New DNA Technology Reveals the Evolutionary History of Birds

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

12:10–12:40 pm
Huxley Theater

Are penguins closely related to ducks? Are flamingos just goofy-looking herons, or are they something completely different? When did songbirds evolve? Curators of bird-specimen collections study the evolutionary relationships of birds using the fossil record and modern DNA-sequencing technologies. As these technologies have improved so has our understanding of the history of birdlife on Earth. Dr. Jeremy Kirchman, NYSM’s curator of birds, will explain how a new revolution in DNA laboratory methods has changed what we know about bird evolution. Turns out flamingos are goofy-looking grebes! Who knew?

This program includes a 20-minute talk followed by brief Q&A. Participants are welcomed to bring their lunches.


Montage of Bird Photographs

Montage of photographs by Michael L. Smith and Creative Commons (flamingo, grebe)