College of Natural Resources
With UI Since 1997
Department of Fish and Wildlife
Affiliate faculty member CATIE Costa Rica
Ph.D. Genetics University of Utah 1996
B.S. Genetics University of Georgia 1991
Endangered Species Ecology and Management
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. Lisette’s current research projects using molecular genetic techniques to study a variety of threatened or vulnerable species in Europe, Asia, North and South America.
- Wagner,H.H. M.A. Murphy, R. Holderegger, and L.P. Waits (2012) Developing adistributed 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 inpronghorn (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, PGenovesi, E Randi, R Chirichella, E Cetto (2010) The power of geneticmonitoring for studying demography, ecology, and genetics of a reintroducedbrown bear population. Molecular Ecology 19, 3938–3951.
- Storfer A, Murphy M, Spear S,Holderegger R, Waits L (2010) Landscape Genetics: Where Are We Now? MolecularEcology 19:3496-3514.
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.
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.
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.