Karen Olson

Graduate Student
Dyche Hall

Karen Olson, a Florida native, completed her bachelor's degree at the University of Florida. As an undergraduate, she worked at the Florida Museum of Natural History with mammalogist David Reed on studies ranging from conservation genetics of the endangered Florida woodrat (Neotoma flordana smalli) to population genetics and historical biogeography of a miniature population of white-tailed deer (Odocoileu virginianu) from Cuba. Olson also participated in fieldwork in Namibia, Greater Antilles and Arizona as an undergraduate.

Olson came to University of Kansas with interests in applied conservation genetics, population genetics, and phylogeography of mammals in island systems. For her master's, she is currently working on comparative phylogeography of three co-distributed Philippine mammal species (Tarsiu syrichta, Haplonycteri fischeri, Bullimu bagobu) in the greater Mindanao island group of the Philippines. Since arriving, she has conducted a microsatellite study on the Philippine Tarsier (Tarsiu syrichta), participated in fieldwork in Mindoro, Philippines and Java, Indonesia, and been involved in several UCE projects.


Karen is researching comparative phylogeography of mammals in the Philippines using Next Generation Sequencing techniques.


Brown RM, Weghorst JA, Olson KV, Duya MRM, Barley AJ, Duya LV, Shekelle M, Neri-Arboleda I, Esselstyn JA, Dominy NJ, Ong PS, Moritz GL, Luczon A, Diesmos MI, Diesmos AC, Siler CD (in review) Conservation genetics of the Philippine tarsier: cryptic genetic variation restructures conservation priorities in an island archipelago primate. PLOS ONE.


B.S. University of Florida


Panorama 2014: $700
EEB Summer Funding 2013, 2014: $4,000


Organismal and Cellular Biology Lab Teacher

Major Field Experience: 

Philippines, Mindoro 2013: Biodiversity Collections
Indonesia, Java 2013: Biodiversity Collections