Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Mark A Davis
Title: Conservation Biologist
Mailing address:
1816 S. Oak St.
Champaign, IL 61820
Office address:
Natural Resources Studies Annex room 221
Champaign, IL 61820
Address mailcode: 652
Office room: 221
Location: Natural Resources Studies Annex
Phone: 217-333-6960
Fax: 217-333-6294


Conservation Biologist

Director, Collaborative Ecological Genetics Laboratory

Message to students:

Integrated DNA Technologies: 2016 Sustainability Award

Copeia: Best Paper in Herpetology 2014

Illinois Chapter of the Wildlife Society: Best Student Paper (Ph.D.) 2011

North Dakota State University Department of Biological Sciences: Outstanding Graduate Student Award 2004

Professional affiliations:

The Copperhead Institute - Scientific Advisory Board

Selected publications:

Collyer ML, Davis MA, and Adams DC. Making heads or tails of combined landmark configurations in geometric morphometric data. Evolutionary Biology.

Douglas MR, Anthonysamy WJB, Mussmann SM, Davis MA, Louis W, and Douglas ME. Multi-targeted management of upland game birds in midwestern North America: Population genetics at the agroecosystem interface. In Press: PLoS ONE 15: e0230735.

Katz, AD, Pearce, S., Melder, C., Sperry, J.H., and Davis MA. Molecular sexing is a viable alternative to probing for determining gender of the imperiled Louisiana Pine Snake (Pituophis ruthveni). Conservation Genetics Resources.

Kessler EJ, Barratt S, Ash KT, Larson ER, and Davis MA. 2020.Radiotelemetry reveals effects of upstream biomass and UV exposure on environmental DNA occupancy and detection for a large freshwater turtle. Environmental DNA 2(1): 13—23.

Smith CF, Schuett GW, Reiserer RS, Dana CE, Collyer ML, and Davis MA. 2019. Drought induced suppression of female fecundity in a capital breeder. Nature – Scientific Reports 9: 15499.

Evans NM, Carrozzino-Lyon A, Galbraith B, Noordyk J, Stoll J, Thompson A, Winden MW, and Davis MA. 2019. Integrated ecosystem service assessment for landscape conservation design in the Green Bay watershed, Wisconsin. Ecosystem Services 39: 101001.

South EJ, DeWalt RE, Davis MA, and Thomas MJ. 2019. A new stonefly species (Plecoptera: Perlidae) from southern USA, with morphological and molecular comparison to other taxa. Zookeys 858: 45—70.

Evans NM, and Davis MA. 2019. Theorizing human impacts into ecological restoration is not a slippery slope, but a toehold for reaching social-ecological resilience: A counter-response to McDonald et al. 2018. Restoration Ecology 27(4): 726—729.

Katz AD, Taylor SJ, and Davis MA. 2018. At the confluence of vicariance and dispersal: phylogeography of caverniculous springtails (Collembola: Arrhopalitidae, Tomoceridae) codistributed across a geologically complex karst landscape in Illinois and Missouri. Ecology and Evolution 8(20): 10306-10325.

Baker SJ, Niemiller ML, Ash KT, Stites AJ, Davis MA, Dreslik MJ, and Phillips CA. 2018. Evaluation of environmental DNA to detect Sistrurus catenatus and Ophidiomyces ophidoiicolain crayfish burrows. Conservation Genetics Resources DOI: 10.1007/s12686-018-1053-9

Evans NM, and Davis MA 2018. What about cultural ecosystems? Opportunities for cultural considerations in the “International Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration” Restoration Ecology DOI: 10.1111/rec.12714

Baker SJ, Anthonysamy WJB, Davis MA, Dreslik MJ, Douglas MR, Douglas ME, andPhillips CA. 2018. Temporal patterns of genetic diversity in an imperiled population of the Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus).Copeia 106(3): 414-420.

Niemiller, M.L., Porter, M.L., Keany, J., Gilbert, H., Fong, D., Culver, D.C., Hobson, C., Kendall, K.D., Davis, M.A., and Taylor, S.J. Evaluation of eDNA as a tool for detection and monitoring of invertebrates in groundwater habitats: a case study on the common Potomac Groundwater Amphipod (Stygobromus tenuis potomacus) and the federally endangered Hay's Spring Amphipod (S. hayi) in hypotelminorheic groundwater. Accepted: Conservation Genetics Resources.

Tiemann, J.S., Haponski, A.E., Douglass, S.A., Lee, T., Cummings, K.S., Davis, M.A., and O’Foighil, D. First record of a putative novel invasive Corbicula lineage discovered in the Illinois River, Illinois, USA. Accepted: BioInvasions Records.

Mussmann, S.M., Anthonysamy, W.J.B., Douglas, M.R., Davis, M.A., Louis, W., Simpson, S.A., and Douglas, M.E. Genetic rescue, the greater prairie chicken and the problem of conservation reliance in the Anthropocene.

Douglas, M.R., Davis, M.A., Amarello, M., Smith, J., Schuett, G.W., Hermann, H.W., and Douglas, M.E. 2016. Anthropogenic impacts drive niche and conservation metrics of a cryptic rattlesnake on the Colorado Plateau of western North America.

Davis, M.A., Douglas, M.R., Collyer, M.L., and Douglas, M.E. 2016. Deconstructing a Species-Complex: Geometric Morphometric and Molecular Analyses Define Species in the Western Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis). PLoS ONE 11(1): e0146166. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0146166

Levine, B.A., Smith, C.F., Douglas, M.R., Davis. M.A., Schuett, G.W., Beaupre, S.J., and Douglas, M.E. Genetic structure of the Copperhead (Viperidae: Agkistrodon contortrix) at its most northern distribution. Copeia 104(2):448-457. 2016 doi:

Davis, M.A., and Douglas, M.E. 2016 Crotalus viridis: a Species Account. In: The Rattlesnakes of Arizona.G.W. Schuett, R.S. Reiserer, C.F. Smith, and M.J. Feldner (Eds.). Eco Publishing, Rodeo, New Mexico.

Davis, M.A., Feldner, M., and Schuett, G.W. 2016. Crotalus cerberus: a Species Account. In: The Rattlesnakes of Arizona.G.W. Schuett, R.S. Reiserer, C.F. Smith, and M.J. Feldner (Eds.). Eco Publishing, Rodeo, New Mexico.

Davis, M.A. 2016. The Western Rattlesnake Complex: 200 Years of Intrigue and Change. In: The Rattlesnakes of Arizona. G.W. Schuett, R.S. Reiserer, C.F. Smith, and M.J. Feldner (Eds.). Eco Publishing, Rodeo, New Mexico.

Davis, M.A., Douglas, M.R., Webb, C.T., Collyer, M.L., Holycross, A.T., Kamees, L.K., Painter, C.W., and Douglas, M.E. 2015. Nowhere to go but up: impacts of climate change on demographics of a short-range endemic (Crotalus willardi obscurus) in the Sky-Islands of southwestern North America. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0131067. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131067

Barker, D.G., Barker, T.M., Davis, M.A., and Schuett, G.W. 2015. A review of the systematics and taxonomy of the Pythonidae: an ancient serpent lineage. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 175(1): 1-19.

Levengood, J.M., Smith, R.V., Gay, D.A., Davis, M.A., and Stafford, J.D. 2014. Mercury in shorebirds at migratory stopover sites in the Illinois River Valley. Waterbirds 3: 225-229

Sullivan, B.K., Douglas, M.R., Walker, J.M., Cordes, J.E., Davis, M.A., Anthonysamy, W.J.B. Sullivan, K.O, and Douglas, M.E. Conservation and management of polytypic species; the Little Striped Whiptail Complex (Aspidocelis inornata) as a case study. Copeia 201: 519-529

Levine, B.A., Smith, C.F., Schuett, G.W., Douglas, M.R., Davis, M.A., and Douglas, M.E. Bateman-Trivers in the 21st Century: Sexual Selection in a North American Pitviper. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 114: 436-445

INHS Publink:
Program affiliates:
Professional society involvement and activities:
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists

Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles

The Wildlife Society

The American Fisheries Society

Desert Fishes Council

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

Iowa Herpetological Society


Ph.D. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2012)
M.S. Colorado State University (2008)
M.S. North Dakota State University (2005)
B.S. North Dakota State University (2002)

Lab name: Collaborative Ecological Genetics Laboratory Lab research: Phylogenetics, Conservation Genetics, Population Genetics, Genomics, Environmental DNA Lab publications: Lab current projects: davis63

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