Diane Elam


Dr. Elam is a broadly-trained plant evolutionary and conservation biologist. Since her dissertation research on the genetic and reproductive consequences of plant population structure, she has emphasized the interface of science with management and policy. She began her government career with the Natural Diversity Data Base of the California Department of Fish and Game. In 1996, she moved to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where she worked on Endangered Species Act issues for 20 years. She began at the USGS Western Ecological Research Center in January 2017 as a Research Manager and currently supervises 11 WERC lead scientists.


  • Ph.D., Botany/Plant Genetics, University of California, Riverside, 1994
  • M.A., Biology, University of Colorado, 1986
  • B.S., Biology, The College of Idaho, 1983


  • plant evolutionary biology
  • conservation biology