Gibson, R. A., University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada,
Haddrath, O. ., Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada,
Baker, A. J., Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada,


The shorebirds (Aves: Charadriiformes) are widespread geographically and are extremely diverse in life-history, morphology, and behavioral traits. In addition, there is considerable controversy over the evolutionary relationships among taxa. Recent studies using multiple nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequence data have begun to offer higher-level phylogenies of this order with good resolution and strong support. As a result, a consensus on the relationships among the families and genera is slowly emerging. However, species-level molecular phylogenies remain rare for shorebirds. This constitutes an important gap in research into shorebird evolution. Robust hypotheses of species relationships are necessary for understanding the evolution of the diverse and fascinating array of traits seen in these birds. To address this gap, we sequenced several mitochondrial (12S, cyt b, ND2) and nuclear (RAG1) genes from the shorebird sub-order Scolopaci to estimate their phylogenetic relationships using Bayesian methods. In addition, retroposon insertions were identified and sequenced to provide support for poorly resolved internal nodes. Implications of the tree topology and potential for application towards studies of trait evolution are discussed.

Oral presentation

Session #:G47
Date: Wednesday, 8/6/08
Time: 5:15 PM

Presentation is given by student: Yes