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Department of Vertebrate Zoology

Division of Birds

Labrador Duck
Labrador Duck
Christina Gebhard © Smithsonian Institution
bar Image of Storrs Olson, Senior Scientist
    Storrs L. Olson
    Curator Emeritus

  • Phone: (202) 633-0795
  • Fax: (202) 633-8084
  • E-mail: olsons[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


Sc.D. Johns Hopkins University (1972)
M. S. Florida State University (1968)
B.A. Florida State University (1966)

Research Interests

Current research interests: fossil avifaunas and paleoenvironments of Hawaii, Bermuda, and the West Indies. Biogeography of the avifauna of the archipelago and lowlands of Bocas del Toro, Panama. Phylogeny and systematics of Hawaiian and various other birds, mainly Neotropical.

Recent Publications

Olson, Storrs L. and Stephens, Clyde S. 2018. Alwyn Hasso von Wedel (1873-1957): bird and plant collector on the Caribbean coast of Panama. Archives of Natural History, 45(2): 317-334. doi:10.3366/anh.2018.0523

Olson, Storrs L. and Humphrey, Johanna R. 2017. The island of origin of Richard Harlan’s Galapagos tortoise Testudo elephantopus. Archives of Natural History, 44(1): 110-117. doi:10.3366/anh.2017.0418

Rando, J. C., Pieper, H., Olson, Storrs L., Pereira, F. and Alcover, J. A. 2017. A new extinct species of large bullfinch (Aves: Fringillidae: Pyrrhula) from Graciosa Island (Azores, North Atlantic Ocean). Zootaxa, 4282(3): 567-583. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4282.3.9

Olson, Storrs L. 2017. Species rank for the critically endangered Atlantic Lesser Frigatebird (Fregata trinitatis). The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 129(4): 661-675. doi:10.1676/1559-4491-129.4.661

Olson, Storrs L. 2017. The early scientific history of Galapagos tortoises. Archives of Natural History, 44(2): 241-258. doi:10.3366/anh.2017.0447

Olson, Storrs L. and Wiley, James W. 2016. The Blue-headed Quail-Dove (Starnoenas cyanocephala): an Australasian dove marooned in Cuba. Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 128(1): 1-21. doi:10.1676/1559-4491-128.1.1

Olson, Storrs L. and Lund, Judith N. 2016. Additional references to "woggin" as a name for penguins. Archives of Natural History, 43(2): 360-362. doi:10.3366/anh.2016.0392

Olson, Storrs L. 2015. The myth of the Malaspina Expedition in the Galapagos Islands. Archives of Natural History, 42(1): 173-175. doi:10.3366/anh.2015.0290

Olson, Storrs L. 2015. History, morphology, and fossil record of the extinct Puerto Rican Parakeet Psittacara maugei Souancé. Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 127(1): 1-12. doi:10.1676/14-020.1

Olson, Storrs L. 2015. The Bird Skinner, by Alice Greenway. Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 127(1): 157-158.

Hailer, Frank, James, Helen F., Olson, Storrs L. and Fleischer, Robert C. 2015. Distinct and extinct: Genetic differentiation of the Hawaiian eagle. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 83: 40-43. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2014.11.005

Suárez, William and Olson, Storrs L. 2015. Systematics and distribution of the giant fossil barn owls of the West Indies (Aves: Strigiformes: Tytonidae). Zootaxa, 4020(3): 533-553. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4020.3.7

Olson, Storrs L. 2015. Mass mortality of male Oceanic Puffer Lagocephalus lagocephalus (Tetraodontidae) at Trindade Island (Brazil), South Atlantic Ocean, with a review of mortalities in Hawaii and the Gulf of Guinea. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 127(4): 568-571. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-127.4.568

Olson, Storrs L. 2015. More on the status of Testudo nigra Quoy and Gaimard and Testudo nigrita Duméril and Bibron as nomina dubia for Galapagos tortoises (Testudines: Testudinidae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 128(4): 204-208. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-128.4.204

Olson, Storrs L. 2014. Tracks of a Stilt-Like Bird from the Early Eocene Green River Formation of Utah: Possible Earliest Evidence of the Recurvirostridae (Charadriiformes). Waterbirds, 37(3): 340-345. doi:10.1675/063.037.0313

Olson, Storrs L. and David, Normand 2014. The gender of the tortoise genus Chelonoidis Fitzinger, 1835 (Testudines: Testudinidae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 126(4): 393-394. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-126.4.393

Olson, Storrs L. 2014. The Legacy of a Red Hills Hunting Plantation: Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy. The Auk, 131(1): 114-115. doi:10.1642/AUK-13-239.1

Welch, Andreanna J., Olson, Storrs L. and Fleischer, Robert C. 2014. Phylogenetic relationships of the extinct St Helena petrel, Pterodroma rupinarum Olson, 1975 (Procellariiformes: Procellariidae), based on ancient DNA. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 170(3): 494-505. doi:10.1111/zoj.12078

Suárez, William and Olson, Storrs L. 2014. A new fossil species of small crested caracara (Aves: Falconidae: Caracara) from the Pacific lowlands of western South America. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 127(2): 299-310. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-127.2.299

Olson, Storrs L. 2014. The early scientific history of Galapagos iguanas. Archives of Natural History, 41(1): 141-153. doi:10.3366/anh.2014.0217

Olson, Storrs L. 2014. A hard nut to crack: rapid evolution in the Kona Grosbeak of Hawaii for a locally abundant food source (Drepanidini: Chloridops kona). Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 126(1): 1-8. doi:10.1676/13-046.1

Complete List of Olson's Publications and Downloadable PDFs

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