Emily Latch

Associate Professor
Biological Sciences

Please visit my lab web page.

List of publications.


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Institution, National Zoological Park, 2007-2008
  • Visiting Scholar, Eastern Illinois University, 2006-2007
  • Postdoctoral fellow, Purdue University, 2004-2006
  • PhD, Purdue University, Population Genetics, 2004
  • BS, Cedar Crest College, 1999

Research Interests

I am interested in the ways in which ecological processes (both natural and anthropogenic) shape the evolutionary trajectory of a species. How organisms respond to ecological change and variability may represent the first steps toward the evolution of genetic differences among populations, and ultimately influence the process of speciation. My research takes on this challenge in two ways. First, I have utilized managed wildlife species to investigate the effects of anthropogenically-induced ecological changes on the evolutionary trajectory of populations. Second, I have more broadly investigated the role of ecological variability in shaping patterns of genetic differentiation over space and time. A related focus of my research involves genetic data analysis and the performance of existing analytical approaches when rigorously challenged with empirical datasets. I also am interested in applying genetic tools to design optimal strategies for conservation and management of wild species. Thus, an important component of my research focuses on applied conservation genetics.

I am currently working on a variety of projects, including: species-wide phylogeography and contemporary population structure of mule deer, historical and contemporary patterns of gene flow in fishers, evolution of mate fidelity in house wrens, comparative phylogeography in Amazonian antwrens, landscape genetics of desert tortoises, spatio-temporal dynamics of hybrid zone evolution, and genetics of population establishment.

Selected Publications

Mulder, KP, Walde, AD, Boarman, WI, Woodman, AP, Latch, Emily K., and Fleischer, RC. “No paternal genetic integration in desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) following translocation into an existing population.” Biological Conservation 210. (2017): 318-324.
Giglio, RM, Ivy, JA, Jones, LC, and Latch, Emily K. “Evaluation of alternative management strategies for maintenance of genetic variation in wildlife populations.” Animal Conservation 19. (2016): 380-390.
Kierepka, EM, and Latch, Emily K. “Fine-scale landscape genetics of the American badger (Taxidea taxus): disentangling landscape effects and sampling artifacts in a poorly understood species.” Heredity 116. (2016): 33-43.
Martinsen, Ellen S., McInerney, Nancy, Brightman, Heidi, Ferebee, Ken, Walsh, Tim, McShea, William J., Forrester, Tavis D., Ware, Lisa, Joyner, Priscilla H., Perkins, Susan L., Latch, Emily K., Yabsley, Michael J., Schall, Joseph J., and Fleischer, Robert C. “Hidden in plain sight: Endemic malaria parasites in North American white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).” Science Advances 2.2 (2016): e1501486.
Kierepka, EM, and Latch, Emily K. “High gene flow in the American badger overrides habitat preferences and limits broadscale genetic structure.” Molecular Ecology 25. (2016): 6055-6076.
Powell, John H., Cosart, Ted, Amish, Stephen J., Haynes, Gwilym D., Luikart, Gordon, and Latch, Emily K. “Identifying SNPs and candidate genes associated with lineage divergence: use of next-generation targeted resequencing in mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus).” Molecular Ecology Resources 16. (2016): 1165-1172.
Mowry, RA, Schneider, TM, Latch, Emily K., Gompper, ME, Beringer, J, and Eggert, LS. “Genetics and the successful reintroduction of the Missouri river otter.” Animal Conservation 18.2 (2015): 196–206.
Kierepka, EM, and Latch, Emily K. “Performance of partial statistics in individual-based landscape genetics.” Molecular Ecology Resources 15.3 (2015): 512–525.
Anderson, Sara J., Kierepka, Elizabeth M., Swihart, Robert K., Latch, Emily K., and Rhodes, Jr, Olin E. “Assessing the Permeability of Landscape Features to Animal Movement: Using Genetic Structure to Infer Functional Connectivity.” PLoS ONE 10.2 (2015): e0117500.
Latch, Emily K., Reding, Dawn M., Heffelfinger, James R., Alcalá-Galván, Carlos H., and Rhodes, Olin E. “Range-wide analysis of genetic structure in a widespread, highly mobile species (Odocoileus hemionus) reveals the importance of historical biogeography.” Molecular Ecology 23.13 (2014): 3171–3190.