I recently published a paper from a project that I did in collaboration with Pascal Title, Carla Cicero, Kevin Burns, and Rauri Bowie while I was a visiting student at UC Berkeley and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. This project was sponsored by the Sally Cassanova CSU Predoctoral Fellowship.
By gathering mitochondrial DNA from almost 250 individuals of Horned Lark from throughout the western United States as well as the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California, we were able to show that the Channel Island population is polyphyletic, suggesting either multiple colonization events or recent colonization involving a large ancestral population.
Moreover, we documented asymmetrical gene flow wherein migrants are more popular from the Channel Islands to the mainland than vice versa.
Finally, through ecological niche modeling, we demonstrate how suitable abiotic conditions for the Streaked Horned Lark (E. a. strigata), a federally listed subspecies in the Pacific Northwest, have changed since the last glacial maximum.
The full pdf describing the work done here is available on the publications page.