Emily K. Latch
Emily K. Latch
Associate Professor
Population Genetics and Evolutionary Ecology


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

Office: Lapham N215
Phone: 414-229-4245
FAX: 414-229-3926
Email: latch@uwm.edu
Laboratory Homepage:

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.

I am currently taking on new graduate students. Interested students should contact me directly at latch@uwm.edu to discuss our interests and possible projects that we could develop.

Selected Publications

Rhodes OE, Latch EK (2010) Wildlife reintroductions: conceptual development and application of theory. In: Molecular insights into natural resource conservation and management (eds DeWoody JA, Bickham JW, Michler C, Nichols K, Rhodes OE, Woeste K). Cambridge University Press, in press.

Latch EK, Heffelfinger JA, Fike JA, Rhodes OE (2009) Species-wide phylogeography of North American mule deer: cryptic glacial refugia and postglacial recolonization. Molecular Ecology, 18, 1730-1745. PDF

Latch EK, Ivy JA (2009) Meshing molecules and management: a new era for natural resource conservation. Biology Letters, 5, 3-4. PDF

Latch EK, RA Amann, JP Jacobson, and OE Rhodes (2008) Competing hypotheses for the etiology of cryptorchidism in Sitka black-tailed deer: An evaluation of evolutionary alternatives. Animal Conservation, 11, 234-246. PDF

Latch EK, DG Scognamillo, JA Fike, MB Chamberlain, and OE Rhodes (2008) Deciphering ecological barriers to North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) gene flow in the Louisiana landscape. Journal of Heredity, 99, 265-274. PDF

Drauch AM, EK Latch, JA Fike and OE Rhodes (2008) Evaluation of a remnant lake sturgeon population's utility as a source for reintroductions. Conservation Genetics, 9, 1195-1209. PDF

Latch EK, JR Heffelfinger, BF Wakeling, J Hanna, D Conrad, and OE Rhodes (2007) Genetic determination of subspecies composition in an unknown Arizona bighorn sheep herd. Proceedings of the Managing Wildlife in the Southwest Symposium 1-9. PDF

Latch EK, KE Mock, and OE Rhodes (2007) The use of molecular markers in wild turkey management. Proceedings of the National Wild Turkey Symposium, 9, 33-44. PDF

Latch EK, G Dharmarajan, JC Glaubitz, and OE Rhodes (2006) Relative performance of Bayesian clustering software for inferring population substructure and individual assignment at low levels of population differentiation. Conservation Genetics 7: 295-302. PDF

Latch EK and OE Rhodes (2006) Evidence for biases in estimates of genetic structure due to sampling scheme. Animal Conservation, 9, 308-315. PDF

Latch EK, R Applegate, and OE Rhodes (2006) Genetic composition of wild turkeys in Kansas following decades of translocations. Journal of Wildlife Management, 70, 1698-1703. PDF

Latch EK, LA Harveson, JS King, MD Hobson, and OE Rhodes (2006) Assessing hybridization in wildlife species: A case study of wild turkeys in Texas. Journal of Wildlife Management, 70, 485-492. PDF

Latch EK and OE Rhodes (2005) The effects of gene flow and population isolation on the genetic structure of reintroduced wild turkey populations: Are genetic signatures of source populations retained? Conservation Genetics, 6, 981-997. PDF

Mock KE, EK Latch, and OE Rhodes (2004) Assessing losses of genetic diversity due to translocation: long-term case histories in the Merriam's turkey. Conservation Genetics, 5, 631-645. PDF

Latch EK, EJ Smith, and OE Rhodes (2001) Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci in wild and domestic turkeys. Molecular Ecology Notes, 2, 176-178. PDF