Conservation Genetics

Since my arrival at UCF in 2005, one focus of my population genetics research has been on applying population genetic principles to species of conservation concern.  Several of my graduate students have conducted research projects investigating how genetics can be applied to help conserve particular species.

Kim Arnaldi, a past master student, completed a project investigating the genetic diversity of restored oyster reefs in the Indian River Lagoon.


Kimberly G. Arnaldi**, Linda J. Walters, and Eric A. Hoffman. 2018. Effects of time and harvest on genetic diversity of natural and restored oyster reefs. Restoration Ecology, 10.1111/rec.12672.



One interesting aspect of my Conservation Genetics research has been to investigate how the isolation and habitat destruction that has taken place in the Florida Keys has impacted species endemic to the Lower Florida Keys.

Luke Chandler, a past undergraduate in Hoffman lab, recently completed a project about sea urchins in the keys:

Luke M. Chandler*, Linda J. Walters, William C. Sharp, and Eric A. Hoffman. 2017. Genetic structure of natural and broodstock populations of the long-spined sea urchin, Diadema antillarum, throughout the Florida Keys. Bulletin of Marine Science, 93:881-889.

Read about his research here.




More recent studies of Key Deer and Torch Key Raccoons were recently completed by Vicki Villanova and Alexa Trujillo:

Vicki L. Villanova**, Phillip T. Hughes, and Eric A. Hoffman. 2017. Genetic structure and demographic analysis of Key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium). Conservation Genetics.



Trujillo, A. L.*, & Hoffman, E. A. 2017. Uncovering discordance between taxonomy and evolutionary history in Florida raccoons. Systematics and Biodiversity15(1), 74-85.



A past student Rosanna, looked at marsh rabbits in the Keys.  Read about the “playboy bunnies”  here or here.

Tursi, Rosanna M.**, Phillip T. Hughes, and Eric A. Hoffman. 2012. Taxonomy versus phylogeny: Phylogeography of marsh rabbits without hopping to conclusions. Diversity and Distributions 19:120-133


Additionally, I collaborate with Dr. Anna Savage on numerous projects regarding conservation genetics. Here is a recent publication investigating amphibian populations in the southeastern US.

Ariel A. Horner, Eric A. Hoffman, Matthew R. Tye, Tyler D. Hether**, and Anna E. Savage. 2017. Cryptic chytridiomycosis linked to climate and genetic variation in amphibian populations of the southeastern United States. PLoS ONE 4:e0175843