Jacob Burkhart

PhD Candidate

212 Tucker Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211
jjbxb3 <at> mail <dot> missouri <dot> edu
Fax: 573-882-0123


Research Interests

My research interests span a broad range of ecological concepts (landscape genetics, population connectivity, conservation biology, and anthropogenic disturbance). Ultimately, my research seeks to answer questions about life history; particularly, how gene flow and habitat use shape species distributions and population connectivity at multiple spatial scales.

I graduated in 2013 from Central Michigan University with a B.S. in Biology – Natural Resources with a minor in GIS. As an undergraduate researcher at CMU (advisor: Brad Swanson), I investigated the population genetic structure of ringed seals (Pusa hispida). For this study we investigated whether or not bays had a strong influence on gene flow among populations by measuring genetic differentiation between breeding sites within Hudson Bay and throughout the circumpolar arctic.

For my dissertation research, I am working on a collaborative project between the Semlitsch and Eggert labs. My dissertation research investigates gene flow among populations of ringed salamanders (Ambystoma annulatum) at multiple spatial scales. The overarching goal of this research project is to synthesize information from studies on pond larval dynamics, juvenile dispersal, source-sink dynamics, and genetic structure into a better understanding of the life history and distribution of this under-studied species.


  • Burkhart JJ, Peterman WE, Brocato ER, Romine KM, Willis MMS, Ousterhout BH, Anderson TL, Drake DL, Rowland FE, Semlitsch RD, and Eggert LS. 2017. The influence of breeding phenology on the genetic structure of four pond- breeding salamanders. Ecol Evol. 00:1–12. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3060 
  • Ousterhout BH, and Burkhart JJ. 2017. Moving beyond the plane: measuring 3D home ranges of juvenile salamanders with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags. Behav Ecol Sociobiol. 71(4):59. DOI 10.1007/s00265-017-2284-6
  • Anderson TL, Ousterhout BH, Drake DL, Burkhart JJ, Rowland FE, Peterman WE, and Semlitsch RD. 2016. Differences in Larval Allometry among Three Ambystomatid Salamanders. Journal of Herpetology. 50(3):464-470. http://dx.doi.org/10.1670/15-178