Professor posing with equipment in a lab

About Dr. Ramstad

Ramstad Lab

Kristina Ramstad

Dr. Kristina M. Ramstad

Associate Professor

Organismal Biology and Ecology

Office : SBDG 219A

Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone : 803/641-3439

Fax : 803/641-3251

I am originally from Washington State and studied sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) in Alaska for both my MSc (University of Washington) and PhD (University of Montana) research. My postdoc work took me to New Zealand, where I spent eight years studying conservation genetics of kiwi before returning to the States and joining the faculty at USC Aiken. I am currently obsessed with the wading birds and steamy, mysterious swamps of the US Southeast.

Curriculum Vitae

Courses Taught

BIOL 122 – Biological Sciences II
BIOL 316 – Vertebrate Zoology
BIOL 350 – Fundamental Genetics
BIOL 352 – Applied Population Genomics
BIOL 520 –Swamp Ecology
BIOL 525 – Conservation Biology


B.A., Biological Sciences, Wellesley College, 1993.

M.Sc., Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, 1998.

Ph.D., Organismal Biology and Ecology, University of Montana, 2006.

Research Interests

Dr. Ramstad's work draws on genomic sequencing and field based ecological studies to address fundamental questions in the evolution, ecology and demography of at-risk species. She is particularly interested in the impacts of genetic bottleneck effects and inbreeding on population persistence, the effects of mating system on genetic variation, and applied conservation management, and has worked with a broad array of taxa, including salmon, tuatara, and kiwi.

Recent Publications

Schweizer, RM, N Saarman, KM Ramstad, BR Forester, JL Kelley, BK Hand, RL Malison, AS Ackiss, M Watsa, TC Nelson, A Beja-Pereira, RS Waples, WC Funk, and G Luikart. 2021. Big data in conservation genomics: boosting skills, hedging bets, and staying current in the field. Journal of Heredity 112:313-327. DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esab019

Shepherd, LD, AJD Tennyson, HA Robertson, RM Colbourne, and KM Ramstad. 2021. Hybridisation in kiwi (Apteryx; Apterygidae) requires taxonomic revision for great spotted kiwi. Avian Research 12:24. DOI:10.1186/s40657-021-00257-6

Ramstad, KM, GC Gibb, HA Robertson, RM Colbourne, EE Doran, and LD Shepherd. 2021. Recent extinctions among Little Spotted Kiwi (Apteryx owenii) and the origin of extant populations. Emu – Austral Ornithology Special issue: Conservation Genetics 121:23-32. DOI:10.1080/01584197.2020.1840926

Taylor, H, HA Robertson, AL Carter, and KM Ramstad. 2021. The conservation management implications of isolation by distance and high genetic diversity in Great Spotted Kiwi (Apteryx haastii). Emu – Austral Ornithology Special issue: Conservation Genetics. 121:10-22. DOI:10.1080/01584197.2021.1888126

Jia X-Y, Li W, KMRamstad, B Tu, and J Yan. 2021. Microsatellite records for volume 13, issue 1. Twenty-three novel microsatellite loci cross amplify and determine sex in two clades of New Zealand’s endemic kiwi (Family Apterygidae). Conservation Genetic Resources 13:107-109. 

Ramstad, KM and LT Dunning. 2020. Population genomics advances and opportunities in conservation of kiwi (Apteryx spp). Pages 493-521 in OP Rajora & P Hohenlohe (eds.), Population Genomics: Wildlife. Springer Publishing, New York, NY. 

Geary, AF, NJ NelsonG Paine, W Mason, D Dunning, SE Corin, and KM Ramstad.2019.Māori traditional harvest, knowledge and management of sooty shearwaters (Puffinus griseus) in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecologyspecial issue: Mātauranga Māori shaping ecological futures 43:1-7.

Taylor, HR, NJ Nelson, and KM Ramstad. 2019. The first recorded interaction between two species separated for centuries suggests they were ecological competitors. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 43:3361. 

Taylor, HR, RM Colbourne, HA Robertson, NJ Nelson, FW Allendorf, and KM Ramstad. 2017. Cryptic inbreeding depression in a recovering long-lived species. Molecular Ecology 26:799-813. DOI:10.1111/mec.13977. (Cover) 

Ramstad, KM, HC Miller, and G Kolle. 2016. Sixteen kiwi (Apteryx spp) transcriptomes provide a wealth of genetic markers and insight into sex chromosome evolution in birds. BMC Genomics 17:410. DOI: 


Taylor, HR, M Kardos, KM Ramstad and FW Allendorf. 2015.Valid estimates of individual inbreeding coefficients from marker-based pedigrees are not feasible in wild populations with low allelic diversity. Conservation Genetics 16:901-913. DOI:10.1007/s10592-015-0709-1.