Speciation in the common chaffinch

Since 2016, we have been studying the chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) population on the island of La Palma, in the Canary Island archiphelago, Spain. We are interested in understanding how island species adapt to local conditions upon colonization from the mainland (or from other islands) and the ecological and genomic mechanisms involved in the evolutionary divergence […]

Speciation mechanisms in the Junco radiation

  We use molecular genetic tools and patterns of phenotypic variation to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the songbird genus Junco in order to understand the factors, mechanisms and timing of their diversification across North and Central America. Analysis of mtDNA sequence and AFLPs revealed that plumage diversity in the dark-eyed junco, which has puzzled […]

Intra-island diversification in the Reunion Gray White-eye

  Remote oceanic islands provide unique scenarios in which to study the factors involved in population divergence and the formation of new species. The Reunion gray white-eye (Zosterops borbonicus) shows a striking, geographically structured plumage polymorphism on the topographically and ecologically complex yet small island of Reunion. In contrast, its sister species (Z. mauritianus) is […]

Speciation in the Yellow-rumped Warbler complex

  For more than a decade now we have been investigating the evolutionary history of the yellow-rumped warbler Setophaga coronata (formerly Dendroica coronata). The complex is composed of a white-throated form, Myrtle warbler in Eastern North America, and three yellow-throated forms: Audubon’s, Black-fronted and Goldman’s warblers in Western North America, Northern Mexico, and Guatemala, respectively. […]

Biogeography and systematics of Papuan birds

  The island of New Guinea includes some of the least explored areas of the planet. We collaborate with Christophe Thébaud at the University of Toulouse, France, and Hidayat Ashari at the Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense – LIPI at Cibinong, Indonesia, to study the biogeography and systematics of select avian groups from this fascinating part of […]

Guadalupe Island’s Endemic Birds

  Since 2010, we have been studying the evolution and ecology of the fascinating endemic avifauna of Guadalupe, a volcanic oceanic island off the coast of Baja California, in Mexico. After field expeditions in 2010, 2011 and 2014, we have been able to obtain samples from various species, and have active projects studying the genetics […]

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 […]

Diversification of Amazonian birds (and their symbionts!)

  We are interested in the evolutionary mechanisms that drive speciation in tropical regions, and we investigate the relative roles of geography and selection in driving lineage divergence. In Ecuador we have studied how populations of vary across space genetically and morphologically, and documented a case of ecomorphological adaptation in the wedge-billed woodcreeper (Glyphorynchus spirurus), […]

Conservation genetics of the Great Bustard

  In collaboration with Juan Carlos Alonso at the MNCN, we are conducting detailed surveys of genetic diversity in Iberian populations of the great bustard (Otis tarda). Using mtDNA and microsatellite markers we have documented clear genetic differentiation between Iberia and Morocco populations, and some degree of structure within Spain. Using long-term demographic data from […]

Genetic structure of the Pyrenean brook newt

  The Pyrenean brook newt (Calotriton asper) is an endemic of cold-water streams and caves, and shows a variaty of phenotypes across its range in the French and Spanish Pyrenees. In collaboration with Olivier Guillaume and Jean Clobert at the CNRS-Moulis, we sampled the species throughout the French side of the Pyrenees and used mtDNA […]

Phylogeography and evolution in the common lizard

  In collaboration with Patrick Fitze at the MNCN, we have used mitochondrial DNA and genome-wide AFLPs to study the phylogeography of the common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) across its range in Spain and southern France, identifying highly divergent lineages and documenting patterns of introgression among them. In addition we are using ecological niche models to […]