Ecology Department - Montana State University
310 Lewis Hall
P.O. Box 173460
Bozeman, MT 59717-3460
Tel: (406) 994-4548
Fax: (406) 994-3190


Elizabeth Flesch

Research Interests
I am interested in wildlife policy and research and have worked on wildlife projects internationally in New Zealand, Australia, and Germany, as well as in many locations in the U.S. for the National Park Service.  

I received a bachelors degree from Montana State University in 2012 and as a Ph.D. student at Montana State University, I work on bighorn sheep genomics research.  I analyze DNA from different bighorn sheep herds across Montana and Wyoming to learn how genomic information can potentially assist bighorn sheep management decisions.  Genetic research may be a useful approach for understanding factors that could impact productivity and restoration of bighorn sheep herds.  For example, genetic consequences of inbreeding in small populations can impact recruitment and local adaptations can influence translocation success.  To date, wildlife managers have moved many bighorn sheep across the Rocky Mountain West in an effort to provide new genetic diversity to isolated herds.  However, little is known about these herd’s genetics and the real impacts of translocations, and I plan to use new cutting-edge genomic research techniques to learn how populations have been impacted by these management actions.  This hypothesis-based research approach will serve to provide wildlife managers additional biological insight to help inform various management options for bighorn sheep restoration and conservation. 

Additional information regarding my PhD research is linked here.