Photo: Chris Witt


Ecology and evolution of migration · Ecological physiology · High-altitude biology · Population genetics · Host-parasite dynamics · Biogeography · Natural history

I am an evolutionary ecologist and ornithologist who combines fieldwork, genomics, and modeling to explore patterns of diversity, elevational range specialization, and seasonal movement (primarily elevational and latitudinal migration). My research takes place in the U.S. and the South American Andes.

I recently earned my Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico (UNM) & Museum of Southwestern Biology (MSB). In Fall 2022, I will join the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary biology as a postdoc fellow.

Follow my work on Google Scholar, ResearchGate, and GitHub.


October 2021

Check out our new paper, now online at Wilson Journal of Ornithology. We analyze predictable outcomes of parulid warbler hybridization, present a comprehensive list of known warbler hybrids, and describe an unusual Yellow x Black-throated Blue Warbler hybrid discovered on UNM campus.

July 2021

New paper live in Journal of Avian Biology! We present a lightweight harness for tracking hummingbirds that we have used successfully since 2017 and we review survival rates for temperate and tropical hummingbird species.

April 2021

Our paper on Elevational Niche-shift Migration (ENSM) is now online (open access) at Ornithology and received Editor's Choice! Twitter thread here:

January 2021

Our work on avian haemosporidians in both tropical and temperate bird communities has been accepted for publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (McNew et al. 2021) and Oecologia (Barrow et al. 2021). Both papers represent milestones in long-term research efforts and wouldn't have been possible without the contributions of dozens in the field and lab. Closer to home, our paper documenting the 2nd instance of Olive Warbler brood parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird and quantifying range overlap between these two species using GBIF and eBird data has been accepted for publication in Western Birds (Williamson & Baumann 2021).

December 2020

Our review paper on 'elevational niche-shift migration', a dive into the ecology, evolution, and physiology of elevational migrant birds shifting 2,000 m or more between the breeding and non-breeding seasons, has been accepted for publication in Ornithology. Data from GBIF and eBird were instrumental for our analyses. My popular science piece about how eBird has transformed birding culture is up at Outside Magazine. It was a lot of fun to examine a world so central to my daily existence and get the perspectives of many who've birded far longer than I have.

May 2020

Very excited to see our work quantifying turnover among avian malaria and bird communities of the Southwest in preprint form on bioRxiv.

October 2019

Our review paper on the ecology, evolution, and physiology of birds that make 'extreme' seasonal elevational shifts has been nominated as a Finalist for the AOS Wesley Lanyon Award!

September 2019

Hot off the press: our paper on avian malaria metatranscriptomes is available in early format from Molecular Ecology Resources! We show that metatranscriptomics is a great way to generate thousands of loci from even weakly infected birds.

May 2019

Our International Journal for Parasitology paper comparing the composition of sky-island haemosporidian parasites and the southwestern breeding bird community is now available.