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ISU Panorama. Photo by Chuck Peterson.


Kathryn Turner Portrait

Kathryn Turner, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Ecological Genomics & Invasion Biology

Office: Life Sciences 441 & 432

(208) 282-4918


Curriculum Vitae

Kathryn G Turner



My research focuses on evolutionary ecology and invasion biology. I combine experimental, genomic, ancient DNA, and geo-referenced distribution data to investigate plant ecological genetics, particularly rapid adaptation to novel environments and the evolution of ecologically important traits. I am particularly interested in testing ecological-evolutionary theories that attempt to explain successful range expansion.


2015, Ph.D., University of British Columbia
2005, B.S., University of Texas
2005, B.A., University of Texas

Biographical Sketch

My particular focus is the ecological interactions and evolutionary feedback between humans and plants, which affects humanity at individual and global scales. I wish to contribute (and to train future scientists to contribute) to our understanding of range expansion and rapid adaptation to novel environments (both abiotic and biotic) in anthropogenic contexts.


Rosche, C., Hensen, I., Schaar, A., …Turner KG, …Shah, M. A. (2019). Climate outweighs native vs. nonnative range-effects for genetics and common garden performance of a cosmopolitan weed. Ecological Monographs, e01386. doi: 10.1002/ecm.1386

Monroe JG, Gill B, Turner KG, McKay JK. Drought regimens predict life history strategies in Heliophila. New Phytologist. https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/nph.15919

Turner KG, Huang DI, Cronk QCB, Rieseberg LH. 2018. Homogenization of populations in the wildflower Texas bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis). Journal of Heredity 109: 152–161. https://doi.org/10.1093/jhered/esx094

Turner KG, Nurkowski KA, Rieseberg LH. 2017. Gene expression and drought response in an invasive thistle. Biological Invasions 19(3), 875-893, doi:10.1007/s10530-016-1308-x

Turner KG, Fréville H, Rieseberg LH. 2015. Adaptive plasticity and niche expansion in an invasive thistle. Ecology and Evolution, DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1599. Turner KG, Hufbauer RA, Rieseberg LH. 2014. Rapid evolution of an invasive weed. New Phytologist 202: 309–321. DOI: 10.1111/nph.12634.