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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...

2008

2007

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

2008

2007

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

July 9, 2012
My new hero is our field camp assistant, Pedro, a.k.a “Baba.”  Every day or two Baba brings me a couple of animals: a miniature forest rat, a bird, a giant water bug, a sail fin...
July 1, 2012
Half way through our expeditionary celebration of a century of KU Herpetology in the Philippines, I left the team on the beach near Gingoog City, in Misamis Oriental Province, Northern Mindanao....
June 22, 2012
Our Perú 2011 expedition and field course was very rewarding, with the research and creative products, and the lovely exhibition in the KU Spencer Art Museum, http://www.spencerart.ku.edu/...
June 21, 2012
I’m proud to say, a few days ago at Camp Putik, I fell for the oldest trick I the book.  Million of years of evolution and selection pressures exerted by predators have produced many...
June 18, 2012
Transportation in the rural Philippine countryside can be a challenge.  Getting away from the city centers, through the agricultural areas of the lowlands, and up to the foot of a mountain...
June 15, 2012
Children preparing for a hot field day: sunscreen and repellent Caroline Chaboo, Riley Wertenberger (KU undergraduate), and Josh Cunningham (Haskell U. undergraduate) led an outdoor insect...
June 15, 2012
As the centennial KU Philippine expedition continues, we are all continually impressed by the abilities, incredible hospitality, and hard work ethic of our collaborators and local field counterparts...
June 9, 2012
    From the coast of Agusan Del Norte, Mt Hilong-hilong looks pretty tame.  “Hilong” means “nose” in the local dialect….I guess if you squint, the...
June 4, 2012
It’s always interesting to see how people adjust to life in camp when first arriving in the field.  I am particularly intrigued by what appeals to new students—what interests them,...
May 30, 2012
As I pack for our trip (tomorrow) to the Philippines, something very interesting occurred to me: right now is the one century anniversary of KU herpetological expeditions to the Philippines.  KU...