Faculty Profiles

Rusty A. Gonser

Associate Professor

Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany

 Phone: 812-237-2395

E-mail: Rusty.Gonser@indstate.edu

Office:  Science Building 298

Research Interests: population genetics; conservation biology; herpetology.

Dr. Gonser's primary research interests focus on conservation of species due to loss of suitable habitat and continuing habitat fragmentation. More specifically, he studies proximate and ultimate aspects affecting population structure. This includes such factors as behavior, ecology, and evolution. Dr. Gonser is currently studying gene flow and genetic diversity of the white-tailed deer, Odecoiles virginianus. White-tailed deer have a large, ubiquitous geographic distribution and are important to the North American ecosystem, as well as the economy. He is investigating the genetic structure of a reproductively isolated population of white-tailed deer in southern Maryland using mitochondrial DNA sequence. This population was originally colonized from a few individuals from Virginia.

Dr. Gonser's previous work examined the genetic structure of the Puerto Rican frog, Eleutherodactylus coqui, using molecular and behavioral techniques. He found that coquíes from eastern Puerto Rico are distinctly different than coquíes from western Puerto Rico, indicating that the two populations have become isolated over recent evolutionary time. As part of this research, Dr. Gonser developed a technique for the use of amphibian toe-clips as important sources of genetic information (e.g. DNA sequence), which can be collected without detrimental effects on the population.

Selected Research Publications

Reprints for some publlications are available as PDF files. By accessing the PDF file, the user agrees to abide by all copyright laws and education fair-use regulations.

Stutchbury, B.J.M., Pitcher, T.E., Norris, D.R., Tuttle, E.M., and Gonser, R.A. 2005. Off territory forays and their relation to extra-pair fertilization success. in review

Gonser, R.A. 2004. Positive learning experiences: contextual software training workshops with pre-service teachers. Innovators in Education. Indiana State University Press, pp. 61-73. PDFDownload PDF (636 Kb)

Formica, V.A., Gonser, R.A., Ramsay, S.M., and Tuttle, E.M. 2004. Spatial dynamics of alternative reproductive strategies: the role of neighbors. Ecology 85(4): 1125-1136. PDFDownload PDF (3.04 MB)

Gonser, R.A., Moore, S.W., and Shimer, S.S. 2003. Mock job application and interview assignment that is adaptable for students at all levels of education. The Hoosier Science Teacher. 3: 76-83.

Gonser, R., P. Donnelly, G. Nicholson, et al. 2000. Microsatellite mutations and inferences about human demography. Genetics 154: 1793-1807. PDFDownload PDF (391 Kb)

Gonser, R. A. and R. V. Collura. 1996. Waste not, want not: toe-clips as a source of DNA. Journal of Herpetology 30: 445-447. PDFDownload PDF (118 Kb)

Gonser, R. A. and L. L. Woolbright. 1995. Homing behavior of the Puerto Rican frog, Eleutherodactylus coqui. Journal of Herpetology 29: 481-484. PDFDownload PDF (534 Kb)