Professor of Zoology, Department of Zoology; Curator of Birds, Chair of Zoology Division, and Associate Director, Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195


    B.A., Zoology, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida, 1964

    M.A., Zoology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, thesis title "Molt and the annual cycle of the Chuck-will's widow," 1970

    Ph.D., Zoology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, dissertation title "Systematics and evolution of the Great Plains Meadowlarks," 1971


    Assistant Professor of Zoology, Curator of Birds and Chair of Zoology Division (Burke Museum), University of Washington, 1973-1978

    Associate Professor of Zoology, Curator of Birds and Chair of Zoology Division (Burke Museum), University of Washington, 1978-1985

    Professor of Zoology, and Curator of Birds and Chair of Zoology Division (Burke Museum), University of Washington, 1985-present

    Acting Director, Burke Museum, University of Washington, 1989-1990

    Associate Director, Burke Museum, University of Washington, 1990-present


    National Science Foundation, Heritability and Resource Components of Size-Based Selection, $171,790, 1986-1989

    Special Legislative appropriation for planning new permanent exhibits for the Burke Museum, 1989-1990.

    Raised over $1.3 million in private contributions to establish a variety of endowments for the Burke Museum, all in cooperation with E. Ferguson, 1989-1993

    National Science Foundation, Data Management System for Washington's Principal Ornithological Collections, $30,000, Museum $75,000, 1990-1991

    Institute for Museum, General Operating Grant $75,000 (proposal co-authored with R. Augusztiny), 1990

    National Science Foundation, Salvage and Analysis of North Pacific Seabirds from the High-seas Driftnet Fishery for Flying Squid, $50,000 from the National Science Foundation, $43,000 UW match, 1991-1993

    University of Washington Royalty Research Grant, The Shared Biotic History of Asia and America, $30,000 (proposal co-authored with Donald K. Grayson), 1992-1993

    National Science Foundation, Salvage of Bird Specimens from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, $50,000, 1992-1993

    Fish and Wildlife Service, A Morphometric Analysis to Map Oil-killed Murres to Breeding Areas of Origin, $42,000, 1992-1993


    Behavioral ecology and evolutionary biology including (1) theoretical and comparative studies of the origin and maintenance of reliable communication signals; (2) experimental field studies of mating systems, social beh avior, communication and resource defense; and (3) avian biology generally, including studies of molts and plumages, sexual size variation, and the timing of breeding.

    Museum collections, with special interests in using, developing, and fostering the use of collections to test the generality of evolutionary hypotheses in behavioral ecology through broad-based interspecific comparisons and through detailed intraspecific studies of the molts and plumages of birds. New interests in this area include use of molecular data to study hybrid zones, rates of evolution, and biogeography.


    Extensive collecting of Hermit and Townsend's Warblers in Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington for molecular and phenotypic studies of their hybrid zone, 1986-1988. Six-week expedition to the Cook Islands a nd Tonga, central Polynesia, 1987. Two-week collecting expedition to Louisiana, 1988. Three-week collecting expedition to SE Alaska and British Columbia, 1988. Scientific leader of collaborative seven-week research expedition to the Russian Far East (Ch ukotka, Magadan, and Kamchatka), 1992. Scientific leader of collaborative seven-week research expedition to the Russian Far East (Amurland and Sakhalin Island), 1993.

Five Most Relevant Publications:

  • ROHWER, S. A. 1972. A multivariate assessment of interbreeding between the meadowlarks, Sturnella. Syst. Zool., 21: 313-338.

  • ROHWER, S. A. 1973. Significance of sympatry to behavior and evolution of Great Plains Meadowlarks. Evolution, 27: 44-57.

  • ROHWER, S. A., and D.L. Kilgore, Jr. 1973. Interbreeding in the arid-land foxes, Vulpes velox and V. macrotis. Syst. Zool., 22:157-165.

  • Bermingham, E., S. A. ROHWER, S. Freeman, and C. Wood. 1992. Vicariance biogeography in the Pleistocene and speciation in North American wood warblers: A test of Mangel's model. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., U.S.A., 89: 6624-6628.

  • ROHWER, S. A. 1993. Two new hybrid Dendroica warblers and new methodology for inferring parental species. Auk, in press.

Five Other Significant Publications:

  • ROHWER, S. A. 1975. The social significance of avian winter plumage variability. Evolution, 29: 593-610.

  • ROHWER, S. A. 1978. Parent cannibalism of offspring and egg raiding as a courtship strategy. Amer. Nat., 112: 429-440.

  • ROHWER, S. A., and G. S. Butcher. 1988. Winter versus summer explanations of delayed plumage maturation in temperate passerine birds. Amer. Nat., 131: 556-572.

  • ROHWER, S. A., and E. Roskaft. 1989. Results of dying male Yellow-headed Blackbirds solid black: implications for the arbitrary identity badge hypothesis. Behav. Ecol. Sociobio., 25: 39-48.

  • ROHWER, S. A., and J. Manning. 1990. Differences in timing and number of molts for Baltimore and Bullock's Orioles: implications to hybrid fitness and theories of delayed plumage maturation. Condor, 82: 125-140.

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