Postdoctoral, National Zoological Park, 2000
Postdoctoral, University of Minnesota, 1998
Postdoctoral, Duke University, 1996
Ph.D., University at Albany, SUNY, 1995
B.A., Dartmouth College, 1985
We use molecular phylogenies and population genetic studies of closely related bird species to study character evolution, speciation, and systematics. Recent research has focused on the New World orioles (Icterus), other Icterids and speciation in reverse in ravens (Corvus corax). We are interested in plumage color and song evolution, especially elaborate female color and song in tropical birds. We also study a variety of topics related to recent speciation, including lineage sorting, hybridization and building phylogenetic trees of recently diverged species.
PhD STUDENT OPENINGS: The lab has openings for new PhD students interested in the types of research described above.
Odom, K. J., Omland, K. E. and Price, J. J. 2015. Differentiating the evolution of female song and male-female duets in the New World blackbirds: can tropical natural history traits explain duet evolution. Evolution, in press
Odom, K. J., Hall, M. L., Riebel, K., Omland, K. E. and Langmore, N. E. 2014. Female song is widespread and ancestral in songbirds. Nature Communications Article# 4379 doi:10.1038/ncomms 4379.
Friedman, N. R., McGraw, K. and Omland, K. E. 2014. Evolution of carotenoid pigmentation in caciques and meadowlarks (Icteridae): repeated gains of red plumage coloration by carotenoid C4-oxygenation. Evolution 68:791-801.
Friedman, N. R., McGraw, K. and Omland, K. E. 2014. History and mechanisms of carotenoid plumage evolution in the New World orioles (Icterus). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology: Part B. 172:1-8.
Cortés-Rodrígues, N., Jacobsen, F., Hernandez-Baños, B. E., Navarro-Sigüenza, A. G., Peters, J. L. and Omland, K. E. 2013. Coalescent analyses show isolation without migration in two closely related tropical orioles: the case of Icterus graduacauda and Icterus chrysater. Ecology and Evolution 3:4377-4387.
Omland, K. E. 2013. Interpretation of phylogenetic trees. Ch. II.1 Pp. 51-59 in J. B. Losos ed. Princeton Guide to Evolution.
Hagemeyer*, N. D., R. J. Sturge, K. E. Omland and J. J. Price. 2012. Incomplete song divergence between recently diverged taxa: syllable sharing in Orchard and Fuertes’ orioles. Journal of Field Ornithology 83: 362-371.
Jacobsen, F. and Omland, K. E. 2012. Extensive introgressive hybridization within the northern oriole group (Genus Icterus) revealed by three-species isolation with migration analysis. Ecology and Evolution. 2:2413-2429
Jacobsen, F. and Omland, K. E. 2011. Species tree inference in a recent radiation of orioles (genus Icterus): multiple markers and methods reveal cytonuclear discordance in the northern oriole group. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 61: 460-469.
Jacobsen, F. and Omland, K. E. 2011. Increasing evidence of the role of gene flow in animal evolution: hybrid speciation in the yellow-rumped warbler complex. Molecular Ecology 20: 2236-2239.
Webb, W. C., Marzluff, J. M., and Omland, K. E. 2011. Random interbreeding between cryptic lineages of the common raven: evidence for speciation in reverse. Molecular Ecology 20:2390-2402.
Kearns, A. M., Joseph, L., Omland, K. E. and Cook, L. G. 2011. Testing the effect of transient Plio-Pleistocene barriers in monsoonal Australo-Papua: did mangrove habitats maintain genetic connectivity in the Black Butcherbird? Molecular Ecology 20: 5042-5059.
Martin, M. and Omland, K. E. 2011. Ecological niche modeling in the Orchard Oriole group. American Midland Naturalist. 166:404–414.
Jacobsen, F., Friedman, N. R. and Omland, K. E. 2010. Congruence between nuclear and mitochondrial DNA: combination of multiple nuclear introns resolves a well-supported phylogeny of New World orioles (Icterus). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56:419-427
Price, J. J., Lanyon, S. M. and Omland, K. E. 2009. Losses of female song with changes from tropical to temperate breeding in the New World blackbirds. Proceedings Royal Society of London, Biological Sciences. 276: 1971-1980
Kiere, L. M., Hofmann, C. M., Cronin, T. W., Price, J. J., and Omland, K. E. 2009. Evolution of carotenoid coloration in avian plumage: reconstructing discrete color changes in caciques (Icteridae). Journal of Avian Biology 40:605-613
Joseph, L., Adcock, G. J., Linde, C., Omland, K. E., Heinsohn, R. and Roshier, D. 2009. A tangled, rampantly paraphyletic tale of two teal: population history of the Grey and Chestnut Teal of Australia. Journal of Avian Biology. 40:430-439.
Vasquez-Miranda, H., Navarro-Sigüenza, A. G. and Omland, K. E. 2009. Phylogeography of the Rufous-naped Wren (Campylorhynchus rufinucha): speciation and hybridization in Mesoamerica. Auk. 126:765-778.
Murphy, T, Hernández-Muciño, D., Osorio-Beristain, M., Montgomerie, R., Omland, K. E. 2009. Carotenoid-based status signaling by females in the tropical streak-backed oriole. Behavioral Ecology 20:1000-1006.
Sturge, R. J., Jacobsen, F., Rosensteel, B. B., Neale, R. J. and Omland, K. E. 2009 Colonization of South America from Caribbean islands confirmed by molecular phylogeny with increased taxon sampling. Condor 111: 575-579
Humphries, E. M.*, Peters, J. L., Jónsson, J., Stone, R., Afton, A. D. and Omland, K. E. 2009. Genetic differentiation between sympatric and allopatric wintering populations of snow geese. Wilson Journal of Ornithology. 121:730-738. [*Resulted from her undergraduate research.]
Hofmann, C. M., Cronin, T. W. and Omland, K. E. 2008. Evolution of sexual dichromatism. 1. convergent losses of elaborate female coloration in New World orioles (Icterus spp.). Auk 125: 778-798. [COVER — OCT. 2008 AUK]
Hofmann, C. M., Cronin, T. W. and Omland, K. E. 2008. Evolution of sexual dichromatism. 2. carotenoids and melanins contribute to sexual dichromatism in New World orioles (Icterus spp.). Auk 125: 790-795.
Cortes-Rodríguez, M. N., Hernández-Baños, B. E., Navarro-Sigüenza, A. G., and Omland, K. E. 2008. Geographic variation and genetic structure in the Streak-backed Oriole (Icterus pustulatus): low mitochondrial DNA differentiation reveals recent divergence. Condor 110: 729-739.
Peters, J.L., Zhuravlev, Y., Fefelov, I., Humphries, E. M. and Omland, K. E. 2008. Multilocus phylogeography of a Holarctic duck: colonization of North America from Eurasia by gadwall (Anas strepera). Evolution 62: 1469-1483.
Puebla-Olivares, A, Bonaccorso, E., Espinosa de los Monteros, A., Omland, K. E., Bousquets, J. E., Peterson, A. T. and Navarro-Sigüenza, A. G. 2008. Speciation in the Emerald Toucanet species complex (Aulacorhynchus prasinus). Auk 125: 35-50.
Price, J. J., Yunes-Jaménez, L., Osorio-Berestain, M. Omland, K. E. and Murphy, T. M. 2008. Sex-role reversal in song? Females sing more frequently than males in the Streak-backed Oriole (Icterus pustulatus). Condor 110: 387-392.
Fleischer, R. C., Boarman, W. I., Gonzalez, E. G., Godinez, A., Omland, K. E., Young, S. and McIntosh, C. E. 2008. As the raven flies: using genetic patterns to infer the history of invasive common raven (Corvus corax) populations in the Mojave Desert. Molecular Ecology 17: 464-474.
Peters, J.L., Zhuravlev, Y., Fefelov, I., Logie, A. and Omland, K. E. 2007. Nuclear loci and coalescent methods support ancient hybridization as cause of mitochondrial paraphyly between gadwall and falcated duck (Anas spp.). Evolution 61: 1992-2006.
Kiere, L. M., Hofmann, C. M., Tracy, I. E., Cronin, T. W., Leips, J. W. and Omland, K. E. 2007. Using color to define species boundaries: quantitative analysis in the Orchard Oriole complex supports the recognition of two species. Condor 109: 692-697. [undergraduate 1st author]
Hofmann, C. M., McGraw, K. J., Cronin, T. W. and Omland, K. E. 2007. Melanin coloration in New World orioles I: carotenoid masking and pigment dichromatism in the Orchard Oriole complex. Journal of Avian Biology 38: 163-171.
Hofmann, C. M., Cronin, T. W. and Omland, K. E. 2007. Melanin coloration in New World orioles II: ancestral state reconstruction reveals lability in the use of carotenoids and phaeomelanins. Journal of Avian Biology 38: 172-181.
Price, J. J., Friedman, N. R. and Omland, K. E. 2007. Song and plumage evolution in the New World orioles (Icterus) show similar lability and convergence in patterns. Evolution 61: 850-863. [COVER — APRIL 2007 EVOLUTION]
Ligi, S.L. and Omland, K. 2007. Contrasting breeding strategies of two sympatric orioles: first documentation of double brooding by Orchard Orioles. Journal of Field Ornithology 78: 298-302.
Eisermann, K. and Omland, K. 2007. Coloration anomaly of a male Collared Trogon (Trogon collaris). Acta Zoológica Mexicana 23: 197-200.
Hofmann, C.M., Cronin, T. W. and Omland, K.E. 2006. Using spectral data to reconstruct evolutionary changes in coloration: carotenoid color evolution in New World orioles. Evolution 60: 1680-1691.
Omland, K. E. and Hofmann, C. M. 2006. Adding color to the past: ancestral state reconstruction of bird coloration. Pp. 417-454. in G. E. Hill and K. J. McGraw eds. Bird Coloration Volume 2: Function and Evolution Harvard University Press.
Omland, K. E., Baker, J. M. and Peters J. L. 2006. Genetic signatures of intermediate divergence: population history of Old and New World Holarctic ravens (Corvus corax). Molecular Ecology 15: 795-808.
Visiting International Scholar
Australian National University
Hann Endowed Lectureship in Ornithology
University of Michigan Biological Station
American Ornithologists Union
Comparing Approaches to Species Tree Inference: Assessing Methods and Genomic Regions Using New World Orioles (Icterus)
National Science Foundation
DNA sequence data from multiple parts of the genome now provide a wealth of data for inferring phylogenetic relationships. Recently, a large number of new statistical methods have been developed to analyze data from these multiple independent loci. However, these new “species tree” methods have not been rigorously compared, especially for closely related species. Our project will use a well-studied bird genus (New World orioles, Icterus), as well as two poorly known genera from Australia (butcherbirds, Cracticus; red robins, Petroica) to compare the performance of species tree methods as applied to recently diverged animal species.
Using multiple nuclear introns to reconstruct the history of sexual dichromatism in orioles (Icterus)
CAREER Grant – National Science Foundation
$515,000 plus supplements.
2004 – 2009
Advances in the use of DNA sequencing in systematics have made Darwin’s vision of a “Tree of Life” showing evolutionary relationships among all organisms a feasible goal. Previously, virtually all molecular phylogenies (evolutionary trees) for closely related animals were based on maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA sequences. This project used orioles as a model group to test the utility of combining multiple nuclear intron sequences as a basis for constructing whole genome trees for all closely related animal species. The resulting evolutionary trees have been used to reconstruct the history of female color evolution in orioles. We demonstrated that the ancestral oriole was likely a tropical species with elaborate color in both males and females. Northern migratory species such as the Baltimore Oriole have independently lost elaborate female color.
BIOL 480: Animal Behavior