Evan McCartney-Melstad


I use genomic datasets and tools to answer questions in ecology and conservation that are difficult to address by other means. I am particularly interested in investigating how landscapes and seascapes structure and influence animal populations and the resulting implications for conservation. My research at UCLA involves gathering and analyzing genomic datasets to attempt to answer: 1) How do current and future energy development in the Mojave desert affect the federally protected Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and 2) What are the driving factors behind the extent and tempo of hybridization of the invasive barred tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium) with the endangered California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense). In addition to these empirical systems, I am work to improve genomic technologies and bioinformatics analyses to make them more applicable to large genome amphibians.

For more information, contact me at evanmelstad(at)ucla(dot)edu

Selected publications

Spinks PQ, Thomson RC, McCartney-Melstad E, Shaffer HB (2016) Phylogeny and temporal diversification of the New World pond turtles (Emydidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 103, 85–97. PDF

McCartney-Melstad E, Mount GG, Shaffer HB (2016) Exon capture optimization in amphibians with large genomes. Molecular Ecology Resources, 16, 1084–1094. PDF

McCartney‐Melstad E, Shaffer HB (2015) Amphibian molecular ecology and how it has informed conservation. Molecular Ecology, 24, 5084–5109. PDF

Shaffer HB, Gidiş M, McCartney-Melstad E, Neal K, Oyamaguchi HM, Tellez M, Toffelmier EM. (2015) Conservation genetics and genomics of amphibians and reptiles. Annu. Rev. Anim. Biosci., 3, 113–138. PDF

McCartney-Melstad E, Waller T, Micucci PA, Barros M, Draque J, et al. (2012) Population Structure and Gene Flow of the Yellow Anaconda (Eunectes notaeus) in Northern Argentina. PLoS ONE 7(5): e37473. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037473 PDF