Natalie Payne

Genetics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
Natalie Payne headshot

Natalie Payne is a PhD candidate in the Genetics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program at the University of Arizona. In her research, she integrates genomic data from viruses and their hosts to clarify how emerging disease threatens wildlife populations and, possibly, human societies. By conducting research at the intersection of wildlife conservation genetics and virology, Natalie desires to inform more comprehensive plans for recovery and survival of wildlife populations by understanding how viruses are shared in communities of wildlife hosts, how host population genetic factors shape communities of viruses, which host populations are most vulnerable to disease, and which specific viral disease threats are present. In addition, Natalie is interested in understanding the evolutionary histories of wildlife populations, as well as the genetic factors affecting their viability, and she studies a wide range of species from the Sonoran Desert and elsewhere, including Sonoran felids (bobcats, pumas, jaguars, and ocelots), Sonoran pronghorn, crested caracaras, and flat-tailed horned lizards. Prior to beginning her graduate career at the University of Arizona, Natalie received her BSc in Biology and Chemistry from Kentucky Wesleyan College.


Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation

College of Engineering 

College of Science Galileo Circle

Graduate College

Arizona Institute for Resilience

Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment & Social Justice

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences