Featured Faculty: Foundation Professor Marjorie Matocq


Through the Campaign for the New Nevada, donors have supported the research and instructional efforts of our faculty through endowed faculty positions and programming and research support. We are proud to feature donor-supported faculty who have inspired their students and pursued high-impact research designed to improve lives around the globe.


 woman standing in front of Fleischmann Ag building Photo: Natural Resources and Environmental Science Professor Marjorie Matocq was named a 2019 Foundation Professor for her work on population and evolutionary genetics. (Photo by Theresa Danna)

Marjorie Matocq, professor of natural resources and environmental science, grew up in the Lake Tahoe area and has always been interested in western landscapes and the biodiversity of this region. She accepted the position with the University because she knew this would be a prime location for her research.

Foundation Professor Marjorie Matocq on the the support she has received at the University:


“I’m a mother, a spouse, a daughter, a sister, a teacher, a researcher, and a mentor. The University has given me the space to be all of those things at once.”


Learn more about the research performed by Marjorie Matocq.

Matocq’s work focuses on identifying the ecological and evolutionary processes that generate and maintain biodiversity. She combines intensive fieldwork with cutting-edge genomic analyses to identify how animals are adapted to the range of environmental variation they experience in the wild.

Matocq works closely with natural resource agencies in the local region to identify how animals such as kangaroo mice, pygmy rabbits, woodrats, bighorn sheep and black bears use and move through the landscape. She said, “By identifying the habitat and movement needs of these species, we can plan development in a way that minimizes impact on the ecology and evolution of these animals.”

Matocq feels that being named a Foundation Professor shows that the University values the way her work contributes to the institution’s land grant mission.

As a first-generation American and a first-generation college graduate, she’s proud to be part of the University and said, “I’m a mother, a spouse, a daughter, a sister, a teacher, a researcher, and a mentor. The University has given me the space to be all of those things at once.”

Matocq has received numerous awards, including the 2018 Nevada Women’s Fund Woman of Achievement Award, the 2018 Jenkins Graduate Education and Mentorship Award, the 2017 Outstanding Researcher of the Year Award, the 2015 Vada Trimble Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award, and the 2015 University Distinguished Outreach Faculty Award.

Learn more about the research performed by Marjorie Matocq.

What is a Foundation Professor?

Three Foundation Professors are selected annually to recognize tenured professors who have a record of excellence as teachers and scholars, have risen to national prominence, and have demonstrated records of service to the University, as well as promise of continued achievement. Awardees are provided a $5,000 annual stipend for three years, and the awardee holds the honorific in perpetuity. All Foundation Professors also receive a medal of distinction to complement their regalia. The stipend and the medal of distinction are funded by the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation, whose sole purpose is providing a mechanism for charitable donations to benefit the University and the community it serves. The Foundation is currently engaged in the campaign Building What Comes Next: The Campaign for the New Nevada to raise $500 million for the University to provide financial support to our student and faculty.


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