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Department of Vertebrate Zoology

Division of Birds

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

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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

Pauli, Jonathan N., Newsome, Seth D., Cook, Joseph A., Harrod, Chris, Steffan, Shawn A., Baker, Christopher J. O., Ben-David, Merav, Bloom, David, Bowen, Gabriel J., Cerling, Thure E., Cicero, Carla, Cook, Craig, Dohm, Michelle, Dharampal, Prarthana S., Graves, Gary, Gropp, Robert, Hobson, Keith A., Jordan, Chris, MacFadden, Bruce, Birchs, Suzanne Pilaar, Poelen, Jorrit, Ratnasingham, Sujeevan, Russell, Laura, Stricker, Craig A., Uhen, Mark D., et al 2017. Why we need a centralized repository for isotopic data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(12): 2997-3001. doi:10.1073/pnas.1701742114

Lyons, S. Kathleen, Miller, Joshua H., Tóth, Anikó, Amatangelo, Kathryn L., Behrensmeyer, Anna K., Bercovici, Antoine, Blois, Jessica L., Davis, Matt, DiMichelle, William A., Du, Andrew, Eronen, Jussi T., Faith, J. T., Graves, Gary R., Jud, Nathan, Labandeira, Conrad C., Looy, Cindy V., McGill, Brian, Patterson, David, Pineda-Munoz, Silvia, Potts, Richard, Riddle, Brett, Terry, Rebecca, Ulrich, Werner, Villaseñor, Amelia, Wing, Scott, et al 2016. Questioning Holocene community shifts Reply. Nature, 537(7618): E5-6. doi:10.1038/nature19111

Graves, Gary R. 2016. Geographic range of the Western Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotis) in Arkansas. Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science, 70: 1-3.

Davis, Donald R. and Graves, Gary R. 2016. A New Leafmining Moth (Cameraria cotinivora , Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) of the American Smoketree (Cotinus obovatus). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 118(2): 244-253. doi:10.4289/0013-8797.118.2.244

Graves, Gary R. 2016. Head color and caruncles of sympatric Cathartes vultures (Aves: Cathartidae) in Guyana and their possible function in intra- and interspecific signaling. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, : 66-75. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-129.Q2.66

Graves, Gary R. and Tedford, Bruce L. 2016. Common Denominators of Swainson's Warbler Breeding Habitat in Bottomland Hardwood Forest in the White River Watershed in Southeastern Arkansas. Southeastern Naturalist, 15(2): 315-330. doi:10.1656/058.015.0213

Graves, Gary R., Dittmann, Donna L. and Cardiff, Steven W. 2016. Diagnoses of hybrid hummingbirds (Aves: Trochilidae). 17. Documentation of the intrageneric hybrid (Archilochus colubris × Archilochus alexandri). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 129(1): 1-9. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-129.Q1.1

Graves, Gary R. 2016. An Instance of Geophagy by Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) in the Great Dismal Swamp. Banisteria, 46: 27-28.

Graves, Gary R. 2016. First record of Clematis fremontii S. Watson from Arkansas. Castanea: The Journal of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society, 81(4): 333-335. doi:10.2179/16-100

Graves, Gary R. 2016. Observation of a Barn Owl (Tyto alba) bathing in a rainwater pool in Jamaica. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology, 29: 16-17.

Graves, Gary R. 2015. Swimming Black-Crowned Night-Herons ( Nycticorax nycticorax ) Kleptoparasitize American Coots ( Fulica americana ). The Southwestern Naturalist, 60(1): 130-131. doi:10.1894/MCG-11.1

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

Graves, Gary R. and Schmidt, Brian K. 2015. Distribution, Abundance, and Conservation Status of the Jamaican Crow, Corvus jamaicensis. Caribbean Naturalist, 27: 1-18.

Graves, Gary R., Turland, Vaughan A. and Levy, Catherine 2015. History of the Spotted Rail (Pardirallus maculatus) in Jamaica with first photographic documentation of breeding. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology, 28: 11-14.

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

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

Lyons, S. Kathleen, Amatangelo, Kathryn L., Behrensmeyer, Anna K., Bercovici, Antoine, Blois, Jessica L., Davis, Matt, DiMichele, William A., Du, Andrew, Eronen, Jussi T., Faith, J. Tyler, Graves, Gary R., Jud, Nathan, Labandeira, Conrad C., Looy, Cindy V., McGill, Brian, Miller, Joshua H., Patterson, David, Pineda-Munoz, Silvia, Potts, Richard, Riddle, Brett, Terry, Rebecca, Tóth, Anikó, Ulrich, Werner, Villaseñor, Amelia, Wing, Scott L., et al 2015. Holocene shifts in the assembly of plant and animal communities implicate human impacts. Nature, 529: 80-83. doi:10.1038/nature16447

Graves, Gary R. 2015. Recent large-scale colonisation of southern pine plantations by Swainson's Warbler Limnothlypis swainsonii. Bird Conservation International, 25(03): 280-293. doi:10.1017/S0959270914000306

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

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

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

Graves, Gary R. 2014. Compass Orientation of an Incubating and Brooding Ruby-Throated Humming-Bird (Archilochus Colubris). Banisteria, 44: 21-23.

Milensky, Christopher M., Austin, Claudia J., Epler, John H., Gebhard, Christina A. and Graves, Gary R. 2014. Chironomid Midge Hatch Leads to Mass Mortality Event for Chimney Swifts (Chaetura Pelagica). Banisteria, 43: 99-101.

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.

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

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

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

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., 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

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

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

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

Complete List of Graves's Publications and Downloadable PDFs

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