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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...

2006

Mohamed KI, Bolin JF, Musselman LJ, Peterson ATownsend.  2006.  Genetic diversity in Striga and implications for control and future distributions. International Symposium on Integrating New Technologies for <i>Striga</i> Control: Towards Ending the Witch-hunt, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 5-11, 2006.. :71-84.

2005

Peterson ATownsend, Kluza DA.  2005.  Ecological niche modeling as a new paradigm for large-scale investigations of diversity and distribution of birds. Third International Partners in Flight Conference, March 20-24, 2002. PSW-GTR-191:1201-1204.

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

2006

Mohamed KI, Bolin JF, Musselman LJ, Peterson ATownsend.  2006.  Genetic diversity in Striga and implications for control and future distributions. International Symposium on Integrating New Technologies for <i>Striga</i> Control: Towards Ending the Witch-hunt, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 5-11, 2006.. :71-84.

2005

Peterson ATownsend, Kluza DA.  2005.  Ecological niche modeling as a new paradigm for large-scale investigations of diversity and distribution of birds. Third International Partners in Flight Conference, March 20-24, 2002. PSW-GTR-191:1201-1204.
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 15, 2011
 The sole purpose of this post is to show off this giant leaf.    It is in the genus is Gunnera [Gunneraceae].  
July 15, 2011
 From Andrew: Today was a full day of getting trap sites established and the traps up. We started the day (at a relatively ‘late’ 7:30), with the first order of business being a...
July 14, 2011
From Clay: I thought I knew what to expect on my first jungle excursion; however, I didn’t.  I was overwhelmed by everything.  As I was born and raised in western Kansas. Here, the...
July 12, 2011
Greetings all, Andrew writing here. Our arrival yesterday went very smooth, and preparations for the fieldwork portion are going well. Today I picked up the collection permits and some gear I’d...
July 10, 2011
Regardless of how much preparation is put in to an expedition, the packing process and running around fretting about things one may have forgotten always goes down to the...
July 8, 2011
In two days, the first half of our group will leave for San Jose, with the rest following two days later. This particular trip serves a number of purposes: first and foremost, we will be...
June 28, 2011
Why mosquitoes?  Of all the amazing and beautiful rain forest animals to study, why would anyone want to work with this lowly, annoying bug that drives us crazy while sitting on porches on...
June 27, 2011
My side project for this trip was to study arthropod diversity in two species of heliconia plants.  I worked on the project with Riley and Tom.  In both species we looked in leaf rolls...
June 27, 2011
By Bethany Christiansen I am convinced that traveling is just as important to becoming a well-informed member of society as attending a university. I think that some of us believe this almost...
June 23, 2011
We are all now back home, having arrived on Monday, bleary-eyed. It's been a long few days, full of travel, packing, unpacking, repacking, and airport-sitting. We woke early to catch the boat from...