Adrienne I. Kovach, Ph.D.

Adrienne I. Kovach, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


My research focuses on the population ecology and conservation of vertebrates, with a focus on species of concern in the Northeast. I use multidisciplinary approaches, often integrating genetic and genomic tools with population and landscape modeling and the collection of observational and ecological data. I seek to address fundamental and applied questions about animal dispersal, population structure and gene flow, ecological adaptation, and occupancy and abundance monitoring. To date, I have worked with a diversity of vertebrates, including black bears, New England cottontails, tidal marsh and shrubland birds, anadromous fish, and Atlantic cod. I encourage my students to incorporate field, laboratory, and quantitative approaches in their research.


  • 1998 Ph.D. Zoology, North Carolina State University
  • 1990 B.S. Organismal Biology, University of Kansas

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Vertebrate Biology NR 655 

  • Wildlife Population Ecology NR 640 

  • Sustaining Biological Diversity NR 750  

Selected Publications


Walsh, J., I. Lovette, V. Winder, C. Elphick, B. Olsen, G. Shriver, and A.I. Kovach. 2017. Subspecies delineation amid phenotypic, geographic, and genetic discordance. Molecular Ecology doi: 10.1111/mec.14010

Walsh, J., W.G. Shriver, B.J. Olsen, M. Correll, T.P. Hodgman, C.S. Elphick, K.M. O’Brien, R.J. Rowe, and A.I. Kovach. 2017. Temporal shifts in the Saltmarsh-Nelson’s hybrid zone revealed by replicated genetic and demographic surveys. Conservation Genetics. DOI 10.1007/s10592-016-0920-8

Ruskin, K.J., MA. Etterson, T.P. Hodgman, A. Borowske, J.B. Cohen, C.S. Elphick, C.R. Field, R.A. Kern, E. King, A.R. Kocek, A.I. Kovach, K.M. O’Brien, N. Paul, W.G. Shriver, J. Walsh, and B.J. Olsen. 2017. Seasonal fecundity is not related to range position across a species’ global range despite a central peak in abundance. Oecologia. doi:10.1007/s00442-016-3745-8

Walsh, J., B.J. Olsen, K.J. Ruskin, W.G. Shriver, K.M. O’Brien, and A.I. Kovach. 2016. Extrinsic and Intrinsic Factors Influence Fitness in an Avian Hybrid Zone. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, DOI: 10.1111/bij.12837

Walsh, J., W.G. Shriver, B.J. Olsen, and A.I. Kovach. 2016. Differential Introgression and the Maintenance of Species Boundaries in an Advanced Generation Avian Hybrid Zone. BMC Evolutionary Biology 16:65, DOI 10.1186/s12862-016-0635-y

Amaral, K.E., M. Palace, K.M. O’Brien, L.E. Fenderson, and A.I. Kovach. 2016. Anthropogenic habitats facilitate dispersal of an early successional obligate: implications for restoration of an endangered ecosystem.  PLoS ONE 11(3): e0148842. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0148842

Walsh, J., R.J. Rowe, B.J. Olsen, W.G. Shriver, and A.I. Kovach. 2015 Genotype-Environment Associations Support A Mosaic Hybrid Zone Between two Tidal Marsh Birds. Ecology & Evolution, doi: 10.1002/ece3.1864

Walsh, J., W.G. Shriver, B.J. Olsen, K.M. O’Brien, and A.I. Kovach. 2015. Relationship of Phenotypic Variation and Genetic Admixture in the Saltmarsh-Nelson's Sparrow Hybrid Zone. The Auk. 13:704-716. 

Kovach, A.I., J. Walsh, J. Ramsdell, and K. Thomas. 2015. Development of diagnostic microsatellite markers from whole genome sequences of Ammodramus sparrows for assessing admixture in a hybrid zone. Ecology and Evolution. doi: 10.1002/ece3.1514

Coster, S.C., K.J. Babbitt, A.B. Cooper, A.I. Kovach. 2015. Limited effects of local and landscape features on fine-scale gene flow in two pond-breeding amphibians. Molecular Ecology 24: 724-758 DOI: 10.1111/mec.13062

Kerr, L.A., S.X. Cadrin, and A.I. Kovach. 2014.  Ecological and management consequences of a mismatch between biological and management units of Atlantic cod in U.S. waters. ICES Journal of Marine Science doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsu113

Fenderson, L.F, A.I. Kovach, J.L. Litvaitis, K.M. O’Brien, K. Boland, and W. Jakubas. 2014. A multi-scale analysis of gene flow in the New England cottontail, an imperiled habitat specialist in a fragmented landscape. Ecology and Evolution 4(10): 1853-1875 doi: 10.1002/ece3.1068

Brubaker, D.R., A.I.Kovach, M.J. Ducey, W. Jakubas, and K.M. O’Brien. 2014. Factors that influence detection of an endangered lagomorph in site occupancy surveys. Wildlife Society Bulletin 38(3):513–523 DOI: 10.1002/wsb.416

Kovach, A.I., T.S. Breton, C. Enterline, and D.L. Berlinsky. 2013. Identifying the spatial scale of population structure in anadromous rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax). Fisheries Research 141: 95-106. 

Kovach, A.I., T.S. Breton, D.L. Berlinsky, L. Maceda, and I.Wirgin. 2010.  Fine-scale spatial and temporal genetic structure of cod off the Atlantic coast of the USA. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 410: 177-195.

Adrienne Kovach
James Hall, Room 130
Durham, NH 03824