Jennifer A. Dever

Curriculum Vitae


Contact Information

University of San Francisco                                                 415-422-5481 (office)

Biology Department                                                                          415-422-2716 (lab)

2130 Fulton Street                                                              email:

San Francisco CA, 94117                                                      website: twitter: @jadever



Ph.D., Zoology                                                      

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX                                                   

Major Advisor, Llewellyn D. Densmore III          

Dissertation Title:  Examination of genetic structure in wild populations of Morelet’s crocodile

                                 (Crocodylus moreletii) in Belize, Central America.

M. A., Biology

B. S., Natural Resources

Ball State University, Muncie, IN


Positions Held

Director, PSM in Biotechnology, University of San Francisco, 2011-Present

Associate Professor, University of San Francisco, 2002 – Present

Research Associate of the California Academy of the Sciences, 2006 – Present

Chair, M.S. Biology Program, Fall 2003 – Spring 2013

Director, University Scholars Program, Fall 2007 – Spring 2013
Assistant Professor, Lander University , 2000 – 2002




University of San Francisco, 2002 – Present

Associate Professor of Biology


Courses Taught  

Conservation Biology – Fall, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, Spring 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003

Evolution - Fall, 2014, 2013, 2011 - Spring 2012

Herpetology – Spring 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, Fall, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003

Female Biology – Fall, 2012, 2009, 2006 and 2005

Principles of Genetics – Spring 2010, 2007, 2005, 2004 and Fall 2002

Principles of Biology I – Fall, 2010, 2004

Introductory Biology – Fall, 2010, 2003 and 2002

Molecular Biology - Fall, 2014


Guest Lectures  

Molecular Gastronomy (Chem 110), April 2011, Guest lectured on the fishing industry and conservation.

General Biology I, May 2006, Guest lectured on ecology.

Davies Forum “The Material Body: Medicine, Aesthetics and American Values”,

April 2005, Guest lectured on eugenics and ethics in genetics.

Honors Class, “Romanticism and Revolution”, November, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2004, and 2003- Guest lectured on

Charles Darwin and natural selection.

General Biology I,  November 2002, Guest lectured on Mendelian inheritance.

General Biology I, October 2002, Guest lectured on photosynthesis.

Curriculum Development, New Courses   

  • Developed a totally unique and new graduate program for the Biology department which combines both molecular biology courses with business courses for students who want to go directly into a career in biotechnology without going on for a Ph.D./post-Doc.
  • Biotechnology Internship Seminar – A one unit core requirement for the PSM in Biotechnology.  Students examine career goals and work on job acquiring skills (e.g. resume writing, cover letter writing, networking, interviewing).
  • Conservation Biology – An upper division course that emphasizes the principles of the emerging field of conservation biology.  Limited to Biology Majors, this is a field course and students organize and lead on-site visits to local conservation organizations.  Additionally it is a service learning course and students are required to complete 30 hours of service with a local non-governmental organization.
  • Female Biology- An upper division course limited to Biology Majors that examines the genetic, physiological, behavioral and evolutionary aspects of female biology.  This is also a service learning course, and students are required to complete a minimum of 60 hours of service work at local non-profit health-related organizations that cater specifically to women.  This course also contributes to the Gender and Sexualities Minor.
  • Herpetology – An upper division field course for Biology Majors that includes a survey of California reptiles and amphibians.  An emphasis is placed on evolutionary relationships, species diversity, morphology and physiology, ecological relationships and conservation aspects of this wide group. 
  • Introductory Biology – A lower division, special course that was designed by the request of the Biology Department to target incoming students lacking a science background.


Thesis Committees

Jessica Weidenback, Master of Science, Biology, 2011-2013

Tugba Colak, Master of Science, Biology 2006 - 2008                       

Lance Stapleton, Master of Science, Biology 2005 – 2007

Kristy Hinchman, Honors, Biology 2003 - 2004

Linqi Zhou, Master of Science, Chemistry 2002 – 2003


Lander University, 2000 – 2002

Assistant Professor of Biology


Courses Taught

                        Genetics – Spring, 2001 and 2002

                        Molecular Biology – Fall 2001

General Biology II, Fall 2001 and Spring 2002

                        General Biology I, Fall 2001 and Spring 2002




The main focus of my research deals with conservation genetics issues.  I am concerned with the genetic diversity of threatened populations and have been using molecular techniques (DNA gene sequences, microsatellites, and RAPDs) to determine genetic structure of populations and determine evolutionary history within and among species.  Using phylogenetic tools I am interested in identifying unique amphibian species.



Student Collaboration


Undergraduate Assistants                                                         


A. Gonzalez, 2014

W. Matt Wong, 2011-2012

Marla Lucas, 2011-2012

Baiyang Han, 2009-2010

Sabrina Cordona, 2009

Allison Fuiton - 2006 - 2008

Paul Bianchi - 2007

Victor Gabriel - 2006 - 2007

Zachary Lo – 2005 - 2006                                                         

Sharlene Mateo – 2005-2006                                                                          

Natalie Lowry – 2004 to 2005                                                        

Karl Takabayashi – 2004-2005

Michell Curtin – 2002 – 2004 

Tiffany Yim – 2002 – 2003


Graduate Advisees / Research Assistants

Hai Ngyuen, 2013-2014, PSM

Marissa Lafler, 2009 - 2011, M.S. completed

Ryan Peek, 2008 - 2010, M.S. completed

Joseph Poch, 2003-2005, M.S. completed

Sara Ramsay, 2003-2005, M.S. completed


Directed Studies – BIOL 498, Research for Advanced Undergraduates

Theresa Soley, Literature Review: Central American Porcupine Reintroduction - 1 Unit, Spring 2011

Lina Castro, Research: Conservation Genetics of R. boylii – 1 Unit, Fall 2004

Tiffany Yim, Research/Lit. Review: Conservation Genetics of R. boylii – 2 Units, Spring 2003

Michell Curtin, Research: Genetic Diversity of Belding’s Ground Squirrels – 2 Units, Fall 2002



  • University of San Francisco Faculty Development Grants – 2002 - present
  • Lander Foundation Grant – 2001 and 2002
  • Helen Hodges Scholarship, Helen Hodges Foundation – 1999
  • Best Student Poster Award, Texas Genetics Society, 26th Annual Meeting, 1999


Funding Proposals Submitted But Not Funded

  • NSF 04-23 Exploring the relationship between habitat quality and genetic diversity in a threatened frog species. (PI). 2006.
  • California Department of Fish and Game, Genetic diversity in a threatened frog species. (PI), 2005
  • NSF, Genetic structure and gene flow in an amphibian species of special concern: the foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii). (PI), 2005
  • Lily Drake Foundation, Inbreeding and disease susceptibility in Rana boylii (Foothill yellow legged frog). (PI), 2004
  • NSF, Genetic diversity and gene flow in Rana boylii populations of the Eel River and its tributaries. (PI), 2003
  • NSF, Examination of genetic diversity in two study organisms: captive-bred Red Pandas and wild populations of American Alligator. (Co-PI), 2000


Dever , J.A., and J. L.R. Rowley. In prep. DNA sequences reveal cryptic species within the Theloderma asperum species complex.

Dever, J. A., H. Nguyen, and J. Wilkinson. Accepted.  Rediscovery and rediscription of Theloderma phyrnoderma (Ahl, 1920) (Amphiba:Anura:Rhachoporidae) in southern Myanmar. Copeia.

Nunes, S., J.N. Weidenbach, M.R. Lafler and J.A. Dever. (2014) Sibling relatedness and social play in juvenile ground squirrels. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology November 21 DOI 10.1007/s00265-014-1848-y 

Dever, J. A, Fuiten, A.,Konum, O. and J. Wilkinson (2012). Cryptic Torrent Frogs of Myanmar: An Examination of the Amolops marmoratus Species Complex with the Resurrection of Amolops afghanus and the Identification of a New Species. Copeia 2012(1):57-76.

McVay, J. D., D. Rodriguez, T. Rainwater, J. A. Dever, S. G. Platt, S. T. McMurry, M. R. J. Forstner and L.D. Densmore, (2008), Evidence of multiple paternity in Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) in Belize, CA, inferred from microsatellite markers. J. of Exp. Zool.


Dever, J. A. (2007) Fine-scale genetic structure in the threatened Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (Rana boylii). Journal of Herpetology 41:(1)168-173.

Ray, D. A., J. A. Dever, S. G. Platt, T. R. Rainwater, A. G. Finger, S. T. McMurry, M. A., Batzer, B. Barr, P. J. Stafford, J. McKnight, and L. D. Densmore (2004). Low Levels of Nucleotide Diversity in Crocodylus moreletii and Evidence of Hybridization with C. acutus. Conservation Genetics 5(4):449-462.

Pepper C., T. R. Rainwater, J. A. Dever, S. G. Platt, S. T. McMurry, and T.A. Anderson (2004). Organochlorine pesticides in chorioallantoic membranes of Morelet's crocodile eggs from Belize. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 40(3):493-500.

Dever, J. A., R. E. Strauss, T. R. Rainwater, S. T. McMurry, and L. D. Densmore (2002). Genetic diversity, population subdivision and gene flow in wild populations of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) in Belize , Central America . Copiea 2002 (4):1078-1091.

Dever, J. A. and L. D. Densmore (2001). Microsatellites in Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) and their utility in addressing crocodilian population genetics questions.  Journal of Herpetology 35(3):541-544.

Professional Papers:  International, National, and Regional Conferences

Dever, J.A., and J.L.R. Rowley (2014). Multiple Species of “Bird-Poop” frogs (genus Theloderma) identified from Southeast Asia (Poster), Joint Meeting of the Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Lafler, M. and J. A. Dever (2011). Fine Scale Genetic Structure in a Sexually Promiscuous Ground Squirrel in the High Sierra (Poster), Society for the Study of Evolution, Norman, Oklahoma.

Peek, R. and J. A. Dever (2010). Landscape Genetics of Foothill Yellow-legged Frogs (Rana boylii) in Regulated and Unregulated Rivers: Assessing Connectivity and Genetic Fragmentation (Oral Presentation), Joint Meetings of the Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Providence, Rhode Island.

Fuiten, A. and J. A. Dever, (2008). New species of Amolops from Myanmar (Burma), (Poster), Joint Meetings of the Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Montreal, Canada.

Dever, J. A. (2006). The effect of habitat quality on genetic diversity in a riparian frog species (Rana boylii), (Oral presentation), Abstract, Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force Meeting, Humboldt State University.

Dever, J. A. and J. Poch (2005). Gene flow along the Eel River - and examination of Rana boylii using mtDNA & RAPD markers, (Oral presentation) Herpetology Group, UC Berkeley.

Dever, J. A. and J. Poch. (2005). Examination of genetic structure in a threatened frog species (Rana boylii), (Oral presentation) Annual Joint Meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution, ASN and SSB, Fairbanks, Alaska.

Curtin, M., S. Nunes, and J. A. Dever (2004). Mitochondrial variation of a Belding's ground squirrel (Spermophilus beldingi) population, (Poster) Bay Area Conservation Symposium, UC Davis.

Dever, J. A., L. Dueck, N. Dust and T. Glenn (2001). Gene flow between 'subspecies' of captive red panda - Bridging the gap, or burning the bridge? (Poster) Annual Meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Dever, J. A., D. A. Ray, T. R. Rainwater, R. E. Strauss, S. T. McMurry, T. Anderson, and L. D. Densmore. (2001). Ecological genetics and population structure of Morelet's crocodiles from Belize, Central America. (Oral presentation) 16th Meeting of the Crocodile Specialist Group, Gainesville, Florida.

Dever, J. A. and L. D. Densmore (2000). Examination of genetic structure and gene flow in wild populations of Morelet's crocodiles from Belize, Central America. (Oral presentation) Joint Meeting of SSE, SSB, ATB, ASN, Bloomington Indiana.

Dever, J. A. and L. D. Densmore (2000). Examination of fine scale genetic structuring in two contiguous Morelet's crocodile populations in Belize, Central America. (Oral presentation) 80th Meeting ASIH, LaPaz, B.C.S., Mexico.

Dever, J. A. and L. D. Densmore (1999). Examination of genetic structuring from mitochondrial DNA variation in Barred Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium) populations, (Poster) 26th Annual Meeting of the Texas Genetics Society, College Station, Texas.

Current research projects

  • Study of the threatened Foothill Yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii) in Mendocino National Forest, using molecular markers.  Research to be expanded into additional watersheds in California.
  • Population genetics study of Belding's ground squirrels near Yosemite National Park: using microsatellites to determine genetic structure and relatedness. Data will be combined with a long-term play behavior study.
  • Collaboration with the Herpetology Department at the California Academy of Sciences: Myanmar herpetological species diversity project to identify several new species from the genus Amolops recently collected in Myanmar .  We are combining morphological characters with molecular markers to identify cryptic species. 




Service to the Biology Department

  • Program Director, Professional Science Master's in Biotechnology Program, 2011 -
  • Chair, Term Faculty Search Committee for Biotech Program, 2012
  • Chair, Graduate Program, 2003 – 2013
  • Participant, Graduate Open House, 2003 – Present
  • Kessel Award Committee, 2010, 2011
  • Semester Award Committee, 2009, 2010
  • Creator and Organizer, Brown Bag Discussion, 2003 – 2006
  • Undergraduate Advisor, 2003 – Present
  • Adjunct Genetics Instructor Search, 2005
  • Phon-a-Thon, Admissions Office, 2003 – 2005
  • Major/Minor Fair, 2004, 2003
  • Search Committee, Molecular Biology, 2004
  • Search Committee, Microbiology, 2003
  • Member, Biostatistics Committee, 2003
  • Summer Advisor, 2003
  • Department Webmaster, 2002 – 2008
  • Faculty Site Leader, Service-Learning for Orientation 2006


Service to the University

  • University Scholars Program Director, 2007 - 2013, Develop and direct new program to increase retention of the Arts & Sciences University Scholar.
  • Co-Creator, Organizer and Implementer, Teaching Assistantship Workshop, 2003 – Present:  Assist in the development and presentation of an annual workshop for incoming graduate Teaching Assistants.
  • Member, Policy Board Committee, 2003 – Present, Executive Board Member (Secretary), 2007 - 2010
  • Science Grievance Representative, Policy Board, 2005 - 2007
  • Member, WASC Task Force, 2005 –2008
  • Co-Chair, Working Group Three, WASC Task Force Educational Effectiveness Review, Theme I, 2005 -2007
  • Member, WASC Steering Committee, 2004 – 2005
  • Member, University Life Committee of the Board of Trustees, 2004 – 2006
  • Mentor, New Faculty Member, 2005 – Present
  • External Faculty Search Committee Member, Physics, 2006
  • Service-Learning Site Leader, Student Orientation, 2006
  • Panelist, International Student Orientation, 2005
  • Participant, USF Allies Program


Service to the Community

  • Creator, Organizer, and Supervisor, Science Mentor Program for Economically Underprivileged Girls, 2005 - 2007
  • Member, Nature Conservancy, 2004 - Present
  • Member, Natural Resources Defense Council, 2003 – Present
  • Participant, Habitat Restoration Project Richardson Bay Audubon Center, 2003
  • Women’s Community Clinic Support
  • Fund Raiser, Hurricane Katrina


Service At Lander University

  • Co-Advisor for the Lander Association of Biology Students, 2000 – 2002:  Advised the Biology student organization, organized field trips and assisted in organizing Earth Day events, led campus cleaning activities.
  • Undergraduate Advisor
  • Member, Faculty Senate, 2001 – 2002
  • Member, General Education Committee, 2001 – 2002


Professional Service


Grant Proposal Reviewer

  • E.E. Williams Graduate Student Research Grant - Reviewed 16 proposals submitted by graduate students for the research award for the Herpetologist's League, March 2012, 2014.


Peer Reviewer

  • Herpetologica, A New Species of Stream Frog of the Genus Hylarana from the Mountains of Southern Mindanao Island, Philippines, January 2014.
  • Conservation Genetics, Testing for hybridization and assessing genetic diversity in Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) populations from central Veracruz, April 2013.
  • Journal of Herpetology, Body condition of Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from Northern Belize, September, 2011.
  • Genome Biology and Evolution, A massively parallel sequencing approach uncovers ancient origins and high genetic variability of endangered Przewalski's horses, March, 2011.
  • Journal of Herpetology, Mating systems and multiple paternity in the estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Dec. 2010.
  • Conservation Genetics, Rangewide phylogeography of the wester U.S. endemic frog Rana boylii (Ranidae): Implications for the conservation of frogs and rivers, Dec. 2009.
  • Journal of Herpetology, Analysis of the population structure of Broad-Snouted Caiman (Caiman laitrostris) in Santa Fe, Argentina using the RAPD technique, May 2005.
  • GENE, mNSC1 shows no evidence of protein-coding capacity, September 2005.
  • Molecular Ecology, Evidence for site fidelity and a recent genetic bottleneck in Crocodylus porosus populations from the Kimberly region in Western Australia, April 2004.
  • Ursus, Genetic variation and relatedness in grizzly bears in the Prudhoe Bay region, January 2004.
  • GENE, Reconciling the numbers:  ESTs versus protein-coding genes, June 2003.
  • Copeia, Genetic variability in Caiman crocodile and C. yacare, March 2002.


External Reviewer

  • NSF, Division of Environmental Biology Proposal, Population structure and genetics of keystone predators in fragmented habitats: Crocodylus acutus in Guanacaste, Costa as a model system, September 2013.
  • NSF, Biology and conservation of the turtle Podocnemis lewyana:  A case study (amount requested ($268,639), October 2004.
  • NIH, Population structure of Schistosomes and host snails, March 2003. 


Textbook Consultant

  • Book Chapters, Focus on Life Science, Glencoe Science McGraw Hill Publishers, 2005.
  • Phylogenetic Analysis, new edition of General Biology by Scott Freeman, Prentice Hall Publishers, 2004.





Member, Herpetologist’s League

Member, American Society for Icthyology and Herpetology

Member, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles

Member, National Professional Masters of Science Association