Museum of Zoology
Fields of study
Phylogenomics, biogeography, phylogenetic ethology, character evolution, ornithology
My research centers on understanding the evolutionary processes and environmental factors that have shaped patterns of avian diversification and endemism in tropical ecosystems. I am particularly interested in elucidating the drivers of speciation across tropical montane landscapes to test fundamental concepts in community assembly, taxon cycling, and island biogeography theory. As most of my research is specimen based, I maintain an active field program throughout Melanesia, with recent emphasis in the New Guinea highlands and Bismarck Archipelago. To date, I have conducted 23 international expeditions across four continents and continue to make enriching avian systematic collections a key component of my research program. A secondary theme of my research and field work focuses on examining character evolution and phylogenetic ethology to test modes of selection as they relate to driving macro-evolutionary behavioral diversity and courtship display phenotypes in polygynous birds. I’m currently studying these topics in the Amblyornis bowerbirds, which are endemic to the highlands of New Guinea.