Dr. McCormack uses museum specimens and genomes to study the evolutionary history of birds, focusing especially on how both ancient landscape changes and more recent human-caused environmental changes affect birds’ distributions, appearance, and DNA.
As Director of the Moore Laboratory of Zoology and Curator of its bird and mammal collection, he is a champion of museum collections and their potential for understanding and reversing the biodiversity crisis.
- A video interview for Scientific American on Moore Lab's efforts to create 3D models for bird specimens
- Read his op-ed in the L.A. Times on threats to public museums
- Travel along with the Moore Lab in Mexico in this video on their effort to resurvey disappearing birdlife
- Regional representative-at-large for the Natural Science Collections Alliance
- Follow on Twitter for posts about birds, museums, and genomes
- Follow the Moore Lab's Instagram to get a behind-the-scenes look at museum science in action
Recent Publications (undergraduates underlined)
- For PDFs of papers prior to 2019 click here
- Medina JJ, JM Maley, S Sannapareddy, NN Medina, CM Gilman & JE McCormack. 2020. A rapid and cost-effective pipeline for digitization of museum specimens with 3D photogrammetry. PLoS One 15(8): e0236417
- Tsai WLE, ME Schedl, JM Maley & JE McCormack. 2019. More than skin and bones: Comparing extraction methods and alternative sources of DNA from avian museum specimens. Molecular Ecology Resources 20: 1220-1227
- DeRaad DA, JM Maley, WLE Tsai & JE McCormack. 2019. Phenotypic clines across an unstudied hybrid zone in Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma woodhouseii). The Auk: Ornithological Advances 136: 1-11.
- Tsai WLE, C Mota-Vargas, O Rojas-Soto, R Bhowmik, EY Liang, JM Maley, E Zarza & JE McCormack. 2019. Museum genomics reveals the speciation history of Dendrortyx wood-partridges in the Mesoamerican highlands. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 136: 29-34.
- Venkatraman MX, DA DeRaad, WLE Tsai, E Zarza, AJ Zellmer, JM Maley & JE McCormack. 2019. Cloudy with a chance of speciation: integrative taxonomy reveals extraordinary divergence within a Mesoamerican cloud forest bird. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society: 126: 1-15.
- Bio 280 - Evolutionary Biology - each Fall semester (required for Bio majors and great for non-majors)
- Bio 360 - Avian Biology - every other Spring
- Bio 326 - Molecular Phylogenetics - every other Spring
- Bio 310 - Museum Science - taught occassionally
- Bio 490 - Senior Seminar (Comps) - taught occassionally
- Bio 395 - Mentored Research - reach out by e-mail to inquire about research possibilities
- BC Faircloth, JE McCormack, NG Crawford, MG Harvey, RT Brumfield & TC Glenn. 2012. Ultraconserved elements anchor thousands of genetic markers spanning multiple evolutionary timescales. Systematic Biology 61: 717-726.
- JE McCormack, SM Hird, AJ Zellmer, BC Carstens & RT Brumfield. 2013. Applications of next-generation sequencing to phylogeography and phylogenetics. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66: 526-538.
- JE McCormack, WLE Tsai & BC Faircloth. 2016. Sequence capture of ultraconserved elements from bird museum specimens. Molecular Ecology Resources 16: 1189-1203.
- JE McCormack, F Rodriguez-Gomez, WLE Tsai & BC Faircloth. 2017. Transforming museum specimens into genomic resources. In: Emerging Frontiers in Collections-based Ornithological Research: The Extended Specimen. MS Webster, editor. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.
- BT Smith, JE McCormack, et al. 2014. The drivers of tropical speciation. Nature 515: 406-409.
- JE McCormack, H Huang & LL Knowles. 2009. Sky islands. Pages 839-843 in Encyclopedia of Islands (Gillespie, RG and D Clague, eds.). University of California Press: Berkeley, CA
- JE McCormack, BC Faircloth, NG Crawford, PA Gowaty, RT Brumfield & TC Glenn. 2012. Ultraconserved elements are novel phylogenomic markers that resolve placental mammal phylogeny when combined with species tree analysis. Genome Research 22: 746-754.
- Digitization PEN: oBird: 3D Photogrammetry of Museum Specimens for Phenomics across the Avian Tree of Life (DBI 2001652) | Abstract
- MRI: Launching an undergraduate-driven Genomics Center through acquisition of an Illumina MiSeq (DBI 1828738) | Abstract
- CAREER: Integrating undergraduate research, citizen science, and museum genomics to explore a century of change in North American birds (DEB 1652979) | Abstract
- RUI: CSBR: Natural History: Securing and digitizing the world’s largest Mexican bird collection (DBI 1349179) | Abstract
- RUI: Collaborative Proposal: Genomic approaches to comparative phylogeography in a biodiversity hotspot (DEB 1258205) | Abstract
- EAGER: RUI: The genomic architecture of speciation in an avian hybrid zone (DEB 1244739) | Abstract