Staff Profiles

Lukas J. Musher

PhD Student, Richard Gilder Graduate School

Curriculum Vitae (short version)
  • Research Interests

    Research Interests

      I am an ornithologist, evolutionary biologist, and first year PhD student working in both the Smith and Cracraft Labs at AMNH. I am most generally interested in questions about how birds have diversified in South and Central America, including those on systematics, species delimitation, biogeography, and phylogeography. The Amazon rainforest is of particular interest as it is the most species-rich terrestrial ecosystem on the planet. However, the causes of its mega-diversity are still poorly understood. Nearly all hypotheses about Amazonian diversity center around the complex hydrological system, which is thought to have played a major role in generating species. I will be studying how river dynamics, including the dynamics of relatively small rivers, have contributed to the Amazon’s great diversity by using genomic data that can be compared across many different groups of birds. Museum collections are an incredibly important and irreplaceable resource for biological research. I conduct my own field work in addition to leveraging existing museum specimens to answer evolutionary questions.

  • Publications

  • Teaching Experience

    Teaching Experience