Genomic differences and categorization in Eastern, Lilian’s, and Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna, S. m. lilianae, and S. neglecta)
- Student Recipient: Johanna Beam, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
- Faculty Mentor: Scott Taylor
- Grant Information: 2019-20 Academic Year, Individual Grant
- Project Description: North American meadowlarks are currently classified as two species, each containing numerous subspecies. One allopatric subspecies of the Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna lilianae) is thought to represent a distinct population worthy of species status. My project will examine these populations of North American meadowlarks, including Eastern, Western, and Lilian’s Meadowlark, from a genomic perspective. Specifically, I will focus on describing the Lilian’s subspecies in the southwestern US relative to the other North American subspecies. By studying this species complex over the entire genome, we are better able to understand evolutionary processes leading to divergence and speciation.