The Painted Bunting is part of the UCLA Bird Genoscape Project!

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Over the past seven years, I used the Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) as a focal species to study avian ecology and evolution. In collaboration with my colleagues at OU and UCLA, I developed DNA microsatellites for this species through a large-scale parallel pyrosequencing approach (454 Life Sciences) and investigated the patterns of population genetic structure across the species breeding and wintering range (see my CV and publication list for more details).


The Painted Bunting is also a focal species of the Bird Genoscape Project at UCLA. We currently have a collaborative effort that involves UCLA, The Institute for Bird Populations (IBP), and MoSI stations in Central America (Monitoreo de Sobrevivencia Invernal) aiming to collect additional bunting samples for genomic analyses. Many other songbird species are under investigation, though. For more information please download the News briefs of the MoSI Program following this link Relatos de Plumas – Dec 2017.


More recently, we expanded the research on the Painted Bunting with an Illumina HiSeq 4000 genome scan to get a better insight on population migratory connectivity and to identify DNA sequences under natural selection. This research involves a large collaborative effort across departments and institutions. The first Illumina run was funded through Eli Bridge’s Lab at OU, but we have more research grant proposals in the works…more news coming up soon!


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See the current research page and news page for more info. Above photo: Painted Bunting fitted with a geolocator at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge – OK; credits T. Michels/A. Contina. Infographic PABU SNPs worflow; credits A. Contina. List of collaborators at OU, UCSC, and UCLA.

Painted Bunting microsatellite DNA paper on EurekAlert! among the trending science news. You can read it here…