• Ph.D., University of Michigan 2003
  • M.S. University of Minnesota 1997
  • B.S., Winona State University 1995


Areas of Interest

I am broadly interested in many topics in ecology, evolution and conservation biology. Much of my work focuses on amphibians as study organisms, though I also have studied freshwater fish, snakes, lizards and our campus squirrels. Current projects include: studies on the ecology and evolution of phytotelm-breeding frogs, investigations of natural selection and genetic drift in color polymorphic squirrel populations and a climate change mitigation (reforestation) project at Fern Valley Field Station. Other ongoing projects include a long-term monitoring study of the distribution and dynamics of Blanchard’s cricket frog and a long-term study of terrestrial salamanders and their pathogens at a local park.

Courses Taught
  • BIOL 100: Fighting Climate Change
  • BIOL 202: Gateway to Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • BIOL 203: Research Skills for Life Scientists
  • BIOL 311: Natural History of Vertebrates
  • BIOL 360: Evolution
  • BIOL 401: Junior Independent Study/Biostatistics
  • Lehtinen, R.M., H. Hartman*, B. Marlowe* and A. Rojas*. 2022. Evidence for negative impacts on terrestrial salamanders following invasive plant removal. Journal of Herpetology 56: 92–98.
  • Lehtinen, R.M., C.W. Gumpper*, K. Weiss*, L.L. Johnson*, N.G. Weltman*, M.N. Kellar*. 2021. Is second-growth rainforest good enough? Going beyond community composition. Biodiversity and Conservation 30: 781–796.
  • Lehtinen, R.M., B.M. Carlson, A.R. Hamm*, A.G. Riley*, M.M. Mullen*, and W.J. Gray*. 2020. Dispatches from the neighborhood watch: Using citizen science and field survey data to document color morph frequency in space and time. Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.6006
  • Lehtinen, R.M., F. Glaw, M. Vences, A. Rakotoarison and M.D. Scherz. 2018. Two new Pandanus frogs (Guibemantis: Mantellidae: Anura) from northern Madagascar. European Journal of Taxonomy 451: 1–20.
  • Hodson, E.E.* and R.M. Lehtinen. 2017. Diverse evidence for the decline of an adaptation in a coral snake mimic. Evolutionary Biology 44: 401–410.

    * indicates COW undergraduate co-author


Dr. Lehtinen has published over 60 peer-reviewed scientific articles with over 40 different COW undergraduate co-authors.