Gordon Luikart

Photo of Luikart, Gordon

Gordon Luikart

Professor of Conservation Ecology and Genetics

Website: http://www.umt.edu/flbs/People/Luikart~3422/default.aspx?ID=3422
Curriculum Vitae: View/Download CV

Personal Summary

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



• 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

Courses Taught

• BIOB 452 Conservation Ecology (3 credit summer field course, undergrads and graduate students)
• BIOB 480  Conservation Genetics (3 credit course, undergrads and graduate students, and US Fish & Wildlife Service personnel)
• BIOL 495/594  Population Genetic Data Analysis Course  (3 credit course, graduate students, postdocs, and  faculty) http://popgen.eu/congen2013; http://www.umt.edu/sell/cps/congen/
• BIOB 595 Population Genetics Seminar (1 credit, undergrads and graduate students)

Research Interests

My general research interests are in conservation biology, ecology, and population genetics/genomics.  The primary focus of my research is the application of genetics to the conservation of natural and domesticated fish and mammal populations (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlaQnjibMq0).  I work at the Flathead Lake Biological Station (FLBS) and in the Montana Conservation Genomics 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 nasty invasive species: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fx-CcXHdIlc&feature=youtu.be).  Our lab has established exchange programs and collaborations between UM and the University of Porto in Portugal (CIBIO-UP) with Portuguese colleagues (e.g., Albano Beja-Pereira) to promote international education and conservation.  We have collaborations in conservation and genetics with Clint Muhlfeld at the US Geological Survey, and Mike Schwartz at the Rocky Mountain Research Station.  Many of our projects use molecular genetic markers and novel data analysis approaches to understand and monitor landscape connectivity, adaptation to climate change, population viability, and biodiversity conservation. To see information on our research projects, visit Luikart's FLBS web page.

Field of Study

• Conservation Biology, Population Genetics, Ecology, Landscape Genomics


• Center for Investigation of Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO), University of Porto, Vairo, Portugal http://cibio.up.pt/

Honors / Awards

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

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 2017]


Pierson, J., G. Luikart, and M.K. Schwartz. 2015. The application of genetic indicators in wild populations: potentials and pitfalls for genetic monitoring. Chapter in: Surrogates and indicators in ecology, conservation and environmental management. Eds: D.B. Lindenmayer, P.S. Barton and J.C. Pierson. CSIRO publishing, Melbourne.

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.

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

*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.  Genomics in conservation: case studies for bridging the gap between data and applicationTrends in Ecology and Evolution, in press.

*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, 4:620-624.  DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2252.

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 changeGlobal Change Biology, doi: 10.1111/gcb.12850

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.

Kovach, R., C.C. Muhlfeld, M.C. Boyer, W. Lowe, F.W. Allendorf, and G.  Luikart et al.  2014. 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.

Andrews, K.R., and G. Luikart. 2014. Recent novel approaches for population genomics data analysis. Molecular Ecology, 23:1661-7.  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 speciesEcological Applications, http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/13-0499.1.

*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 ungulatesConservation 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. Molecular Ecology Resources,14:519-30. doi: 10.1111/1755-0998

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.

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.   http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-011-0057-1#page-1

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.  Conservation Genetics, 11: 355-373.

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 donkeyScience, 304:1781.