CURRENT LAB GROUP MEMBERS AND AFFILIATES
Associate Director for Academic Affairs, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Director, Fuller Evolutionary Biology Program
Fuller Professor of Ornithology, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Curator of Genetic Resources, Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates
My personal research program centers on three broad topics: the generation and use of phylogenetic information for comparative studies of ecological and behavioral trait evolution and diversification patterns; the use of genomic information for the study of individual dispersal, population-level gene flow, hybridization, and speciation; and the generation of genetic information relevant to conservation and management issues.
I am responsible for the smooth sailing of the Fuller Evolutionary Biology Program’s laboratory and the training of students and visitors using this facility. I am closely involved with most of our projects, from methodologically simple studies of avian sex ratios to our most ambitious ‘big data’ investigations of genome-wide patterns of divergence and gene flow.
I am interested in understanding the processes that generate and maintain biodiversity, both to answer basic questions in biology and to design effective conservation strategies. I approach this problematic using molecular tools to study the evolution of avian systems, generally in the early stages of speciation. I also use field ornithology methods and the comparative analysis of vocalizations and coloration. I have experience in a wide variety of genetic methods that allow the study of organisms with different degrees of divergence and sampled using different designs (e.g., individuals versus loci). These methods include phylogenetics, phylogeography, population genetics, landscape genetics, and genomics. A significant part of my work has focused on understanding species limits and patterns of introgression in an explosive radiation of South American finches in the genus Sporophila.
Banting Postdoctoral Fellow
My research focuses on the causes and effects of hybridization between recently diverged avian taxa. I strive to combine field-based research with integrative laboratory techniques. I employ genomic tools, stable isotopes, behavioural assays and biochemistry/physiology to better understand evolutionary processes and biogeographic patterns.
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
I use an integrative approach that combines genomic data, plumage and morphometric data from museum specimens, climate niche modeling approaches, and citizen science data for a better understanding of hybridization between species. For my postdoctoral research I will be using a series of specimens housed at Cornell to compare multiple hybrid zones that occur in the Great Plains of North America, hoping to understand the factors that influence patterns of speciation on a broad scale.
Graduate Student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2010-present
Motivated by my interest in ecological drivers of diversification, I study adaptation, divergence, gene flow and hybridization in North American sparrows using genomic methods. I’m currently studying a case of recent and rapid adaptive divergence between inland and coastal Swamp Sparrows.
Graduate Student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2012-present
I study phylogenetics, systematics, population genetics, and trait evolution in passerines. For my dissertation, I am focusing on species limits, demographic and colonization history, and local adaptations in horned larks (Eremophila).
Graduate Student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2013-present
Graduate Student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2014-present
I am a PhD Candidate studying hybridization in northern flickers using genomic techniques to better understand the speciation process.
Graduate Student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2015-present
Daniel Veronese, 2014-present
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