Phylogeography of birds in Mexico and Central America


We are interested in how populations evolve into distinct evolutionary lineages, and the relative roles of geographic isolation, natural selection and sexual selection in this process. Mexico and Central America are at the juncture of the Nearctic and the Neotropics and their diverse habitat types and avifaunas provide ideal scenarios to study speciation. We have projects on various species and species complexes, such as Anna’s hummingbirds, American robins, yellow-rumped warblers, tropical parulas, Ergaticus warblers, juncos, chipping sparrows, pine and black-capped siskins, among others. Over the years we have developed close and fruitful collaborations with colleagues in the region and their students, including Adolfo Navarro-Sigüenza (UNAM, Mexico), Ricardo Rodríguez Estrella (CIBNOR, Mexico), Juan Francisco Ornelas (INECOL, Mexico), or Enrique Arbelaez-Cortés (Instituto Humboldt, Colombia).




Related publications:

Hernández-Baños, B., L. E. Zamudio-Beltrán, B. Milá. 2020. Phylogenetic relationships and systematics of a subclade of Mesoamerican emerald hummingbirds (Aves: Trochilidae: Trochilini). Zootaxa, 4748(3):581-591.

Irwin, D. E., B. Milá, D. P. L. Toews, A. Brelsford, H. L. Kenyon, A. N. Porter, C. Grossen, K. E. Delmore, M. Alcaide, J. H Irwin. 2018. A comparison of genomic islands of differentiation across three young avian species pairs. Molecular Ecology, 27:4839-4855.

Alvarez, S., J. F. Salter, J. E. McCormack, B. Milá. 2015. Speciation in mountain refugia: phylogeography and demographic history of the pine siskin and black-capped siskin complex. Journal of Avian Biology, 47:335-345.

Arbeláez-Cortés, E., B. Milá, A. G. Navarro-Sigüenza. 2014. Multilocus analysis of intraspecific differentiation in three endemic bird species from the northern Neotropical dry forest. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 70:362-377.

Aleixandre, P., J. Hérnandez-Montoya, B. Milá. 2013. Speciation on oceanic islands: rapid adaptive divergence vs. cryptic speciation in a Guadalupe Island songbird (Aves: Junco). PLoS ONE, 8(5): e63242.

Barrera-Guzmán, A. O., B. Milá, L. A. Sánchez-González, A. G. Navarro-Sigüenza. 2012. Speciation in an avian complex endemic to the mountains of Middle America (Ergaticus, Aves: Parulidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 62(3):907-920.

Oliveras de Ita, A., T. B. Smith, R. K. Wayne, K. Oyama Nakagawa, B. Milá. 2012. Genetic evidence for recent range fragmentation and severely restricted dispersal in the critically endangered Sierra Madre sparrow Xenospiza baileyi. Conservation Genetics, 13:283-291.

Milá, B., D. P. L. Toews, T. B. Smith, R. K. Wayne. 2011. A cryptic contact zone between divergent mtDNA lineages in southwestern North America supports past introgressive hybridisation in the yellow-rumped warbler complex (Aves: Dendroica coronata). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 103:696-706.

Milá, B., R. K. Wayne and T. B. Smith. 2008. Ecomorphology of migratory and sedentary populations of the yellow-rumped warbler (Dendroica coronata). Condor 110(2):335-344.

Milá, B., J. E. McCormack, G. Castañeda, R. K. Wayne and T. B. Smith. 2007. Recent postglacial range expansion drives the rapid diversification of a songbird lineage in the genus Junco. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 274:2653-2660.

Milá, B., T. B. Smith and R. K. Wayne. 2007. Speciation and rapid phenotypic differentiation in the yellow-rumped warbler (Dendroica coronata) complex. Molecular Ecology 16:159-173.

Milá, B., T. B. Smith, R. K. Wayne. 2006. Postglacial population expansion drives the evolution of long-distance migration in a songbird. Evolution 60(11):2403-2409.

McCormack, J. E., G. Castañeda-Guayasamín, B. Milá, and F. Heredia-Pineda. 2005. Slate-throated redstarts (Myioborus miniatus) breeding in Maderas del Carmen, Coahuila, Mexico. Southwestern Naturalist 50(4):501-503.

Valenzuela, D., B. Milá, F. Urbina, K. Renton, A. García and R. Castro. 2002. Range extensions for lineated (Dryocopus lineatus) and pale-billed (Campephilus guatemalensis) woodpeckers, and first records for the state of Morelos, Mexico. Cotinga 17:12-14.


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