Elisha Hull, Ph.D.

Elisha Hull picture

Position Title
Associate Adjunct Professor

2131A Meyer Hall


  • B.S., Biology, Dominican University of California, 1998.
  • M.A., Biology, Sonoma State University, 2002.
  • Ph.D., Ecology, University of California, Davis, 2007.

Research Interests

My research interests include conservation genetics, avian ecology and migration, and the conservation of rare and endangered species. Using a combination of field research and molecular genetic techniques I have studied numerous species of raptors (red-tailed hawks, red-shouldered hawks, Swainson’s hawks, Galápagos hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, Cooper’s hawks, great gray owls, merlins) primarily at study sites across North America in collaboration with the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory (http://www.ggro.org). In collaboration with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (http://www.fws.gov/sacramento) I am also studying several species of conservation concern including California clapper rails, vernal pool fairy shrimp, callippe silverspot butterflies, Shasta crayfish, and great gray owls. Current research projects include a population genetic analysis of North American subspecies of merlin, demographic monitoring of great gray owls using passive genetic techniques, and acoustic monitoring of California clapper rails

Graduate Groups


Current Graduate Students

  • Emily Abernathy, MS Program, Ecology Graduate Group. Expected Graduation Date: Fall 2017.
  • Ryan Bourbour, MS Program, Avian Sciences Graduate Group. Expected Graduation Date: Fall 2017.
  • Breanna Martinico, MS Program, Avian Sciences Graduate Group. Expected Graduation Date: Fall 2017.
  • Megan Mayo, PhD Program, Ecology Graduate Group. Expected Graduation Date: Fall 2017.
  • Joe Medley, PhD Program, Ecology Graduate Group. Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2017.
  • Shannon Skalos, PhD Program, Ecology Graduate Group. Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2020.

Selected Publications

Worthington T, J Van Houdt, J Hull, P Osborne, P Kemp. In press. Thermal Refugia and the Survival of Species in Changing Environments: New Evidence from a Nationally Extinct Freshwater Fish. Ecology of Freshwater Fish.

M Meek, C Wells, K Tomalty, J Ashander, E Cole, D Gille, B Putman, J Rose, M Savoca, L Yamane, J Hull, D Rogers, E Rosenblum, J Shogren, R Swaisgood, B May. 2016. We should not be afraid to talk about the effects of the fear of failure on conservation. Biological Conservation, 194, 218-219.

Casazza M, C Overton, T Bui, J Hull, J Albertson, V Bloom, S Bobzien, J McBroom, M Latta, P Olofson, T Rohmer, S Schwarzbach, D Strong, E Grijalva, J Wood, S Skalos, J Takekawa. 2016. Endangered species management and ecosystem restoration: finding the common ground. Ecology and Society, 21, 19.

K Tomalty, A Hull, A Fish, C Briggs, J Hull. 2016. Differential migration and phenology of adult red-tailed hawk migration in California. Journal of Raptor Research, 50, 45-53.

Lusardi R, M Stephens, P Moyle, C McGuire. J Hull. 2015. Threat evolution: negative feedbacks between management action and species recovery in threatened trout (Salmonidae). Reviews of Fish Biology and Fisheries DOI 10.1007/s11160-015-9394-x.

Bui T, J Takekawa, C Overton, E Schultz, J Hull, M Casazza. 2015. Movement of radio-marked California Ridgeway’s rails and implications for monitoring surveys. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management, 6, 227-237.

Meek M, C Wells, K Tomalty, J Ashander, E Cole, D Gille, B Putnam, J Rose, M Savoca, L Yamane, J Hull, D Rogers, EB Rosenblum, J Shogren, R Swaisgood, B May. 2015. Fear of failure in conservation: the problem and potential solutions to aid conservation of extremely small populations. Biological Conservation, 184, 209-217.

M Jasper, A Hull, J Hull, R Sehgal. 2014. Widespread lineage diversity of Leucocytozoon blood parasites in distinct populations of western red-tailed hawks with analysis of infection impact on migration timing. Journal of Ornithology, 155, 767-775.

Hull J, A Engilis, J Medley, E Jepsen, H Ernest, J Keane. 2014. A description of a new subspecies of Great Gray Owl in the Sierra Nevada of California. Journal of Raptor Research, 48, 68-77.

Hull J, A Fish, C Nikitas, A Hull. 2013. Development of a mechanical lure for use in trapping migrant raptors. Wildlife Society Bulletin. doi: 10.1002/wsb.317.

Deiner K, J Hull, B May. 2013. Novel microsatellite loci for assessing the evolutionary genetics of the vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi) and other Branchinecta spp. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management, 4, 134-138.

Hull J, S Pitzer, A Fish, H Ernest, A Hull. 2012. Differential migration patterns for five raptor species in central Coastal California. Journal of Raptor Research, 46, 50-56.

Bollmer J, J Hull, H Ernest, J Sarasola, P Parker. 2011. Reduced adaptive and neutral variation in the Galápagos Hawk, an island endemic. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 11, 143. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-143.

Hull J, D Mindell, S Talbot, E Kay, H Hoekstra, H Ernest. 2010. Population structure and plumage polymorphism: The intraspecific evolutionary relationships of a polymorphic raptor, Buteo jamaicensis harlani. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10, 224. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-224.

Hull J, A Fish, J Keane, S Mori, B Sacks, A Hull. 2010. Estimation of species identification error: implications for raptor migration counts and trend estimation. Journal of Wildlife Management, 76, 1326-1334. doi: 10.2193/2009-255.

Hull J, J Keane, W Savage, E Jepsen, S Godwin, J Shafer, R Gerhardt, C Stermer, H Ernest. 2010. Range-wide genetic differentiation among North American great gray owls (Strix nebulosa) reveals a distinct lineage restricted to the Sierra Nevada, California. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 56, 212-221.

Hull J, J Keane, L Tell, H Ernest. 2010. West Nile virus antibody surveillance in three Sierra Nevada raptors: Spotted Owls, Great Gray Owls, and Northern Goshawks. The Condor, 112, 168-172.

Whiteman N, V Dosanjh, R Palma, J Hull, R Kimball, PC Sánchez, P Parker. 2009. Molecular and morphological divergence in a pair of bird species and their ectoparasites. Journal of Parasitology, 95, 1372-1382.

Brown S, J Hull, D Updike, S Fain, H Ernest. 2009. Black bear population genetics in California: Signatures of population structure, competitive release and historical translocation. Journal of Mammalogy, 90, 1066-1074.

Hull J, H Ernest, J Harley, A Fish, A Hull. 2009. Differential migration between discrete populations of juvenile Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis). Auk, 126, 389-396.

Hull J, B Stroble, C Boal, C Dykstra, A Hull, A Irish, A Fish, H Ernest. 2008. Comparative phylogeography and population genetics within Buteo lineatus reveals evidence of distinct evolutionary lineages. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 49, 988-996.

Hull J, W Savage, J Bollmer, R Kimball, N Whiteman, P Parker, and H Ernest. 2008. On the origin of the Galápagos hawk: an examination of phenotypic differentiation and mitochondrial paraphyly. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 95, 779-789.

Hull J, J Keane, L Tell, and H Ernest. 2008. Development of 37 microsatellite loci for Great Gray Owls (Strix nebulosa) with cross amplification in Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis) and Barred Owls (Strix varia). Conservation Genetics, 9, 1357-1361.

Hull J, R Anderson, M Bradbury, J Estep, and H Ernest. 2008. Population structure and genetic diversity in Swainson’s Hawks (Buteo swainsoni): implications for conservation. Conservation Genetics, 9, 305-316.

Hull J, A Hull, B Sacks, J Smith, and H Ernest. 2008. Landscape characteristics influence morphological and genetic differentiation in a widespread raptor (Buteo jamaicensis). Molecular Ecology, 17, 810-824.

Pitzer S, J Hull, H Ernest, and A Hull. 2008. Sex determination of three raptor species using morphology and molecular techniques. Journal of Field Ornithology, 79, 71-79.

Hull J, W Savage, J Smith, N Murphy, L Cullen, A Hutchins and H Ernest. 2007. Further evidence of hybridization in Buteo: Swainson’s Hawks (Buteo swainsoni) × Red-tailed Hawks (B. jamaicensis) from Alberta and Utah. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 119, 579-584.

Hull J, D Tufts, JR Topinka, B May, and HB Ernest. 2007. Development of 19 microsatellite loci for Swainson’s Hawks (Buteo swainsoni) and other Buteos. Molecular Ecology Notes, 7, 346-349.

Hull J, A Hull, W Reisen, Y Fang, and HB Ernest. 2006. Variation of West Nile Virus antibody prevalence in migrating and wintering hawks in central California. The Condor, 108, 435-439.

Hull J and DJ Girman. 2005. Effects of Holocene climate change on the historical demography of migrating Sharp-shinned Hawks (Accipiter striatus velox) in North America. Molecular Ecology, 14, 159-170.