UI Center for Research on Invasive Species and Small Populations UI Center for Research on Invasive Species and Small Populations University of Idaho College of Natural Resources University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Image Map


Laboratory for Ecological, Evolutionary, and Conservation (LEECG)

LEECG focuses on the genetic analysis of a variety of plant and animal species. LEECG researchers are currently involved with species ranging from bears and red wolves to trout and sturgeon to willows and whitebark pine. Because all faculty at the College of Natural Resources are welcome to use the LEECG facilities, the list of possible study species is endless.

Genetic data from these species is analyzed for a number of purposes; the core goals of the LEECG are listed below.

  • Conservation and management of rare and endangered species
  • Biodiversity assessment
  • Phylogenetic Analysis
  • Genetic analysis of natural populations
  • Non-invasive sampling techniques
  • Molecular approaches to breeding & pathology

CRISSP makes use of the LEECG, a fully-equipped core facility located in the College of Natural Resources on the University of Idaho Campus in Moscow. In conjunction with cooperating laboratories, the LEECG is equipped to perform all types of genetic analysis.

Researcher at the Laboratory for Conservation and Ecological Genetics (LCEG)The facility centers around an ABI 3130xl Automated Sequencer (Applied Biosystems), with additional sequencing and fragment analysis capacity provided by an ABI Prism 377 Automated Sequencer. These devices enable us to generate DNA sequence and fragment data rapidly in a digital format for easy analysis.

The LEECG also includes a Genetic Data Analysis Center where top-of-the-line computers are used for sequence verification, fragment analysis, paternity testing, species identification, population size estimation, individual identification, gene flow quantification, phylogenetic analysis, and other ecological and conservation genetic tasks.

In addition, the Laboratory maintains a relatively standard array of molecular biology equipment including: five thermocyclers, four centrifuges, water baths, shakers, spectrophotometer, multiple gel rigs, digital gel documentation camera with trans-illuminator, balances, pH meter, fluorometer, vacuum and other ovens, and sample storage facilities (ultracold and regular freezers, and refrigerators). The university maintains a state of the art greenhouse complex, with space available for plant cultivation. A full-time core lab manager maintains and schedules the sequencers, and provides training to undergraduate and graduate students, new faculty, and visiting scientists.

The LEECG offers services in species identification, DNA sequencing, larvae sampling, and fecal samples. For more information on the process and cost, please email Dr. Cort Anderson.

L.C. Erickson Weed Diagnostics and Invasive Plant Mapping Laboratory

Want help getting your plants identified and controlled? The weed diagnostic lab identifies, tracks and surveys for invasive plant species and also gives control recommendations to public, private and government entities. Read the guidelines and then submit a request to have your weeds identified by mail or online. Just visit the website. It’s easy and free!


Over 1,500 plants and over 1,400 weeds are in the plant collection. More than 5,000 plants have been identified since 1984. Many new species have been found including 27 species not previously known in the northwest, 50 species not documented in Idaho, and 35 species new to counties in Idaho.

closeup of yellow starthistle blossom

Yellow Starthistle is a common invasive plant in northern Idaho. Photo by Rachel Winston



Please email Dr. Timothy Prather.