Michael J Andersen, Principal Investigator

   PhD, University of Kansas, 2013

   BS, Cornell University, 2004

Jenna M McCullough

   PhD, University of New Mexico, expected 2023

   MSc, University of New Mexico, 2018

   BS, University of Idaho, 2015


Jenna graduated from the University of Idaho with dual majors in Biology and Wildlife Resources in 2015. She has studied breeding biology of Northern Saw-whet Owl in central Oregon and birds in the Colombian Andes. For her Master's thesis, she investigated the systematics, biogeography, and macroevolutionary dynamics of Coraciiformes, a pantropical avian order that includes kingfishers, bee-eaters, motmots, and allies. Her research interests combine natural history collections, next-generation genomic techniques, computational approaches, and historical biogeography in a phylogenetic framework. 

Jenna began a PhD degree at UNM in August 2018. 

Ethan Gyllenhaal

   PhD, University of New Mexico, expected 2023

   BS, University of Rochester, 2017

Ethan graduated from the University of Rochester in 2017 with a major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a minor in Computer Science. His interest in ornithology stems from his long-time hobby of birding. However, his involvement with collections-based research was fostered by his time at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, where he sporadically acted as an intern or volunteer from 2012 to 2018. He also spent a summer conducting field research on Kirtland’s Warblers in Michigan and was a member of the Rabeling lab at the University of Rochester, where he studied fungus-gardening ants.

Ethan’s research interests are broadly based in avian evolution, but his primary interest is speciation in island systems, especially those in the Pacific. He also has a soft spot for systematically challenging groups in North America, especially the Iceland Gull complex.

Ethan began a PhD at UNM in August 2018.

David Tan

   PhD, University of New Mexico, expected 2024

   BS, National University of Singapore 2015

David graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2015 with a major in Life Sciences and a specialisation in Environmental Biology. He has studied the population and landscape genomics of the Striped Tit-Babbler in Singapore, as well as the phylogenetics of the endemic land crabs of Christmas Island. David has also spent 6 years building a modest collection of salvaged bird carcasses from across Singapore in conjunction with the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. 


David’s research interests encompass a broad array of topics related to avian evolution and ecology, with a specific focus on population genomics, phylogeography, and demographic histories of Southeast Asian birds. He is also interested in using high-throughput sequencing techniques to explore the ecological interactions between birds and other taxa. 

David begins his PhD at UNM in August 2019. 

Serina Brady

   MSc, University of New Mexico, expected 2019

   BS, Cornell University, 2012

Serina graduated from Cornell University in 2012 with a major in Animal Science and a concentration in Biology. She began field work as an undergraduate working for the Golondrinas de las America’s project. After graduating, Serina pursued field work that spanned the globe and its avian species, including understorey forest birds in Panama and white-eyes in the Northern Mariana Islands. Since 2012, she has worked as a research assistant for numerous universities, NGOs, USGS, and USFWS.

Serina’s current research interests are in island biogeography and the role islands play in evolution and speciation. In particular, she is interested in avian diversification in Pacific island systems, both in terms of morphological and behavioral traits and how phylogenies of island birds can help us interpret their colonization history.


Serina began a MSc degree at UNM in August 2016.

Xena M Mapel

   MSc, University of New Mexico, expected 2020

   BS, University of New Mexico, 2018

Xena graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Biology and a concentration in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology with summa cum laude honors. For her senior thesis, she studied the diversification of the Wattled Honeyeater, Foulehaio, which is widespread across Central Polynesia. For her master's thesis, Xena will be investigating the evolution and ecology of avian haemosporidians across South Pacific archipelagos.

Xena began a MSc degree at UNM in August 2018

© 2019 Michael J. Andersen

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