Avian Phylogenetics

Macroevolutionary studies of the evolution of behavior, nanostructures and structural colors, feather morphology, and feather pigmentation patterns all require phylogenetic hypotheses. Since comparative methods are essential to my research, I have a long running interest in phylogenetic reconstruction. Initially based in on morphological characters from the syrinx, skeleton, and plumage, I have begun modest phylogenetic projects based on molecular characters (e.g. Prum et al. 2000). At Yale, I will be expanding my efforts in molecular sequencing and phylogenetic reconstruction, specifically within the suboscine passeriforms, a clade which includes about 10% of all avian biological species. The Yale Molecular Systematics and Conservation Genetics Lab (http://www.yale.edu/yibs/research/ecolab.html) provides advanced facilities and training for graduate and undergraduate students for PCR, DNA sequencing, genetic fingerprinting, and other molecular techniques.


Prum, R. O. 1988. Phylogenetic interrelationships of the barbets (Aves: Capitonidae) and toucans (Aves: Ramphastidae) based on morphology with comparisons to DNA-DNA hybridization. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 92: 313-343.

Cracraft, J., and Prum, R. O. 1988. Patterns and processes of diversification: speciation and historical congruence in some neotropical birds. Evolution 42: 603-620.

Prum, R. O. 1988. Historical relationships among avian forest areas of endemism in the Neotropics. Proceedings of the IXXth International Ornithological Congress Vol. II: 2562-2572.

Prum, R. O., and Lanyon, W. E. 1989. Monophyly and phylogeny of the Schiffornis group (Tyrannoidea). Condor 91: 444-461.

Prum, R. O. 1990. A test of the monophyly of the manakins (Pipridae) and cotingas (Cotingidae) based on morphology. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 722: 1-44.

Prum, R. O. 1992. Syringeal morphology, phylogeny, and evolution of the Neotropical manakins (Aves: Pipridae). American Museum of Natural History Novitates 3043: 1-65.

Prum, R. O. 1993. Phylogeny, biogeography, and evolution of the broadbills (Eurylaimidae) and asities (Philepittidae) based on morphology. Auk 110: 304-324.
Prum, R. O. 1994. Species status of the White-fronted Manakin, Lepidothrix serena (Pipridae), with comments on conservation biology. Condor 96: 692-702.

Mobley, J. A., and Prum, R. O. 1995. Phylogenetic relationships of the Cinnamon Tyrant, Neopipo cinnamomea, to the Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae). Condor 97: 650-662.

Zyskowski, K., and Prum, R. O. 1999. Phylogenetic analysis of nest architecture of the Neotropical ovenbirds (Furnariidae). Auk 116: 891-911.

Prum, R. O., Rice, N. H., Mobley, J. A., and Dimmick, W. W. 2000. A preliminary phylogenetic hypothesis for the cotingas (Cotingidae) based on mitochondrial DNA. Auk 117: 236-241.

Ericson, P. G. P., Zuccon, D., Ohlson, J. I., Alvarenga, H., and Prum, R. O. 2006. Higher-level phylogeny and morphological evolution of tyrant flycatchers, cotingas, manakins, and their allies (Aves:Tyrannida). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40: 471-483.

Moyle, R. G., Chesser, T., Prum, R. O., Schikler, P., and Cracraft, J. 2006. Phylogeny and evolutionary history of Old World suboscine birds (Aves: Eurylaimides). American Museum Novitates 3544: 1-22.

Ohlson, J. I., Ericson, P. G. P., and Prum, R. O. 2007. A molecular phylogeny of the cotingas (Aves: Cotingidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 42: 25-37.