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Robert Moyle
Curator in Charge
Ornithology
Biodiversity Institute

Associate Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Contact Information

Office Phone: 
785.864.1870
Email: 
moyle@ku.edu
Building: 
Dyche Hall

In the broadest sense my research seeks to understand the patterns and processes of avian diversification. More specifically I am interested in three broad topics; the historical biogeography of pantropical groups, patterns of endemism and drivers of diversification in SE Asia and the tropical Pacific, and the evolution of life history traits within tropical groups.

Even in “well studied” groups like birds, relatively little is known about diversity in the tropics. Because of this, the first step in much of my research is to accurately account for this diversity, generally using museum collections and genetic surveys to reveal populations that have independent histories and field surveys to document current distributions and community structure. The genetic data are then used to reconstruct the evolutionary history of groups of interest.

These evolutionary histories can be combined with natural history data and used to test hypotheses about factors that might influence diversification. Much of my work focuses on two insular regions (Melanesia and the Philippines/Greater Sunda islands) that are ideal systems for studying the tempo and mode of speciation in birds. Field expeditions are a large component of my research program, for specimen acquisition as well as collecting life history data.

2013

2012

2011

2010

Education

  • Louisiana State University, Ph.D., Biology (2002)
  • University of Rhode Island, M.S., Zoology (1996)
  • United States Marine Corps. Officer Candidate School graduate (1993)
  • Brown University, B.A., Biology (1992)
 

Academic Appointments

Current Appointments

Curator in Charge
Ornithology
Biodiversity Institute

Associate Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Previous Appointments

  • 2006-2012. Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Assistant Curator, Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas.
  • 2004-2006. Molecular Lab Manager.  Department of Ornithology, American Museum of Natural History. 
  • 2003-2004. Frank M. Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow.  Department of Ornithology, American Museum of Natural History. 

Grants

  • National Science Foundation, 2008-2011. Collaborative Research: Avian diversification across tropical Asia: A systematic and biogeographic analysis of babblers (Aves: Timaliidae), $445,000.  PI.
  • National Science Foundation, 2008-2013. A comprehensive survey of Philippine land vertebrates and their parasites, $900,000.  Co-PI, with two others.
  • Centers for Disease Control, 2008-2009. Epidemiology and laboratory capacity for infectious disease, $1,121,067. Co-PI, with six others.
  • National Geographic Society, 2011-2012. Biogeography of birds in the lowlands and mountains of Borneo, $19,500. Co-PI, with two others.
  • National Science Foundation, 2011-2013. Dissertation Research: Testing the Pleistocene aggregate island complex (PAIC) model of diversification in co-distributed avian lineages, $14,866.  PI.

International Field Experience

  • Malaysia, surveys and collecting (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011).
  • Philippines, specimen collecting (2007, 2009).
  • Solomon Islands, specimen collecting (2006, 2007, 2008).
  • Palau, specimen collecting (2010).
  • Fiji, specimen collecting (2009, 2010).
  • Northern Mariana Islands, specimen collecting (2009).
  • Ghana, specimen collecting (2000).
  • South Africa, specimen collecting (1998).
  • Kenya and Tanzania, eco-tour leader (1996).

Contributions to Research Collections

Over 1500 vouchered bird specimens from Borneo, Ghana, South Africa, and the United states deposited in collections at the University of Kansas Biodiversity Research Center, LSU Museum of Natural Science, American Museum of Natural History, Sabah Parks Natural History Collection, Sabah Museum, University of the South Pacific Regional Vertebrate Collection.  Specimens consist of skin/skeleton/pickle along with full data, frozen tissue samples, preserved stomach contents, and parasites.

Publications

2013

2012

2011

2010

Galleries