What are we up to?



Our grad students are up to all kinds of interesting thing. Find out more below.

  • CJ Battey is looking into humming bird phylogenetics and migration. Find out more here, or at the Burke Museum Blog.
  • Dave Slager is delving into the Northwestern Crow and phenotypic evolution of Tyrannini flycatchers. Find out more here.
  • Cooper French is currently researching Towhees and is looking forward to looking into coloration and the phylogeny of Euphonia. See how here.
  • Ethan Linck is working with Kinglets, Brush Finches, and Kingfishers oh my! He also has various outreach projects like a weekly science news summary in The Stranger. Find out more about his research etc. here.


Our graduate students have been receiving a number of grants and awards as of late. Listed below are some of the more recent ones. Congrats all!

Ethan Linck

  • National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG)

  • WRF-Hall Fellowship and supplementary research funding
  • Society of Systematic Biologists Graduate Student Research Award

Dave Slager

  • Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DDIG), National Science Foundation

  • UW Department of Biology Paine Award for Experimental and Field Ecology
  • American Museum of Natural History Chapman Memorial Fund
  • UW Boeing International Fellowship


 CJ Battey

  • Chapman Grant, American Museum of Natural History

  • Iuvo Award, UW Dept. of Biology
  • Sargent Award, UW Dept. of Biology
  • Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DDIG), National Science Foundation

Cooper Wins Award at EVO-WIBO

Congratulations to Cooper for the award his poster Hybridization and Gene Flow Between Migratory and Non-Migratory Avian Species won at EVO-WIBO (Evolution in Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, and Oregon). His poster was based on his research using ddRADseq data to look at hybridization and gene flow in Towhees.

Ethan Awarded NDSEG Fellowship!

Congratulations to Ethan for being awarded a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. These three year fellowships are offered to graduate students who have demonstrated an aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering. Ethan’s dissertation work will explore the role of divergent natural selection along an elevational gradient in the speciation a genus of tropical montane kingfishers.

Museum Collections and Migration Patterns

Ethan has a new publication in PeerJ on using data from museum collections to assess migration patterns in Painted Buntings (Passerina ciris).

Linck E, Bridge ES, Duckles JM, Navarro-Sigüenza AG, Rohwer S. (2016) Assessing migration patterns in Passerina ciris using the world’s bird collections as an aggregated resource. PeerJ 4:e1871

Check it out the full publication at the publishers  website!

NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants

Congrats to CJ Battey and Dave Slager for receiving NSF grants to support their dissertation research! Their research projects are listed below.

CJ Battey: Investigating genomic signatures of range shifts and demographic change in migratory hummingbirds.

Dave Slager: Investigating patterns, processes, and the role of mimicry in the phenotypic evolution of Tyrannini flycatchers.

Publications Update


Linck, E., Schaack, S., Dumbacher, J.P. Genetic differentiation within a widespread “supertramp” taxon: Molecular phylogenetics of the Louisiade White-eye (Zosterops griseotinctus) (2016) Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 94, art. no. 5280, pp. 113-121.

Slager, D.L., Rodewald, P.G., Heglund, P.J. Experimental effects of habitat type on the movement ecology and stopover duration of spring migrant Northern Waterthrushes (Parkesia noveboracensis) (2015) Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 69 (11), pp. 1809-1819.

Slager, D.L., Rodewald, P.G. Disjunct nocturnal roosting by a yellow-rumped warbler (setophaga coronata) during migratory stopover (2015) Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 127 (1), pp. 109-114.

Barker, K., Burns, K.J., Klicka, J., Lanyon, S.M., Lovette, I.J. New insights into New World biogeography: An integrated view from the phylogeny of blackbirds, cardinals, sparrows, tanagers, warblers, and allies (2015) Auk, 132 (2), pp. 333-348.


Manthey, J.D., Klicka, J., Spellman, G.M. Effects of climate change on the evolution of Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) lineages (2014) Auk, 131 (4), pp. 559-570.

Bryson Jr, R.W., Chaves, J., Smith, B.T., Miller, M.J., Winker, K., Pérez-Emán, J.L., Klicka, J. Diversification across the New World within the ‘blue’ cardinalids (Aves: Cardinalidae) (2014) Journal of Biogeography, 41 (3), pp. 587-599.

Powell, A.F.L.A., Barker, F.K., Lanyon, S.M., Burns, K.J., Klicka, J., Lovette, I.J. A comprehensive species-level molecular phylogeny of the New World blackbirds (Icteridae) (2014) Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 71 (1), pp. 94-112.

Klicka, J., Keith Barker, F., Burns, K.J., Lanyon, S.M., Lovette, I.J., Chaves, J.A., Bryson Jr., R.W. A comprehensive multilocus assessment of sparrow (Aves: Passerellidae) relationships (2014) Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 77 (1), pp. 177-182.

Slager, D.L., Klicka, J. Polyphyly of Hylophilus and a new genus for the Tawny-crowned Greenlet (Aves: Passeriformes: Vireonidae) (2014) Zootaxa, 3884 (2), pp. 194-196.

Slager, D.L., Battey, C.J., Bryson, R.W., Voelker, G., Klicka, J. A multilocus phylogeny of a major New World avian radiation: The Vireonidae (2014) Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 80 (1), pp. 95-104.

Welcome New Grad Students!

The Klicka Lab is excited to welcome two new PhD students this fall:

elinckEthan Linck graduated from Reed College in 2013, writing his thesis on the phylogenetics of the Louisiade White-eye. Joining the Klicka lab in 2014, his primary interest is avian phylogeography in archipelago contexts, particularly in Melanesia and sky-islands systems. In his free time he enjoys running too much and ski mountaineering.






Cooper French joined the Klicka Lab in 2014, having previously collected a MS in Chemistry from City College of New York and a BA in Biology from Reed College. Cooper is especially interested in the origin and evolution of structural color in feathers and its potential relation to biogeography and phylogeny.