Moyle Lab

The Moyle Lab is interested in various aspects of avian evolution with a focus on SE Asia and the tropical Pacific.  The work we do spans systematics, genomics, populations genetics, and biogeography.

Students who have a keen interest in evolutionary biology and in working in interesting places around the world should consider joining the lab. Learn more...


Our lab studies the systematics and evolution of birds, focusing primarily on SE Asia and the Pacific.  Graduate students currently are working on biogeography, genomics, phylogeography, hybridization, and plumage evolution.


KU Ornithology has a long history of collecting trips around the globe.  Field expeditions and the specimens they produce are integral to our research.  We currently are working in several countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific.

Recent Lab Publications

  • Manthey JD,RG Moyle, DF Gawin, MA Rahman, MFS Ramji, FH Sheldon.(In Press) Genomic phylogeography of the endemic Mountain Blackeye of Borneo (Chlorocharis emiliae): montane and lowland populations differ in patterns of Pleistocene diversification. Journal of Biogeography.
  • Manthey JD, M Geiger, <RG Moyle.(2017) Relationships of morphological groups in the Norhtern Flicker superspecies complex (Colaptes auratus $ C. chrysoides). Systematic Biodiversity. [link]
  • Moyle RG, CH Oliveros, MJ Andersen, PA Hosner, BW Benz, JD Manthey, SL Travers, RM Brown, BC Faircloth.(2016) Tectonic collision and uplift of Wallacea triggered the global songbird radiation. Nature Communications. [link]
  • Uy JA, EA Cooper, S Cutie, MR Concannon, JW Poelstra, RG Moyle, CE Filardi.(2016) Mutations in different pigmentation genes are associated with parallel melanism in island flycatchers. Pro. R. Soc. B. [link]
  • Dzielski SA, BV Doren, JP Hruska, JM Hite.  (2016) Reproductive biology of the Sapayoa (Sapayoa aenigma), the "Old World suboscine" of the New World. The Auk. [link]
  • Manthey JD, LC Campillo, KJ Burns, RG Moyle.(2016) Comparison of target-capture and restriction-site associated DNA sequencing for phylogenomics: a test in Cardinalid Tanagers (Aves, Genus: Piranga). Systematic Biology. [link]
  • Klicka LK, BE Kus, PO Title, KJ Burns.(2015) Conservation genomics reveals multiple evolutionary units within Bell's Vireo. Conservation Genetics. [link]
  • Sheldon FH, HW Lim, RG Moyle.(2015)Return to the Malya Archipelago: the biogeography of Sundaic rainforest birds. Journal of Ornithology. [link]
  • Hosner PA, H Liu, AT Peterson, RG Moyle.(2015) Rethinking phylogeographic structure and historical refugia in the rufous-capped babbler Cyanoderma ruficeps in light of range-wide genetic sampling and paleodistributional reconstructions. Current Zoology. [link]
  • Klicka LB, LC Campillo, JD Manthey, Y Qu. (2015) Comparative phylogeography and niche modeling for three species complexes of SE China (Paradoxornis spp., Pycnonotus spp., Spizixos spp.). Current Zoology. [link]
  • Peterson AT, RG Moyle, F Lei, LC Campillo, PA Hosner, LB Klicka, HC Lim, AS Nyári, Y Qu, S Reddy, FH Sheldon, F Zou. (2015) Avian evolution and speciation in the Southeast Asian tropics. Current Zoology. [link]
  • Manthey JD and RG Moyle. (2015) Isolation by environment in White-breasted Nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis) of the Madrean Archipelago sky islands: a landscape genomics approach. Molecular Ecology. [link]
  • Sheldon FH, HC Lim, RG Moyle. (2015) Return to the Malay Archipelago: the biogeography of Sundaic rainforest birds. Journal of Ornithology. [link]
  • Manthey JD, J Klicka, GM Spellman. (2015) Chromosomal patterns of diversity and differentiation in creepers: a next-gen phylogeographic investigation of Certhia americana. Heredity. [link]
  • Andersen MJ, HT Shult, A Cibois, JC Thibault, CE Filardi, RG Moyle. (2015) Rapid diversification and secondary sympatry in Australo-Pacific kingfishers (Aves: Alcedinidae: Todiramphus). [link]
  • Andersen MJ, PA Hosner, CE Filardi, RG Moyle. (2015) Phylogeny of the monarch flycatchers reveals extensive paraphyly and novel relationships within a major Australo-Pacific radiation. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. [link]
  • Reddy S, S Sharief, LR Yohe, J Witkowski, PA Hosner, AS Nyari, RG Moyle. (2015) Untangling taxonomic confusion and diversification patterns of the Streak-breasted Scimitar Babblers (Timaliidae: Pomatorhinus ruficollis complex)in southern Asia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. [link]
  • Moyle RG, PA Hosner, A Jones, D Outlaw. (2015) Phylogeny and biogeography of Ficedula flycatchers (Aves: Muscicapidae): novel results from fresh source material. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. [link]
  • Manthey JD, LP Campbell, EE Saupe, J Soberón, CM Hensz, CE Myers, HL Owens, K Ingenloff, AT Peterson, N Barve, A Lira-Noriega, V Barve. In Press. A test of niche centrality as a determinant of population trends and conservation status in threatened and endangered North American birds. Endangered Species Research: doi:10.3354/esr00646. [link]
  • Manthey JD, J Klicka, GM Spellman. (2014). Effects of climate change on the evolution of Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) lineages. The Auk. [link]

For a full list of publications, go to each lab member's profile page.