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Hsiu-Ping Liu, Ph.D.


Director Center for Advanced STEM Education

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Campus Box 24

P.O. Box 173362

Denver, CO 80217-3362

Office: Science 2039


Phone: 303-615-0221 Fax: 720-778-5703



Ph. D., Department of Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1994.

M.S., Institute of Fisheries Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, 1988.

B.S., with Honors, Department of Aquaculture, National Taiwan University of Marine Science and Technology, Keelung, Taiwan, 1986.



 BIO3020 Laboratory Techniques

BIO3600 General Genetics

BIO3610 Genetics: Principle and Analysis

BIO4850 Evolution



My research focuses on the evolution and conservation genetics of hydrobiids.  Hydrobiids are the largest group of freshwater mollusks, comprising more than 400 recent and fossil genera and several thousand extant species.  These snails are ideal subjects for studies of evolution and biogeography because of their diversity, antiquity, and linkage with drainage systems. 


I am a strong advocate for providing students with research opportunities.  I believe the undergraduate research experience is valuable for academic development particularly for those who are going on to graduate school and professional school. Most students have very little idea of the nature of scientific research until they actually participate in a research project. When involving students in a research project, I believe it is essential to guide them selecting an appropriate project based on their interests and schedule, to teach them all the essential skills both technical and nontechnical needed to complete a project, and to encourage them to present their research results. 


Publications (Published in referred journals in the last five years, highlighted are MSU Denver students)

Hershler, R, Liu, H.-P., and Howard, J. 2014. Springsnails: a new conservation focus in Western North America. Bioscience.

Hershler, R., Ratcliffe, V., Liu, H.-P., Lang, B, and Hay, C. 2014. Taxonomic revision of the Pyrgulopsis gilae (Caenogastropoda, Hydrobiidae) species complex, with descriptions of two new species from the Gila River basin, New Mexico. ZooKeys, 429: 69-85.

Hershler, R., Landye, J.J., Liu, H.-P., De la Maza-Benignos, M., Carson, E.W. 2014. New species and records of Chihuahuan Desert springsnails, with a new combination for Tryonia bruneiWestern North American Naturalist, 74(1): 47-65.

Liu, H.-P., Hershler, R.  2014.  Microsatellite primers for a western North American springsnail (Pyrgulopsis robusta): evidence for polyploidy and cross-amplification in P. bruneauensisJournal of Molluscan Studies, 80(1): 107-110.

Hershler, R., Liu, H.-P., and Bradford, C. 2013. Systematics of a widely distributed western North American springsnail, Pyrgulopsis micrococcus (Caenogastropoda, Hydrobiidae), with descriptions of three new congeners. ZooKeys, 330: 27-52.

Liu, H.-P., Hershler, R., Lang, B., Davies, J. 2013. Molecular evidence for cryptic species in a narrowly endemic western North American springsnail (Pyrgulopsis gilae). Conservation Genetics 14(4): 917-923.

Wilke, T., Haase, M., Hershler, R., Liu, H.-P., Misof, B., and Ponder, W. 2013. Pushing short DNA fragments to the limit: Phylogenetic relationships of ‘hydrobioid’ gastropods (Caenogastropoda: Rissooidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66(3): 715-736.

Liu, H.-P., Walsh, J.*, and Hershler, R. 2013. Taxonomic clarification and phylogeography of Fluminicola coloradensis Morrison (Caenogastropoda: Lithoglyphidae), a widely ranging western North American pebblesnail. Monographs of the Western North American naturalist 6:87-110.

Hershler, R. and Liu, H.-P. 2012. Paraphyly of the Western North American pebblesnails (Lithoglyphidae, Fluminicola). Journal of Molluscan Studies 78(4):321-329.

Liu, H.-P., Marn, J., Hershler, R., and Worsfold, T. 2012. Microsatellite evidence for tetraploidy in the New Zealand mudsnail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Gray, 1843). Journal of Molluscan Studies 78(2): 227-230.

Hershler, R., Liu, H.-P., and Clark, W.H. 2012. Comments on “The absence of genotypic diversity in a successful parthenogenetic invader” by Mark Dybdahl and Devin Drown [Biological Invasions 13 (2011), 1663-1672]. Biological Invasions 14:1643-1645.

Hershler, R., and Liu, H.-P. 2012. A new species of springsnail (Pyrgulopsis) from the Owyhee River Basin, Nevada. Western North American Naturalist 72(1): 21-31.

Liu, H.-P., and Hershler, R. 2012. Phylogeography of an endangered Western North American springsnail. Conservation Genetics 13(1) 299-305.

Hershler, R., Liu, H.-P., and Landye, J.J. 2011. New species and records of springsnails (Caenogastropoda: Cochliopidae: Tryonia) from the Chihuahuan Desert (Mexico and United States), an imperiled biodiversity hotspot.  Zootaxa 3001: 1-32.

Hershler, R., Thompson, F. G., and Liu, H.-P. 2011. A large range extension for the monotypic North American aquatic gastropod genus Cincinnatia based on morphologic and molecular evidence. Journal of Molluscan Studies 77: 232-240.

Hershler, R., and Liu, H.-P. 2011.  Comments on the paper “Is the track of the Yellowstone hotspot driven by a deep mantle plume? – Review of volcanism, faulting, and uplift in light of new data” by Kenneth Pierce and Lisa Morgan [J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. 188 (2009), 1-25]. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 202(3-4): 262-263.

Hershler, R., and Liu, H.-P. 2011.  Redescription of Marstonia comalensis (Pilsbry & Ferriss, 1906), a poorly known and possibly threatened freshwater gastropod from the Edwards Plateau region (Texas)”.  Zookey 77:1-16.

Hershler, R., Liu, H.-P., and Landye, J. 2011. Description of two new genera and four new species of freshwater gastropods (Rissooidea: Cochliopidae) from nothereastern Mexico. Journal of Molluscan Studies 77:8-23.

Hershler, R., Liu, H.-P., and Lang, B.K. 2010.  Transfer of the Phantom Cave snail, Cochliopa texana, to Pyrgulopsis (Hydrobiidae) and description of a third congener from the Lower Pecos River Basin.  Journal of Molluscan Studies 76(3): 245-256. 

Hershler, R., Liu, H.-P. 2010.  Two new, possibly imperiled species of Pyrgulopsis (Gastropoda: Hydrobiidae) from southwestern California.  Zootaxa 2343:1-17. 

Hershler, R., Liu, H.-P., and Clark, W.H. 2010.  Microsatellite evidence of invasion and rapid spread of divergent New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) clones in the Snake River basin, Idaho, USA.  Biological Invasions 12(6):1521-1532.


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