Biology ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-15-2016


The climatic and environmental fluctuations of the Quaternary played an integral role in geographic distribution and genetic structure within many organisms today. Understanding how these historical biogeographic events may have partitioned genetic variation throughout the landscape is critical to forecasting the implications of modern climate change and how animals will respond to projected climate shifts. Through geographic and taxonomically comprehensive sampling, we used multi-locus and species delimitation analyses along with niche modeling methods to investigate the evolutionary and biogeographic history of the meadow vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus. The findings of this study highlight the vulnerability and importance that special consideration and conservational strategies be taken to preserve peripheral populations that harbor unique characteristics. The dynamic evolutionary and geographic history of the meadow vole furthers our understanding of the important role Quaternary climatic oscillations played in the diversification and geographic distribution of organisms today.




phylogeography, species delimitation, multilocus, Pleistocene, peripheral populations, refugia

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Biology Department

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Joseph Cook

Second Committee Member

Dr. Michael Andersen

Third Committee Member

Dr. Stephen Greiman

Included in

Biology Commons