Comparative Phylogeography

Exploring how birds have evolved in response to landscape and climate change

The field of phylogeography uses genetic data to explore how Earth and life evolve together. A species’ range can be fragmented by landscape changes, or a population can be forced to move as climate shifts its niche. These changes leave footprints in the species’ or population’s DNA. By looking at the DNA of multiple species or populations that occupy the same habitats, we can begin to reveal how these environmental changes affected individual populations, species, and ultimately entire biotic communities.

Comparative phylogeography of North American Birds

Individual projects include:

Phylogeography of North American creepers

Phylogeography of North American nuthatches

Phylogeography of North American of vireos

Phylogeography of North American of the bushtit

Phylogeography of North American woodpeckers


John Klicka, Burke Museum, University of Washington

Joseph Manthey, Texas Tech University

Theresa Burg and Amanda Carpenter, University of Lethbridge


Garth M. Spellman, PhD

Associate Curator of Ornithology

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