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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Department of Vertebrate Zoology

Division of Birds

Labrador Duck
Labrador Duck
Christina Gebhard © Smithsonian Institution
bar Image of Gary Graves, Curator
    Gary R. Graves
    VZ Department Chair, Curator of Birds

  • Phone:(202) 633-0790
  • Fax: (202) 633-8084
  • E-mail:gravesg[at]

  • Mailing Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    Division of Birds
    PO Box 37012, MRC 116
    Washington, DC 20013-7012

  • Shipping Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    Division of Birds
    10th and Constitution Ave, NW
    Washington, DC 20560-0116

Related Links

Null Models in Ecology

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Ph.D. Florida State University (1983). Biological Sciences
MSc. Louisiana State University (1980). Zoology
BSc. University of Arkansas, Little Rock (1976). Biology

Research Interests

My primary interests center on the ecology, biogeography, and evolution of birds. I am unapologetically curious about natural history and the pathways by which natural history observations catalyze significant ecological and evolutionary discoveries. My research program currently focuses on multi-scale patterns of species diversity, the stable isotope ecology of wood warblers, the evolutionary consequences of hybridization in hummingbirds, and the conservation biology of rare and declining bird species. Fieldwork plays an important role in most of my research objectives. I am currently conducting field studies in Jamaica, the bottomland forests in the southeastern United States, the Appalachian Mountains, and in the Sonoran Desert. I am one of the co-organizers of the Bird 10K genome project which seeks to obtain whole genome sequences of the 10,400+ species of living birds.

Recent Publications

Graves, Gary R. 2015. A primer on the hybrid zone of Jamaican streamertail hummingbirds (Trochilidae: Trochilus). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 128(1): 111-124. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-128.1.111

Rangel, Thiago F., Colwell, Robert K., Graves, Gary R., Fucíková, Karolina, Rahbek, Carsten and Diniz-Filho, Jos 2015. Phylogenetic uncertainty revisited: Implications for ecological analyses. Evolution, 69(5): 1301-1312. doi:10.1111/evo.12644

Harvey, Michael G., Judy, Caroline Duffie, Seeholzer, Glenn F., Maley, James M., Graves, Gary R. and Brumfield, Robb T. 2015. Similarity thresholds used in DNA sequence assembly from short reads can reduce the comparability of population histories across species. PeerJ, 3: 895 doi:10.7717/peerj.895

Rocha, L. A., Aleixo, A., Allen, G., Almeda, F., Baldwin, Carole C., Barclay, M. V. L., Bates, J. M., Bauer, A. M., Benzoni, F., Berns, C. M., Berumen, M. L., Blackburn, D. C., Blum, S., Bolanos, F., Bowie, R. C. K., Britz, R., Brown, R. M., Cadena, C. D., Carpenter, K., Ceriaco, L. M., Chakrabarty, P., Chaves, G., Choat, J. H., Clements, K. D., Collette, Bruce B., et al 2014. Specimen collection: An essential tool. Science, 344(6186): 814-815. doi:10.1126/science.344.6186.814

Jarvis, Erich D., Mirarab, Siavash, Aberer, Andre J., Li, Bo, Houde, Peter, Li, Cai, Ho, Simon Y. W., Faircloth, Brant C., Nabholz, Benoit, Howard, Jason T., Suh, Alexander, Weber, Claudia C., Fonseca, Rute R. da, Li, Jianwen, Zhang, Fang, Li, Hui, Zhou, Long, Narula, Nitish, Liu, Liang, Ganapathy, Ganesh, Boussau, Bastien, Bayzid, Md Shamsuzzoha, Zavidovych, Volodymyr, Subramanian, Sankar, Gabaldón, Toni, et al 2014. Whole-genome analyses resolve early branches in the tree of life of modern birds. Science, 346(6215): 1320-1331. doi:10.1126/science.1253451

Zhang, Guojie, Li, Cai, Li, Qiye, Li, Bo, Larkin, Denis M., Lee, Chul, Storz, Jay F., Antunes, Agostinho, Greenwold, Matthew J., Meredith, Robert W., Ödeen, Anders, Cui, Jie, Zhou, Qi, Xu, Luohao, Pan, Hailin, Wang, Zongji, Jin, Lijun, Zhang, Pei, Hu, Haofu, Yang, Wei, Hu, Jiang, Xiao, Jin, Yang, Zhikai, Liu, Yang, Xie, Qiaolin, et al 2014. Comparative genomics reveals insights into avian genome evolution and adaptation. Science, 346(6215): 1311-1320. doi:10.1126/science.1251385

Graves, Gary R. 2014. Questions raised by the consumption of cane sugar by a Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens). The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology, 27: 27-30.

Blois, Jessica L., Gotelli, Nicholas J., Behrensmeyer, Anna K., Faith, J. T., Lyons, Sara K., Williams, John W., Amatangelo, Kathryn L., Bercovici, Antoine, Du, Andrew, Eronen, Jussi T., Graves, Gary R., Jud, Nathan, Labandeira, Conrad C., Looy, Cindy V., McGill, Brian, Patterson, David, Potts, Richard, Riddle, Brett, Terry, Rebecca, Tóth, Anikó, Villaseñor, Amelia and Wing, Scott L. 2014. A framework for evaluating the influence of climate, dispersal limitation, and biotic interactions using fossil pollen associations across the late Quaternary. Ecography, 37(11): 1095-1108. doi:10.1111/ecog.00779

Roggenbuck, Michael, Schnell, Ida Bærholm, Blom, Nikolaj, Bælum, Jacob, Bertelsen, Mads Frost, Pontén, Thomas Sicheritz, Sørensen, Søren Johannes, Gilbert, M. T., Graves, Gary R. and Hansen, Lars H. 2014. The microbiome of New World vultures. Nature Communications, 5 doi:10.1038/ncomms6498

Graves, Gary R. 2014. Western Marsh Harrier Preys on Herring Gull. Journal of Raptor Research, 48(2): 191-192. doi:10.3356/JRR-13-00088.1

Graves, Gary R. 2013. Characteristics of a Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis) territory in Huntley Meadows, Fairfax County, Virginia. Banisteria, 41: 94-95.

Graves, Gary R. 2013. Hummingbirds visit feeders at high-rise apartment buildings. Banisteria, 41: 95-97.

Graves, Gary R. 2013. A probable nearshore record of Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) on Assateague Island, Virginia. Banisteria, 41: 93-94.

Holt, Ben G., Lessard, Jean-Philippe, Borregaard, Michael K., Fritz, Susanne A., Araújo, Miguel B., Dimitrov, Dimitar, Fabre, Pierre-Henri, Graham, Catherine H., Graves, Gary R., Jønsson, Knud A., Nogués-Bravo, David, Wang, Zhiheng, Whittaker, Robert J., Fjeldså, Jon and Rahbek, Carsten 2013. Response to Comment on "An Update of Wallace's Zoogeographic Regions of the World". Science, 341(6144): 343 doi:10.1126/science.1237541

Holt, Ben G., Lessard, Jean-Philippe, Borregaard, Michael K., Fritz, Susanne A., Araujo, Miguel B., Dimitrov, Dimitar, Fabre, Pierre-Henri, Graham, Catherine H., Graves, Gary R., Jonsson, Knud A., Nogues-Bravo, David, Wang, Zhiheng, Whittaker, Robert J., Fjeldsa, Jon and Rahbek, Carsten 2013. An Update of Wallace's Zoogeographic Regions of the World. Science, 339(6115): 74-78. doi:10.1126/science.1228282

McCormack, John E., Maley, James M., Hird, Sarah M., Derryberry, Elizabeth P., Graves, Gary R. and Brumfield, Robb T. 2013. Corrigendum to "Next-generation sequencing reveals phylogeographic structure and a species tree for recent bird divergences" [Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 62 (2012) 397–406]. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 66(1): 440 doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2012.09.009

Hines, Richard E., Bader, Troy J. and Graves, Gary R. 2013. Chimney Swifts (Chaetura pelagica) Nest in Tree Cavities in Arkansas. Southeastern Naturalist, 12(4): N18-N20. doi:10.1656/058.012.0414

Lisney, Thomas J., Stecyk, Karyn, Kolominsky, Jeffrey, Graves, Gary R., Wylie, Douglas R. and Iwaniuk, Andrew N. 2013. Comparison of eye morphology and retinal topography in two species of new world vultures (Aves: Cathartidae). The Anatomical Record, 296(12): 1954-1970. doi:10.1002/ar.22815

Graves, Gary R. 2013. Historical decline and probable extinction of the Jamaican Golden Swallow Tachycineta euchrysea euchrysea. Bird Conservation International, 24(2): 239-251. doi:10.1017/S095927091300035X

McCormack, John E., Maley, James M., Hird, Sarah M., Derryberry, Elizabeth P., Graves, Gary R. and Brumfield, Robb T. 2012. Next-generation sequencing reveals phylogeographic structure and a species tree for recent bird divergences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 62(1): 397-406. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.10.012

Schirtzinger, Erin E., Tavares, Erika S., Gonzales, Lauren A., Eberhard, Jessica R., Miyaki, Cristina Y., Sanchez, Juan J., Hernandez, Alexis, Müeller, Heinrich, Graves, Gary R., Fleischer, Robert C. and Wright, Timothy F. 2012. Multiple Independent Origins of Mitochondrial Control Region Duplications in the Order Psittaciformes. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 64(2): 342-356. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2012.04.009

Gotelli, Nicholas J., Chao, Anne, Colwell, Robert K., Hwang, Wen-han and Graves, Gary R. 2012. Specimen-Based Modeling, Stopping Rules, and the Extinction of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. Conservation Biology, 26(1): 47-56. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2011.01715.x

Graves, Gary R., Newsome, Seth D., Willard, David E., Grosshuesch, David A., Wurzel, William W. and Fogel, Marilyn L. 2012. Nutritional stress and body condition in the Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) during winter irruptive migrations. Canadian journal of zoology, 90(7): 787-797. doi:10.1139/z2012-047

Cibois, Alice, Beadell, Jon S., Graves, Gary R., Pasquet, Eric, Slikas, Beth, Sonsthagen, Sarah A., Thibault, Jean-Claude and Fleischer, Robert C. 2011. Charting the course of reed-warblers across the Pacific islands. Journal of Biogeography, 38(10): 1963-1975. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02542.x

Schindel, David E., Stoeckle, Mark, Milensky, Chris, Trizna, Michael, Schmidt, Brian K., Gebhard, Christina and Graves, Gary R. 2011. Project Description: DNA Barcodes of Bird Species in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, USA. Zookeys, 152: 87-91. doi:10.3897/zookeys.152.2473

Graves, Gary R. and Prys-Jones, Robert P. 2011. Rediscovery of the holotype of Trochilus maria Gosse, 1849 (Aves: Apodiformes: Trochilidae). Zootaxa, 2929: 59-63.

Graves, Gary R., Lane, Daniel F., O'Neill, John P. and Valqui, Thomas 2011. A distinctive new subspecies of the Royal Sunangel (Aves: Trochiliformes; Heliangelus regalis) from the Cordillera Azul, northern Peru. Zootaxa, 3002: 52-58.

Graves, Gary R. 2011. Status of wood rails (Aramides) in north-west Peru. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club, 131(1): 210-212.

Complete List of Graves's Publications and Downloadable PDFs

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