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College of Natural Resources

Physical Address:
975 W. 6th Street
Moscow, Idaho

Mailing Address:
111 Perimeter Drive MS 1138
Moscow, ID 11111-1138

Phone: 111-111-8981

Fax: 111-111-5534

Email: [email protected]

Web: College of Natural Resources

Lisette Waits

Lisette Waits, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Resources and Department Head of Fish and Wildlife Sciences


CNR 103D



Mailing Address

Fish and Wildlife Sciences
University of Idaho
111 Perimeter Drive MS 1136
Moscow, Idaho 11111-1136


  • Ph.D. Genetics, University of Utah 1996
  • B.S. Genetics, University of Georgia 1991

Research Interests

Conservation Biology
Conservation Genetics
Molecular Ecology
Landscape Genetics
Endangered Species Ecology and Management

Gese EM, FF Knowlton, JR Adams, K Beck, TK Fuller, DL Murray, T Steury, MK Stoskopf, W Waddell, LP Waits (2015) Managing hybridization in endangered species recovery: The case of the red wolf. Current Zoology 61:191-205.

Spear SF, JD Groves, LA Williams, LP Waits (2015) Using environmental DNA methods to improve detectability in a hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) monitoring program. Biological Conservation 183:38-45.

DeMay SM, JL Rachlow, LP Waits, PA Becker (2015). Comparing telemetry and fecal DNA sampling methods to quantify survival and dispersal of juvenile pygmy rabbits. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 39:413-421.

Shaver I, A Chain-Guadarrama, K Cleary, A Sanfiorenzo, R Santiago-Garcia, B Finegan, L Hormel, N Sibelet, LA Vierling, N Bosque-Perez, ME Fagan, F DeClerck, LP Waits (2015) Coupled Social and Ecological Outcomes of Agricultural Intensification in Costa Rica and the Future of Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Agricultural Regions. Global Environmental Change 32:74-86

Lonsinger RC, EM Gese, SJ Dempsey, BM Kluever, TR Johnson, LP Waits (2015) Balancing sample accumulation and DNA degradation rates to optimize noninvasive genetic sampling of sympatric carnivores. Molecular Ecology Resources 15:831-842.

Mumma, M, CE Soulliere, SP Mahoney, LP Waits (2014) Enhanced understanding of predator prey relationships using molecular methods to identify predator species, individual and sex. Molecular Ecology Resources 14:100-109

2005 Teaching Excellence Award, University of Idaho
2006 Research Excellence Award, University of Idaho
2007 Environmental Science Faculty Excellence Award
2010 Donald Crawford, Graduate Mentoring Award, University of Idaho
2011 Excellence in Interdisciplinary Research Team Award, University of Idaho
2012 Mid-Career Excellence Award, University of Idaho
2014 Alumni Award for Excellence, University of Idaho
2015 Distinguished Professor, University of Idaho
2015 Arthur S. Einarsen award outstanding professional service, NW Chapter of Wildlife Society


My research in conservation genetics and molecular ecology spans four continents and includes collaborators from North America, Europe, Asia, Central and South America. A few examples are listed below:

  • Non-invasive genetic monitoring of gray wolves in Idaho, kit fox and coyotes in Utah, Sonoran pronghorn and coyotes in Arizona, pygmy rabbits in Washington, jaguars and other felids in Belize, Andean bears in Ecuador, brown bears in Italy, tigers in Nepal, 
  • Environmental DNA analysis of amphibians, invertebrates, and fish from water systems
  • Landscape genetic studies of bats and understory trees in a biological corridor in Costa Rica; wolverines in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, cougars in Idaho and Montana, amphibians in Idaho, rattlesnakes in Wyoming, bees in the Palouse prairie fragments of Moscow, Idaho
  • Red Wolf Hybridization; Manteo, North Carolina.
  • Genetic monitoring of the predators of caribou in Newfoundland, Canada.


The Waits lab focuses on developing and implementing molecular genetic methods for monitoring wildlife populations and for addressing behavioral and ecological questions. I have presented multiple workshops on conservation and landscape genetics in the US, Canada, Ecuador, Nepal and Europe to provide technical training to managers and students. Also, in the Laboratory for Ecological, Evolutionary and Conservation Genetics we provide a variety of genetic testing and analysis services and have hosted students from Armenia, Canada, Ecuador, Italy, Mongolia, Nepal, and Slovenia for technical training.

Contact Us

College of Natural Resources

Physical Address:
975 W. 6th Street
Moscow, Idaho

Mailing Address:
111 Perimeter Drive MS 1138
Moscow, ID 11111-1138

Phone: 111-111-8981

Fax: 111-111-5534

Email: [email protected]

Web: College of Natural Resources

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