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Laboratory of Holly Ernest

Holly Ernest

Holly Ernest

Holly ErnestHolly Ernest, DVM, PhD

Wildlife Population Ecology, Genetics, Genomics, and Disease Ecology for Conservation and Wildlife Health

Ecologist, Wildlife Population Geneticist, and Research Veterinarian
Professor, Wyoming Excellence Chair in Disease Ecology
Genomics and ecology of wildlife and their pathogens

Dedicated to:

  • Research to develop and apply latest technology in DNA science, disease diagnostics, and ecological & epidemiology statistical analysis toward health, conservation, and management of wild animal populations.
  • Educating the next generation of genomic scientists, applied ecologists, and wildlife veterinarians
  • Providing wildlife population health service and information

holly_ernest_cv_31oct2016 | LinkedIn



ORCID Researcher Page:



  • Ph.D. Ecology, with emphasis on Wildlife Genetics and Population Health:University of California, Davis.
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Cum Laude, Ohio State University.
  • M.S., Ohio State University, Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology.
  • B.Sc., Cornell University, Biology (Animal Science and Biology).



Holly Ernest in elk feed groundsInterdisciplinary applied and basic research in genetics, genomics, biology, and disease ecology for wildlife conservation and population health.

View publications.

  • Free-ranging species of conservation & management concern
  • Threatened and endangered species

Special interests in genetics and genomics for wildlife health and disease ecology: Population Genetics; Molecular DNA to reconstruct pedigrees (family trees) to reveal ecological relationships among individuals, kin groups, populations and disease distributions; Discovery of associations among genetic mechanisms, genetic diversity and evolutionary history and phenotypic diversity (phenotype is the composite of an organism’s observable characteristics or traits).

Special interest species: Mountain Lion, Pronghorn, Bighorn Sheep, Sea Otter, Black Bear, Hummingbirds, Great Gray Owl, Yellow-billed Magpie, Swainson’s Hawk, ticks, bugs, worms, germs.

Special interest diseases: Avian pox virus, avian hemoparasites (such as avian malaria), West Nile virus, Trichinella in bears and wild pigs, and others

Special interest regions: Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West, California and western North America, Mexico, Chile; South/Central America; global interests

See Research pages

Funding agencies and collaborators


Teaching and Education

Courses: Graduate student courses developed and taught:

Student Opportunities (Graduate, Veterinary, Undergraduate) – now in Wyoming!

Graduate student research and mentorship opportunities – now in Wyoming!

  • Engaging bright and motivated undergraduate, graduate, veterinary, and post-doctoral students who have scientific curiosity in the exciting and rapidly changing field of ecological genetics and wildlife population health.
  • Provide a collaborative, intellectually-challenging, and nurturing atmosphere. My aim is for students to grow their appreciation and talents in the art and science of designing and conducting studies involving DNA, ecology, and population health analyses of free-ranging wildlife.


Public and University Service


Holly Fine Scale Hummingbird Health WorkCurrent Projects


Professional Societies and Memberships


Master Bird Bander Federal U.S. permit (Hummingbirds)



Mailing address: Department of Veterinary Sciences, 1074 Snowy Range Road, Laramie Wyoming, 82070

Office Phone: (307) 766-6605