Dr. Marian K. Litvaitis

Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

College of Life Sciences and Agriculture

University of New Hampshire




I am a Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of New Hampshire. By training, a marine invertebrate zoologist, my research focuses on understanding the processes that are responsible for the biodiversity we observe in nature. To this end, I employ a variety of techniques including molecular approaches, as well as stable isotope analysis and enzyme-immunoassays; all in an effort to understand the population genetics, ecology and conservation physiology of animals.

Two specific projects in my lab focus on free-living, marine flatworms: one includes the systematics, phylogenetics, biogeography and development of polyclads (an ongoing collaboration with my former grad students, Drs. Marcela Bolanos and Sigmer Quiroga), the other focuses on the fine-scale population genetics of meiofaunal kalyptorhynch and proseriate turbellarians (a collaboration with Drs. Julian P. Smith III, Winthrop University, SC and Steve Fegley, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina, Morehead City, NC).

Additionally, I have a long-standing collaboration with Dr. John Litvaitis (professor emeritus, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment). While John focuses on understanding the population dynamics of species in fragmented habitats, my contributions include determining how fragmentation and landscape features affect the genetics and conservation physiology of populations.

To learn more about individual projects, please check out the Research link.

portrait of Marian Litvaitis
Lab News

Check out Ellie Daniels' publication from her MS work!

Congratualtions to Sarah Clements for receiving an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and for being accepted into the PhD program at the University of Missouri!

Congratulations to Rory Carroll for passing his qualifying exams and advancing to candidacy!

We received funding from the NH Agricultural Experiment Station (NHAES) to identify ecological and physiological drivers that affect bobcat distributions in northern New England. For more details see:

New UNH Bobcat Research Aims to Understand Why Wildcats Are Rebounding


To report problems or broken links, please contact m.litvaitis@unh.edu