Dawn Reding

Dawn Reding portrait
Associate Professor of Biology

Office: Sampson Hoffland Lab 190A

Phone: 563-387-1700

Email: redida01@luther.edu


Education: Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Iowa State University; M.S., Zoology, University of Hawaii; B.S., Environmental Science, University of Dubuque

Dawn Reding is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department and teaches Principles of Biology, Introduction to GIS, Genomics, Vertebrate Natural History, and Marine Biology. Her research interests involve using molecular tools to address basic and applied questions relating to the evolution and conservation of wildlife.

BIO 151: Principles of Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity

An exploration of the diversity of life, its origins, and interactions among organisms and their environment. We introduce key concepts in evolution and ecology, provide an overview of the features of major taxonomic groups and their evolutionary relationships, and explore some of the practical and ethical implications of biodiversity. Through laboratory and field investigations, students develop their ability to make observations, analyze data, read primary literature, and communicate results.

ENVS 175 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

This course is an applied practicum in geospatial technology that fosters effective use of Geographic Information Systems. Students who successfully
complete the course will be able to create, manipulate, and manage geographic data to perform analysis tasks, to visualize geographic data, and to use geographic data analyses to support decision making.

Bio 247: Marine Biology

An introduction to the biology of coral reef and other marine environments of the Caribbean. Daily snorkels, SCUBA dives, and lectures introduce students to the identification, ecology, behavior, and conservation of marine organisms and environments. Students develop and complete research projects.

Bio 258: Vertebrate Natural History

A study of the classifcation, natural history, and distribution of the vertebrates. Laboratory emphasizes identifcation and field study of species typical
of this geographical area. Lectures stress principles of vertebrate biology.

Bio 356: Genomics

An introduction to the principles of genome science and the application of genomic data in diverse biological fields. We explore topics such as high-throughput sequencing technologies, genome projects, genome structure and function, genome expression and the transcriptome, and evolution and genome change. We also discuss social impacts and ethical implications of the increased use of genomic data, with topics ranging from direct-to-consumer personal genomics to paleogenomics. Students gain hands-on experience with some of the popular tools and databases available for bioinformatics analysis, as well as basic Unix and R coding. Students complete a semester-long research project to generate, analyze, visualize, and interpret high-throughput sequence data.

  • Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Iowa State University
    Dissertation: “Patterns and processes of spatial genetic structure in a mobile and continuously distributed species, the bobcat (Lynx rufus)”
  • M.S., Zoology with specialization in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, University of Hawaii
    Thesis: “Current and historical genetic diversity and structure in the endangered Hawaii Akepa”
  • B.S., Environmental Science, University of Dubuque

My research interests are broadly aimed at understanding how natural and anthropogenic forces a) shape patterns of genetic diversity in populations and b) influence the persistence and evolutionary trajectory of species. As such, my research is inherently integrative and draws on concepts and tools from the areas of population genetics and genomics, landscape ecology and GIS, conservation biology, and spatial statistics.

I primarily work with vertebrate study systems ‚Äď including mammals, birds, and reptiles ‚Äď and am interested in research from both a basic (i.e., testing and developing general biological hypotheses) and applied (i.e., conducting work relevant to conservation and management) perspective.

  • Reding DM, Casta√Īeda-Rico S, Shirazi S, Hofman CA, Cacellare IA, Lance SL, Beringer J, Clark WR, Maldonado JE. 2021. Mitochondrial genomes of the USA distribution of gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) reveal a major phylogeographic break at the Great Plains Suture Zone.¬†Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution,¬†doi: 10.3389/fevo.2021.666800.
  • Judson JM, Reding DM, Bronikowski AM. 2020. Immunosenescence and its influence on reproduction in a long-lived vertebrate.¬†Journal of Experimental Biology¬†223,¬†doi:¬†10.1242/jeb.223057.
  • Palacios MG, Gangloff EJ, Reding DM, Bronikowski AM. 2020. Genetic background and thermal environment differentially influence the ontogeny of immune components during early life in an ectothermic vertebrate.¬†Journal of Animal Ecology¬†89(8):1883-1894.
  • Hughes AM, Reding DM, Tucker SA, Gosselink TE, Clark WR. 2019. Dispersal of juvenile bobcats in a recolonizing population.¬†Journal of Wildlife Management¬†83(8):¬†1711-1719.
  • Holden KG, Reding DM, Ford NB, Bronikowski AM. 2019. Effects of early nutritional stress on physiology, life-histories and their trade-offs in a model ectothermic vertebrate.¬†Journal of Experimental Biology¬†222,¬†doi:10.1242/jeb.200220.
  • Sordahl TA, Reding DM,¬†Zhang Y. 2017. Window strike mortality records of birds in northeastern Iowa. Iowa Bird Life.
  • Gangloff EJ, Reding DM, Bertolatus D, Reigel CJ, Gagliardi-Seeley JL, Bronikowski AM. 2017. Snakes in the city: population structure of sympatric gartersnakes (Thamnophis¬†spp.) in an urban landscape.¬†Herpetological Conservation and Biology¬†12(2): 509-521.
  • Reding DM, Addis E, Palacios MG, Schwartz TS, Bronikowski AM. 2016. Insulin-like signaling (IIS) responses to temperature, genetic background, and growth variation in garter snakes with divergent life histories.¬†General and Comparative Endocrinology¬†233: 88-99.
  • Loveless AM, Reding DM, Kapfer PM, PapeŇü¬†M.¬†¬†2016. Combining ecological niche modeling and morphology to assess the range-wide population genetic structure of bobcats (Lynx rufus).¬†Biological Journal of the Linnean Society¬†117(4): 842-857.
  • McGaugh SE, Bronikowski AM, Kuo CH, Reding DM, Addis EA, Flagel LE, Janzen FJ, Schwartz TS. 2015. Rapid molecular evolution across amniotes of the IIS/ TOR network.¬†Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences¬†112(22): 7055-7060.
  • Refsnider¬†JM, Palacios MG, Reding DM, Bronikowski AB. 2015. Effects of a novel climate on stress response and immune function in painted turtles (Chrysemys picta).¬†Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology¬†323(3): 160-168.
  • Hiller TL, Reding DM, Clark WR, Green RL. 2014. Misidentification of sex among harvested bobcats.¬†¬†Wildlife Society Bulletin¬†38(4): 752-756.
  • Latch EK, Reding DM, Heffelfinger JR, Alcal√°-Galv√°n CH, Rhodes OE. 2014. Range-wide analysis of genetic structure in a widespread, highly mobile species (Odocoileus hemionus) reveals the importance of historical biogeography.¬†Molecular Ecology¬†23: 3171-3190.