Kristen Ruegg Assistant Professor

Office: Biology 306

Phone: (970) 495-2561


Curriculum Vitae:


  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley


We are looking for creative and highly motivated individuals interested in conservation genomics.  If you are interested, please e-mail me and include a CV and a brief description of your research/career interests and why you believe you are a good fit for my group.  In general our group focuses on understanding the mechanisms that generate and maintain species diversity in a changing world. We specialize in the application of genomic tools to address basic and applied evolutionary and ecological questions, such as: 1) How are genetically distinct populations connected across the annual cycle? 2) What is the role of migration in generating species diversity? And 3) Which populations will have to adapt most to keep pace with climate change? The methods we use are integrative, combining field-based behavioral studies, population genetics/genomics, and GIS-based ecological modeling. My main focus is co-directing the Bird Genoscape Project, a large multi-institutional effort to harness genomic methods for migratory bird conservation. I also welcome the opportunity to work with students and post-docs interested in a wide variety of research organisms. Please visit my lab research webpage for further details.  


  • Response to comment on “Genomic signals of selection predict climate-driven population declines.”Bay, R. A., R. J. Harrigan, W. Beurmann, V. L. Underwood, H. L. Gibbs, T. B. Smith, and K. C. Ruegg.Science , 2018
  • Ecological genomics predicts climate vulnerability in an endangered southwestern songbird.Ruegg, K. C., R. A. Bay, E. C. Anderson, J. Saracco, R. J. Harrigan, M. Whitefield, E. H. Paxton, T. B. Smith.Ecology Letters, 21(7): 1085 – 1096., 2018
  • Genomic signals of selection predict climate-driven population declines.Bay, R. A., R. J. Harrigan, V. L. Underwood, H. L. Gibbs, T. B. Smith, and K. C. Ruegg.Science, 359: 83-86., 2018
  • Characterization of SNP markers for the Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) and their relevance in population differentiation and genome evolution studies.Contina, A., R.A. Bay, V. L. Underwood, T. Smith, J. Kelly, E. Bridge, K.C. Ruegg.Conservation Genetics Resources, 1-6., 2018
  • Genetic assignment with isotopes and habitat suitability (gaiah), a migratory bird case study.Ruegg, K. C., Anderson, E. C., Harrigan, R. J., Paxton, K. L., Kelly, J. F., Moore, F. and Smith, T. B., 2017Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 8(10): 1241-1252, http://doi:10.1111/2041-210X.12800
  • Genomic islands of divergence or opportunities for adaptive introgression.Bay, R. A. and K. C. Ruegg.Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Series B, 284(1850): 20162414, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2016.2414, 2017
  • Mapping migration in a songbird using high-resolution genetic tags.Ruegg, K. C., E. C. Anderson, K. L. Paxton, *V. Apkenas, S. Lao, R. B. Siegel, D. F. DeSante, F. Moore and T. B. Smith.Molecular Ecology, 23(23): 5726-5739. DOI: 10.1111/mec.12977., 2014
  • A role for migration-linked genes and genomic islands in divergence of a songbird.Ruegg, K. C., E. C. Anderson, J. Boone, **J. Pouls, and T.B. Smith.Molecular Ecology, 23(19); 4757-4769. doi: 10.1111/mec.12842., 2014
  • Long-term population size of the North Atlantic humpback whale within the context of the worldwide population structure.Ruegg, K. C., H. C. Rosenbaum, E. C. Anderson, M. Engel, A. Rothschild, S. C. Baker, and S. R. Palumbi. 2013.Conservation Genetics, 14(1): 103-114., 2013
  • Understanding and estimating effective population size for practical application in marine species management.Hare, M.P., L. Nunney, M.K. Schwartz, D.E. Ruzzante, M. Burford, R.S. Waples, K. C. Ruegg, and F. Palstra.Conservation Biology, 25(3): 438-49., 2011