faculty portrait if available
Cathy Newman
Assistant Professor
School of Sciences
CNSB 305
318-342-7921
ULM logo

Cathy Newman, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biology

Education

Ph D

2017, Biology
Louisiana State University

MS

2009, Biology
University of Alabama

BS

2005, Elementary Education
University of Alabama

faculty feature photo

Biographical Sketch

Cathy was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and she takes great pride in sharing knowledge of the rich biodiversity of the Southeast with its local communities and students. Cathy is first a teacher — she majored in elementary education at the University of Alabama and completed a teaching internship at a bilingual school in Mexico City. After discovering a fascination for evolutionary biology and amphibians, Cathy returned to her birthplace and completed a PhD at the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science, studying the phylogeography and population genetics of the southern red-back salamander. She joined the faculty at ULM in August 2017 and enjoys finding new ways to motivate students and keep students engaged during lectures.

Research Interests

My interests are in phylogeography and population genetics of amphibians in the southeastern US. My research integrates genetics and spatially-explicit GIS modeling to address questions about (1) the evolutionary processes underlying amphibian geographic distributions in the southeastern U.S., and (2) the effects of climate, landscape, and geography on phylogeny and patterns of genetic variation in southeastern amphibians. Current projects in the lab involve using traditional Sanger DNA sequencing and exploring cutting-edge methods in massively-parallel, next-generation sequencing to delimit species and investigate the evolutionary history of Coastal Plain salamanders.

Recent Publications

Spinks, P. Q., Thomson, R. C., Barley, A. J., Newman, C. E., Shaffer, H. B. (2010). Testing avian, squamate, and mammalian nuclear markers for cross amplification in turtles (pp. 127-129). Conservation Genetics Resources.
Newman, C. E., Rissler, L. J. (2011). Phylogeographic analyses of the southern leopard frog: the impact of geography and climate on the distribution of genetic lineages vs. subspecies (pp. 5295-5312). Molecular Ecology.
Newman, C. E., Feinberg, J. A., Rissler, L. J., Burger, J., Shaffer, H. B. (2012). A new species of leopard frog (Anura: Ranidae) from the urban northeastern US (pp. 445-455). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.
Spinks, P. Q., Thomson, R. C., Pauly, G. B., Newman, C. E., Mount, G. G., Shaffer, H. B. (2013). Misleading phylogenetic inferences based on single-exemplar sampling in the turtle genus Pseudemys (pp. 269-281). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.
Carstens, B. C., Brennan, R. S., Chua, V., Duffie, C. V., Harvey, M. G., Koch, R. A., McMahan, C. D., Nelson, B. J., Newman, C. E., Satler, J. D., Seeholzer, G., Posbic, K., Tank, D. C., Sullivan, J. (2013). Model selection as a tool for phylogeographic inference: an example from the willow Salix melanopsis (pp. 4014-4028). Molecular Ecology.
Feinberg, J. A., Newman, C. E., Watkins-Colwell, G. J., Schlesinger, M. D., Zarate, B., Curry, B. R., Shaffer, H. B., Burger, J. (2014). Cryptic diversity in Metropolis: confirmation of a new leopard frog species (Anura: Ranidae) from New York City and surrounding Atlantic Coast regions (pp. e108213). PLoS ONE.
Newman, C. E., Austin, C. C. (2015). Thriving in the cold: glacial expansion and post-glacial contraction of a temperate terrestrial salamander (Plethodon serratus) (pp. e0130131). PLoS ONE.
Newman, C. E., Austin, C. C. (2016). Sequence capture and next-generation sequencing of ultraconserved elements in a large-genome salamander (pp. 6162-6174). Molecular Ecology.
Krysko, K. L., Nuñez, L. P., Newman, C. E., Bowen, B. W. (2017). Phylogenetics of kingsnakes, Lampropeltis getula complex (Serpentes: Colubridae), in eastern North America (pp. 226-238). Journal of Heredity.
Newman, C. E., Gregory, T. R., Austin, C. C. (2017). The dynamic evolutionary history of genome size in North American woodland salamanders (pp. 285-292). Genome.
Newman, C. E. (2017). Survival of salamanders in a severe flood event in Louisiana (pp. N19-N23). Southeastern Naturalist.
Newman, C. E., Austin, C. C. Quantifying amphibian range fragmentation in the southeastern United States. Frontiers of Biogeography.
Wright, A. M., Schwartz, R. S., Oaks, J. R., Newman, C. E., Flanagan, S. P. (2019). The why, when, and how of computing in biology classrooms (pp. 1854). F1000Research.

Research Grants

Newman, C. E. (Principal), "Phylogenetics and genome evolution of woodland salamanders (genus Plethodon) in the US Coastal Plain" (Pending Funding Decision), Sponsored By Louisiana Board of Regents, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $20000. (November 6 2019 - Present).
Newman, C. E. (Principal), "Phylogenetics and genome evolution of woodland salamanders (genus Plethodon) in the US Coastal Plain" (Pending Funding Decision), Sponsored By Louisiana Board of Regents, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $15000. (October 28 2018 - Present).
Newman, C. E. (Principal), "Research Hub Mini-Grant: Phylogenetics and evolutionary history of woodland salamanders (Plethodon) in the southeastern United States" (Funded), Sponsored By University of Louisiana at Monroe, The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $1000. (January 2018 - August 2018).
Austin, C. C. (Principal), Newman, C. E. (Co-Principal), "DISSERTATION: Systematics and evolutionary history of the southern redback salamander: using next-generation sequencing with organisms with large genomes" (Funded), Sponsored By National Science Foundation, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $19,240. (June 2014 - June 2018).

Awards & Honors

July 2019 Jan & Gary Luffey Professiorship in Life Sciences.

Courses Taught

BIOL 1021PRINCIPLES BIOLOGY I LAB, 2 course(s)

BIOL 1022PRINCIPLES OF BIOLOGY II, 2 course(s)

BIOL 1023PRINCIPLES BIOLOGY II LAB, 4 course(s)

BIOL 2030PLANT ANIMAL FORM FUNCTION, 2 course(s)

BIOL 3002PRINCIPLES OF ECOLOGY, 2 course(s)

BIOL 3008INTRO EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, 2 course(s)

BIOL 4099SENIOR BIOLOGY SEMINAR, 1 course(s)

BIOL 5003ORGANIC EVOLUTION, 1 course(s)

BIOL 5005RESEARCH METHODS, 1 course(s)

BIOL 5006RESEARCH METHODS LABORATORY, 1 course(s)

BIOL 5007SEMINAR, 2 course(s)

BIOL 5024BIOGEOGRAPHY, 1 course(s)