Katy Semple Delaney

EcologistNational Park Service

Senior Research FellowUCLA Center for Tropical Research

Phone: (805) 370-2386

National Park Service
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
401 W. Hillcrest Dr.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Research Interests

My research interests fit broadly in the category of conservation biology. Specifically, I am interested in how wild populations are genetically affected by isolation on land fragments, either actual oceanic islands or habitat islands caused by changes in land use because of human activity. Maintaining connectivity of the landscape and protecting land can decrease the negative genetic effects, especially in highly impacted Mediterranean climate regions like Southern California. I am currently working as an ecologist for the National Park Service in Santa Monica Mountains National
Recreation Area, where I conduct inventory and monitoring projects on aquatic and terrestrial herpetofauna and birds.

My past research projects have focused on diverse topics such as:

  • Writing a GIS-based land protection plan for the Santa Monica Mountains
  • Fine-scale population genetic structure caused by habitat fragmentation and
    urbanization in Southern California in wrentits (Chamaea fasciata),
    side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana), western fence lizard (Sceloporus
    occidentalis) and western skink (Eumeces skiltonianus).
  • Analysis of bobcat (Lynx rufus) scat DNA to assess the effectiveness of
    non-invasive genetic sampling.
  • Wildlife forensic analysis of intra-specific mountain lion (Puma concolor)
  • Phylogeography of Western and Island Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma californica and
    A. insularis).
  • Plumage color traits and sexual selection in Island Scrub-Jays.
  • Female mating behavior and paternity assessment in lek-breeding sage grouse
    (Centrocercus urophasianus).


Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (2003), University of California, Los Angeles.

B.Sc., Biology (1992), University of California, San Diego.


Delaney, K. S., Zafar, S. and R. K. Wayne. (2008) Genetic divergence and differentiation within Western Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma californica).  The Auk 125: 839-849.

Peer, B. D., Rothstein, S. I., Delaney, K. S. and R. C. Fleischer. (2007) Defense behavior against brood parasitism is deeply rooted in mainland and Island Scrub-Jays.  Animal Behaviour 73 (1): 55-63.

Delaney, K. S. and R. K. Wayne. (2005) Adaptive units for conservation: Population distinction and historic extinctions in the Island Scrub-Jay.  Conservation Biology 19 (2): 523-533.

Gibson, R. M., Pires, D., Delaney, K. S. and R. K. Wayne. (2005) Microsatellite DNA analysis shows that greater sage grouse leks are not kin groups. Molecular Ecology 14 (14): 4453-4459.

Delaney, K. S., Pires, D., Holder, K., Bardeleben, C. and T. B. Smith (2005).  Isolation of polymorphic tetranucleotide microsatellite markers for the black-bellied seedcracker (Pyrenestes ostrinus).  Molecular Ecology Notes 5 (4): 774-776.

Bardeleben, C., Delaney, K. S., Austin, J. and Moore, R. L. (2005) Isolation of polymorphic tetranucleotide microsatellite markers for the grey-headed robin (Poecilodryas albispecularis).  Molecular Ecology Notes 5 (1): 146-148.

Curry, R. and Delaney, K. S. (2003) Island Scrub-Jay.  Birds of North America, No. 713, pp. 1-16.

Semple, K., Wayne, R. K. and R. M. Gibson. (2001) Microsatellite analysis of female mating behaviour in lek-breeding sage grouse. Molecular Ecology 10 (8): 2043-2048.

Garraway, I. P., Semple, K. and S. T. Smale. (1996) Transcription of the lymphocyte-specific terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase gene requires a specific core promoter structure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 93 (9): 4336-4341.

Moulton, K. S., Semple, K., Wu, H., and C. K. Glass. (1994) Cell-specific expression of the macrophage scavenger receptor gene is dependent on PU.1 and a composite AP-1/ets motif. Molecular and Cellular Biology 14 (7): 4408-4418.

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Center for Tropical Research | UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
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