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Research


The Burke GRC has contributed to over 250 publications on various aspects of molecular evolution, conservation, ecology, and archaeology, authored by scientists from around the world. Research topics reflect both collection strengths (currently, tissues from wild birds and mammals) and development of new molecular techniques and fields of enquiry.

Molecular analyses of Burke tissues have helped resolve evolutionary relationships among species, uncover cryptic species, reveal how geologic history affects population structure, and elucidate the nature and dynamics of species hybrid zones. These studies have contributed to our understanding of the evolution of traits such as feather color or the ability to see UV light, or complex life-history strategies such as brood parasitism. They have provided crucial information on population genetic structure, which can inform conservation decisions about, for example, seabird by-catch by the high seas fishing industry, or habitat preservation for threatened island populations. At the molecular level, researchers have used Burke tissues to explore topics as diverse as atypical chromosomal sex-determination, the nature and effects of chromosomal inversions, the adaptive evolution of intron sizes, and molecular changes in hemoglobin proteins as an adaptation to high altitude.

Access these publications by visiting the Burke's Publications page, where you can link to the Publications Database to browse publications by collection, and/or and search for particular topics of interest. If you have used tissues from the Genetic Resource Collection and do not see your publication listed, please contact sbirks@u.washington.edu.

Burke researcher Meade Krosby sequences DNA from birds
Burke researcher Meade Krosby sequences DNA from birds with tissues archived in the genetic resources collection.
Photo by Sharon Birks


Featured research and publications from the Burke GRC

Hermit and Townsend's Warblers

Featured Publication
A tale of two species: genetic analysis of Hermit and Townsend's Warblers reveals probable extinction in progress
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Avian visual pigments

Featured Publication
How do birds see color? Sequencing DNA from avian visual pigments reveals which birds are sensitive to UV light
Read More...


whiteeye

Featured Publication
A "great speciator": white-eyes may form new species faster than any other group of birds.
Read More...


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