An official website of the United States government. Here's how you knowHere's how you know
Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.
Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.
Latest Earthquake | Chat Share
Dr. Amy Vandergast is a Research Geneticist with the Western Ecological Research Center.
She develops and leads a research program in Conservation and Landscape Genetics and Genomics. Broadly, she seeks to understand how natural and human induced landscape and environmental change impact populations, and shape evolutionary potential. Dr. Vandergast's laboratory group approaches genetic research to inform conservation in three focal areas. 1) At the population level, the team estimates important population parameters such as effective migration (or gene flow) and the number of breeding adults (or effective population size), and quantifies the impacts of landscape changes and disturbance on these parameters. This work informs individual species management. 2) Dr. Vandergast's lab also merges genetic data with mapping and modeling tools to inform biodiversity conservation efforts. Specifically, they define evolutionary significant units within species, reveal evolutionary mechanisms responsible for diversification, and identify regions with high genetic diversity for protection. 3) The team develops genetic approaches for species detection, individual mark recapture, and studies ecological associations (such as predator/prey relationships). These techniques often increase monitoring effectiveness and efficiency when replacing or combining with standard field methodologies.
Geneticist. USGS Western Ecological Research Center, San Diego Field Station (2004-Present)
Adjunct Research Professor. San Diego State University, Department of Biology (2002-Present)
Lecturer. San Diego State University, Department of Biology and Cuyamaca College Department of Biology (2002)
Ph.D., Environmental Science, Policy & Management: Division of Insect Biology, University of California, Berkeley (2002)
M.S., Department of Zoology; Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology, University of Hawaii, Manoa (1998)
B.S., Ecology, Behavior and Evolution, University of California, San Diego (1995)
A new analysis approach in landscape genetics and phylogeography is the creation of “genetic landscapes” to visualize genetic structure across geographic space. The Genetic Landscapes GIS Toolbox contains four tools to map genetic landscapes and to summarize multiple genetic landscapes as average and variance surfaces in ArcGIS ® (Environmental Science Research Institute, Redlands, CA, USA).
You’ve probably heard a bird singing to find a mate, or even a frog. But have you ever heard a Jerusalem cricket’s drum?
Results of a recent study by WERC scientists are providing helpful information to resource managers as they work to protect important habitat.