Date/Time
Date - May 06, 2021
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm



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Integrative Systematics & Evolution of Seasonal Migration in the Nightingale-Thrushes (Aves: Turdidae: Catharus)

Speaker: Matthew R. Halley

This is another virtual meeting on Zoom, so you must register in advance in order to participate:
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUocuCqrDotE9ND8qErzLIN26XqXoZomSO4

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Brief Description: After more than 8 years of original research, Matthew Halley will take us to the boundaries of his knowledge of the evolution of seasonal migration in the Nightingale-Thrushes. For his dissertation research, Halley and his colleagues sequenced more than 2,000,000 bases of nuclear DNA from a taxonomically comprehensive sample of Catharus species and subspecies, and Halley measured (with calipers) more than 2,000 specimens in museum collections to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the living species in the genus, and to test and expand scientific hypotheses about the causes and consequences of migration. The project builds upon a historic legacy of Catharus research by Philadelphian ornithologists during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Matt with a Catharus study subject

Matthew R. Halley is an evolutionary biologist, ornithologist, and historian from Chester Co., PA, known for his extensive research on thrushes and other passerine birds, and for rediscovering lost artifacts and primary sources that challenge common views about the history of science. He has conducted more than 16 years of fieldwork in Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Israel, India, Indonesia, Canada and the United States. In 2011, he discovered a rare cooperative mating system in the Veery (C. fuscescens) and conducted the first genetic study of the species’ breeding biology. Ever since, he has continued to study Catharus, while occasionally going on side quests to search for lost type-specimens or to investigate the historical misdeeds of John James Audubon. Halley was the 21st Editor of DVOC (Cassinia volumes 76 & 77) and is a life member and fellow of the club.




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