Katherine Silliman

Assistant Marine Scientist, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Address: Marine Resources Research Institute, 217 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412
Phone: 843.953.4580
E-mail: sillimank@dnr.sc.gov
Personal Website: https://ksilliman.weebly.com/

Ph.D., 2019, Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago

B.S., 2013, Marine Science/Biology, University of Miami

B.A., 2013, Music (Tuba), University of Miami

Research Interests

  • Population genetics
  • Resource management (predominantly fisheries management)
  • Development/use of molecular tools

Current research projects

  • Detecting invasive or rare species using eDNA
  • Using and developing molecular tools to aid in stock enhancement
  • Measuring hybridization using molecular tools
  • Screening for diseases using molecular tools
  • Utilizing metabarcoding to analyze diets

Past research projects

  • Estimating black bass hybridization and population structure
  • Examining the population structure of the Olympia oyster and its ability to adapt in response to ocean acidification
  • Evaluating the rate of genomic DNA substitutions across snapping shrimp species


  • Silliman, K., N. Lowell, S. Bennett, R. Crim, B. Vadopalas, C. Pfister, L. Hauser, & S.B. Roberts. In prep. Adaptive and plastic responses to ocean acidification in two widespreadmarine bivalves. 
  • Silliman, K., L. Spencer, S.J. White, & S.B. Roberts. Submitted. Epigenetic and genetic population structure is coupled in a marine invertebrate. 
  • Silliman, K., H. Zhao, M. Justice, W. Thongda, B. Bowen, & E. Peatman. 2021. Complex introgression among three diverged largemouth bass lineages. Evolutionary Applications 14:2815–2830. doi: 10.1111/eva.13314. 
  • Lewis, M., K.Silliman, S. Sammons, & E.J. Peatman. 2021. Failure of phenotypic markers to accurately identify black bass species and associated hybrids in Mobile River Basin, Alabama. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 41:1591–1601. doi: 10.1002/nafm.10673.
  • Silliman, K., J.L. Indorf, N. Knowlton, W.E. Browne, & C. Hurt. 2021. Base-substitution mutation rate across the nuclear genome of Alpheus snapping shrimp and the timing ofisolation by the Isthmus of Panama. BMC Ecology and Evolution 21(104). doi:10.1186/s12862-021-01836-3.
  • Bitter, M.C., L. Kapsenberg, K. Silliman, J. Gattuso, & C.A. Pfister. 2021. Magnitude and predictability of pH fluctuations shape plastic responses to ocean acidification. American Naturalist 197(4):486–501. 
  • Zhao, H., K. Silliman, M. Lewis, S. Johnson, G. Kratina, S.J. Rider, C.A. Stepien, E.M. Hallerman, B. Beck, A. Fuller, & E. Peatman. 2020. SNP analyses highlight a unique, imperiled southern walleye (Sander vitreus) in the Mobile River Basin. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 77:1366–1378. doi: 10.1139/cjfas-2019-0351.
  • Silliman, K. 2019. Population structure, genetic connectivity, and adaptation in the Olympia oyster (Ostrea lurida) along the west coast of North America. Evolutionary Applications 11:697. doi:10.1111/eva.12766. 
  • Silliman, K., T.K. Bowyer, & S.B. Roberts. 2018. Consistent differences in fitness traits across multiple generations of Olympia oysters. Scientific Reports 8(1):6080. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-24455-3. 
  • Hurt, C., K. Silliman, A. Anker, and N. Knowlton. 2013. Ecological speciation in anemone-associated snapping shrimps (Alpheus armatus species complex). Molecular Ecology 22(17):4532–4548. doi: 10.1111/mec.12398.