Skip to Main Content

Omland Lab


Frode Jacobsen’s species tree research using multiple nuclear introns.


Top (L-R) Karan Odom; Leila Bahmani; Rae Sturge; Anna Kearns; Kevin Omland Bottom(L-R) Frode Jacobsen; Susanna Campbell; Nanda Cortes; Nick Friedman; Andrew Li

Our research program addresses two fundamental issues in evolutionary biology: 1) character evolution – how and why new characteristics such as behavior, coloration and morphology evolve, and 2) speciation – how separate lineages of organisms form. Birds and their plumage coloration serve as the model system that we use to study these questions using molecular phylogenetics, population genetics and coalescent approaches.

For a non-technical description of our research from the UMBC Magazine see

Current Members

Kearns_headshotAnna Kearns
Postdoctoral Fellow


Karan OdomKaran Odom
Graduate Student: PhD Biological Sciences

Campbell-SusannaSusanna Campbell

Undergraduate Student: Biological Sciences
1st Place Poster Winner
Testing for female song in a newly recognized species — The Puerto Rican Oriole

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 9.26.28 AMJohn Malloy
UBM Scholar; Undergraduate Student: Bioinformatics
Researcher of the Week
Species trees and the effect of gene flow in the Baltimore Oriole species group.


Jinah Kim
Undergraduate Student:  Biological Sciences
Where do Maryland Baltimore Orioles spend the winter?  Using geolocators to track migration.

Former Members

Maria Cortes
PhD 2013

Nick Friedman
PhD 2013
Postdoctoral Fellow at Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic

Rachel Sturge
PhD 2013

Frode Jacobsen
PhD 2011

Chris Hofmann
PhD 2008