionary and Conservation Genetics and the Center for Research on Invasive Species and Small Populations.  She has been a member of a number of interdisciplinary research teams including an NSF-IGERT funded Ph.D. program in biodiversity conservation and sustainable production in Idaho and Costa Rica.  Lisetteā€™s current research projects using molecular genetic techniques to study a variety of threatened or vulnerable species in Europe, Asia, North and South America.

  • Selected Publications
      • Wagner,H.H. M.A. Murphy, R. Holderegger, and L.P. Waits (2012) Developing a distributed interdisciplinary graduate course for 21st century scientists. Bioscience 62:182-188.
      • Dunn,S.J., Clancey, E., Waits, L.P. and Byers, J.A. (2011) Inbreeding depression in pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) fawns. Molecular Ecology 20:4889-98.
      • Goldberg, CS, DS Pilliod, RS Arkle,LP Waits (2011) Molecular detection of cryptic vertebrate species in streamwater. Plos One 6: e22746.
      • DeBarba M, LP Waits, EO Garton, P Genovesi, E Randi, R Chirichella, E Cetto (2010) The power of genetic monitoring for studying demography, ecology, and genetics of a reintroduced brown bear population. Molecular Ecology 19, 3938–3951.
      • Storfer A, Murphy M, Spear S, Holderegger R, Waits L (2010) Landscape Genetics: Where Are We Now? Molecular Ecology 19:3496-3514.
      • Research Projects

         My research in conservation genetics and molecular ecology spans four continents and includes collaborators from North America, Europe, Asia, Central and South America. A few examples are listed below:

        • Non-invasive genetic monitoring of gray wolves in Idaho, kit fox and coyotes in Utah, Sonoran pronghorn and coyotes in Arizona, pygmy rabbits in Washington, jaguars and other felids in Belize, Andean bears in Ecuador, brown bears in Italy, tigers in Nepal, 
        • Environmental DNA analysis of amphibians, invertebrates, and fish from water systems
        • Landscape genetic studies of bats and understory trees in a biological corridor in Costa Rica; wolverines in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, cougars in Idaho and Montana, amphibians in Idaho, rattlesnakes in Wyoming, bees in the Palouse prairie fragments of Moscow, Idaho
        • Red Wolf Hybridization; Manteo, North Carolina.
        • Genetic monitoring of the predators of caribou in Newfoundland, Canada.
      • Outreach Projects

        Landscape Genetic Method Development and Empirical Analyses

        • Landscape genetics is an emerging interdisciplinary research area that combines population genetics, landscape ecology, and spatial statistics and is a major focus of my current research program. The goal of landscape genetics is to describe and explain how landscape attributes affect genetic variation of plant and animal populations. I codesigned and implemented an online codistributed course on this topic.
      • Awards and Honors

          2005 Teaching Excellence Award,University of Idaho

          2006 Research Excellence Award,University of Idaho

          2007 Environmental ScienceFaculty Excellence Award

          2010 Donald Crawford,Graduate Mentoring Award, University of Idaho

          2011   Excellence in InterdisciplinaryResearch Team Award, University of Idaho

          2012     Mid Career ExcellenceAward, University of Idaho

            *You can view a full list of awards, and publications in Lisette's CV. 

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