Professor of Biology
Invertebrate Zoology, Evolution, Biodiversity
Spencer Hall 152 / ext. 3153


I study the evolution and development of invertebrate animals, focusing on cave biodiversity in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.

I have worked with students on research projects studying animals as varied as spiders, snails, millipedes, ants, isopods, beetles and clams.

I Co-Direct the Island Ecology Program, which takes place every summer.


(*indicates Sewanee undergraduate author)

Balogh, A., L. Ngo*, K.S. Zigler, and G. Dixon*. 2020. Population genomics in two cave-obligate
invertebrates confirms extremely limited dispersal between caves. Scientific Reports 10:17554.

Geyer, L.B., K.S. Zigler, S. Tiozzo, and H.A. Lessios. 2020. Slow evolution under purifying selection in the gamete recognition protein bindin of the sea urchin Diadema. Scientific Reports 10:9834.

Zigler, K.S., M.L. Niemiller, C.D.R. Stephen, B.N. Ayala*, M.A. Milne, N.S. Gladstone, A.S. Engel, J.B. Jensen, C.D. Camp, J.C. Ozier, and A. Cressler. 2020. Biodiversity from caves and other subterranean habitats of Georgia, USA. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies 82:125-167.

Zigler, K.S. and M.E. Yancey*. 2019. Mammals and Birds, in Encyclopedia of Caves, 3 rd ed. Culver, D.C., W.B. White and T. Pipan, eds. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 665-668. PDF

Leray, V.L.*, J. Caravas, M. Friedrich and K.S. Zigler. 2019. Mitochondrial sequence data indicate
“Vicariance by Erosion” as a mechanism of species diversification in North American Ptomaphagus
(Coleoptera, Leiodidae, Cholevinae) cave beetles. Subterranean Biology 29:35-57.

Yancey, M.E.*, N.C. Mann, M.A. Milne and K.S. Zigler. 2018. Egg sacs of Liocranoides Keyserling, 1881 (Araneae: Zoropsidae) cave spiders. Journal of Arachnology 46:553-556.

Niemiller, M.L., K.S. Zigler, K.A. Ober, E.T. Carter, A.S. Engel, G. Moni, T.K. Philips and C.D.R. Stephen. 2017. Rediscovery and conservation status of six short-range endemic Pseudanophthalmus cave beetles (Carabidae: Trechini). Insect Conservation and Diversity 10:495-501.

Niemiller, M.L., K.S. Zigler, P.B. Hart, B.R. Kuhajda, J.W. Armbruster, B.N. Ayala* and A.S. Engel. 2016. First record of a stygobiotic fish (Percopsiformes: Amblyopsidae: Typhlichthys) from the Appalachians karst region in the eastern United States. Subterranean Biology 20:39-50. PDF

Christman, M.C., D.H. Doctor, M.L. Niemiller, D.J. Weary, J.A. Young, K.S. Zigler and D.C. Culver. 2016. Predicting the occurrence of cave-inhabiting fauna based on features of the Earth surface environment. PLOS One 11:e0160408. PDF

Carver, L.M.*, P. Perlaky, A. Cressler and K.S. Zigler. 2016. Reproductive seasonality in Nesticus (Araneae: Nesticidae) cave spiders. PLOS One 11:e0156751. PDF‌

Niemiller, M.L., K.S. Zigler, C.D.R. Stephen, E.T. Carter, A.T. Paterson, S.J. Taylor and A.S. Engel. 2016. Vertebrate fauna in caves of eastern Tennessee within the Appalachians karst region, USA. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies 78:1-24. PDF

Joca, L.K.*, V.L. Leray*, K.S. Zigler and R.C. Brusca. 2015. A new host and reproduction at small size for the “Snapper-Choking Isopod” Cymothoa excisa (Isopoda: Cymothoidae). Journal of Crustacean Biology 35:292-294. PDF‌

Speiser, D.I., M.S. Pankey, A.K. Zaharoff, B.A. Battelle, H.D. Bracken-Grissom, J.W. Breinholt, S.M. Bybee, T.W. Cronin, A. Garm, A.R. Lindgren, N.H. Patel, M.L. Porter, M.E. Protas, A.S. Rivera, J.M. Serb, K.S. Zigler, K.A. Crandall and T.H. Oakley. 2014. Using Phylogenetically-Informed Annotation (PIA) to search for light-interacting genes in transcriptomes of non-model organisms. BMC Bioinformatics 15:350. PDF

Zigler, K.S., M.L. Niemiller and D.B. Fenolio. 2014. Cave Biodiversity of the Southern Cumberland Plateau. National Speleological Society Convention Guidebook pp. 159-163. PDF

Niemiller, M.L., K.S. Zigler and D.B. Fenolio. 2013. “Cave Life of TAG: A Guide to Commonly Encountered Species in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.” Published by the Biology Section of the National Speleological Society. 45 pp. ISBN 978-0-9893899-1-4.

You can find a complete list of my publications here.