Sarah Emel

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BA – Dartmouth College (2006)

MS – University of Tulsa (2009)

PhD – Washington State University (2015)


Conservation and Landscape Genomics


BIOL 201 – Principles of Ecology and Evolution

BIOL 202 – Principles of Cell and Molecular Biology

BIOL 203 – Principles of Genetics and Development

BIOL 451/551 – Evolutionary Biology

BIOL 481/681 – Special Topics: Landscape Genetics/Conservation Genetics


I am interested in the eco-evolutionary dynamics of species’ responses to human habitat alteration and using this information to improve conservation management. My work integrates population genetic theory and spatial statistical approaches with large genomic and geographic information systems (GIS) datasets to determine the roles of relevant landscape and climate variables. I use genomic tools to characterize both neutral and adaptive genetic differentiation across the landscape in non-model organisms. I study a wide range of organisms, including amphibians, fishes, mammals, and plants. 

Selected Publications

Emel, S. L., S. Wang, R. Metz, and R. B. Spigler. “Type and intensity of surrounding human land use, not local environment, shape genetic structure of a native grassland plant” Molecular Ecology (2021) doi:10.1111/mec.15753

Emel, S. L., D. H. Olson, L. Knowles, and A. Storfer. “Comparative landscape genetics of two endemic torrent salamander species, Rhyacotriton kezeri and R. variegatus: Implications for forest management and species conservation. Conservation Genetics 20(4): 801-815 (2019).

Emel, S. L., S. F. Franks, and R. B. Spigler. “Phenotypic selection varies with pollination intensity across populations of Sabatia angularis.” New Phytologist. 215(2): 813–824 (2017). 

Emel, S. L., and A. Storfer. “A decade of amphibian population genetic studies: Synthesis and recommendations.” Conservation Genetics. 13(6):1685-1689 (2012).

Landguth, E. L., B. Fedy, S. J. Oyler-McCance, A. Garey, S. L. Emel, M. Mumma, H. H. Wagner, M-J. Fortin, and S. A. Cushman. “Effects of sample size, number of markers, and allelic richness on detection of spatial genetic pattern.” Molecular Ecology Resources. 12(2): 276-284 (2011).

Emel, S. L., and R. M. Bonett. “Considering alternative life history modes and genetic divergence in conservation: a case study of the Oklahoma salamander”. Conservation Genetics. 12(5): 1243-1259 (2011).