Eastern Michigan University
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Dr. Katherine Greenwald

Associate Professor

Katherine Greenwald 401N Mark Jefferson Science Complex




Sc.B. 2002, Brown University

Ph.D. 2009, Ohio State University

Interests and Expertise

Broadly, my research areas are molecular ecology (the use of molecular genetic tools to answer ecological questions) and conservation biology. I am particularly interested in amphibians, as they can be important indicators of habitat degradation and other environmental disturbances ("canaries in the coal mine"). I am currently interested in the use of molecular tools for two major purposes. First, such analyses can be highly informative regarding the conservation status of imperiled populations. For example, I have used genetic data to quantify population isolation and its relation to human modification of the surrounding landscape. Second, I use genetic data to identify genomic composition of unisexual (all female) Ambystoma salamanders. These salamanders "steal" sperm from co-occurring species, resulting in numerous polyploid biotypes (genome combinations). This unique mode of reproduction, known as kleptogenesis, likely originated 5 million years ago. My current research focuses on the ecological consequences and conservation implications of this complex system.


Greenwald, K. R. and H. L. Gibbs. 2011. A single nucleotide polymorphism assay for the identification of unisexual Ambystoma salamanders. Molecular Ecology Resources doi: 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2011.03087.x 

Greenwald, K. R. 2010. Genetic data in population viability analysis: case studies with ambystomatid salamanders. Animal Conservation 13:115-122.

Greenwald, K. R., H. L. Gibbs, and T. A. Waite. 2009. Efficacy of land-cover models in predicting isolation of marbled salamander populations in a fragmented landscape. Conservation Biology 25:1232-1241.

Bartoszek, J., and K. R. Greenwald. 2009. A population divided: railroad tracks as a barrier to gene flow in an isolated population of Marbled Salamanders (Ambystoma opacum). Herpetological Conservation and Biology 4:191-197.

Greenwald, K. R., J. L. Purrenhage, and W. K. Savage. 2009. Land cover predicts isolation in Ambystoma salamanders across region and species. Biological Conservation 142:2493-2500.

Courses Taught

BIO 315 Evolution

BIO 484 Herpetology

BIO 505 Evolutionary Biology

BIO 584 Herpetology


Greenwald Lab Website

The Biology Department is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 214 Pray-Harrold