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A. Townsend Peterson
Curator
Ornithology
Biodiversity Institute

Distinguished Professor, KU Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Adjunct Faculty, KU Department of Geography
Adjunct Faculty, KU Latin American Studies Program
Adjunct Professor, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
 

Contact Information

Office Phone: 
785.864.3926
Email: 
town@ku.edu
Building: 
Dyche Hall

My research focuses on aspects of the geography of biodiversity. My formal training was in tropical ornithology, with a particular focus on systematics. As such, one component of my research focuses on the alpha taxonomy of birds, as well as on the phylogeny of recently radiated clades of birds. Tied to this focus is work with the basic geography of bird distributions, and with the composition of local avifaunas, based on detailed site inventories and scientific collections around the world. My work with the geographic and ecology of species' distributions, however, has taken me into other fields, including conservation biology and planning, invasive species biology, and disease transmission systems. In the latter field, my work has focused on numerous disease systems, including Chagas Disease, malaria, dengue, leischmaniasis, and ebola/Marburg. In general, my work is collaborative in nature, and usually involves geographers, computer scientists, and biologists.

Recent Blog Posts

February 25, 2011
Pete Hosner, EEB doctoral candidate and Ornithology student mentored by Rob...
January 18, 2011
Graduate student Peter Hosner and collection manager Mark Robbins received...
January 12, 2011
In December 2010, KU Biodiversity Institute graduate student Mike Andersen, and...
December 9, 2010
    Ornithology graduate student Michael Andersen and Curator Rob...

2009

Navarro-Sigüenza AG, Gordillo-Martínez A, Peterson ATownsend.  2009.  Mapeando la diversidad de las aves de México. TIP Revista Especializada en Ciencias Químico-Biológicas. 12:59-64.

2008

Education

  • B.S., Department of Zoology, Miami University, 1985
  • M.S., Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago, 1987
  • Ph.D., Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago, 1990
 

Publications

2009

Navarro-Sigüenza AG, Gordillo-Martínez A, Peterson ATownsend.  2009.  Mapeando la diversidad de las aves de México. TIP Revista Especializada en Ciencias Químico-Biológicas. 12:59-64.

2008

February 25, 2011

Pete Hosner, EEB doctoral candidate and Ornithology student mentored by Rob Moyle, received notification that his NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant proposal has been recommended for funding. The grant, entitled TESTING THE PLEISTOCENE AGGREGATE ISLAND COMPLEX (PAIC) MODEL OF DIVERSIFICATION IN CO-DISTRIBUTED AVIAN LINEAGES, has been recommended for funding for $14,866 over 24 months. The project will use multilocus DNA sequence data to discover whether there is a link between climate and sea level changes and diversification in eight "polytypic" bird species endemic to the Philippines.

 

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January 18, 2011
Graduate student Peter Hosner and collection manager Mark Robbins received notification this week that they have been...
January 12, 2011
In December 2010, KU Biodiversity Institute graduate student Mike Andersen, and curator of birds, Rob Moyle, completed...
December 9, 2010
    Ornithology graduate student Michael Andersen and Curator Rob Moyle are presently in Fiji, carrying...

From the Biodiversity Insitute blog

March 13, 2014
One of the most challenging aspects of working inside the museum’s Panorama exhibit is its fragility. In fact, Ron Harvey has described it as “working inside a painting.” But...
March 11, 2014
Today we welcomed the first members of the our conservation assessment team to the museum. There have been meetings about safety, protocols and troubleshooting. The team will be led by Ronald...
April 26, 2013
  Sofia Muñoz (MA student, mentor Chaboo), is one of 20 students in the U.S. selected to participate (fully funded) in a NSF-funded Thematic Collections Network Short Course on Biological...
February 27, 2013
Timo Förster, an undergraduate from the University of Greiswald, Germany, is conducting a research internship with me, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). We developed a...
February 13, 2013
Parasites may make us squeamish, but in diverse numbers, they indicate a healthy ecosystem. Now a new exhibit features these specimens and the work of Dr. Kirsten Jensen, who studies marine...
January 30, 2013
In my academic calendar, January is usually preoccupied with completing annual evaluations and submitting reports, and grant applications to the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Our Entomology...
November 20, 2012
Two M.Sc. students in the Chaboo lab presented posters on their research at the annual meeting of the the Entomological Society of America, Knoxville, TN, 11-14 November 2012. The ESA is the largest...
November 10, 2012
Members of the Chaboo lab made presentations at the 54th Peruvian Congress of Entomology, organized by the Peruvian Entomological Society (SEP), during November 5-8, 2012, in Cusco, Peru. ...
October 9, 2012
When a chief of police contacts you about insects and dead bodies, a good entomologist hopes that her skills are badly needed to solve the crime of the century…that the insects found on the body are...
October 5, 2012
From small towns in Kansas to Chicago to New York, Lewis Lindsay Dyche thrilled audiences with his skill in natural history displays and later with lectures about his adventures. Many of the glass...