The Red Wolf: Disease, Genetics, and the Future

On October 23, 2018, the Wolf Conservation Center hosted a webinar with wildlife ecologist Kristin Brzeski, Ph.D. to discuss the history, controversies, and ecology of red wolves. Brzeski presented her research evaluating disease interactions between red wolves and coyotes, discussed the importance of genetic variation, and explained how a relatively unimportant debate regarding red wolf evolutionary origins has overwhelmed conservation efforts. Given current policy initiatives and a taxonomic review, Kristin also discussed future opportunities and hurdles facing red wolf restoration.


Kristin Brzeski is a new assistant professor at Michigan Technological University, having just started in the fall of 2018. Kristin conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University and her Ph.D. at Louisiana State University, where she studied canid and endangered species genomics. Kristin's research has focused on red wolf inbreeding and subsequent fitness consequences of reduced genetic variation in extant red wolves. In addition to her domestic conservation genetics research, Kristin co-founded a NGO focused on biodiversity conservation in Central Africa. She strives to incorporate burgeoning genomic and scientific tools into wildlife conservation and management, both at home and abroad.

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