John McCormack

Associate Professor, Biology; Director, FJF Genomics Center

Dr. McCormack uses museum specimens and genomes to study the evolutionary history of birds, focusing especially on how both ancient landscape changes and more recent human-caused environmental changes affect birds’ distributions, appearance, and DNA.

Dr. McCormack publishes in peer-reviewed journals like EvolutionSystematic BiologyThe Auk, and Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. As Director of the Moore Laboratory of Zoology and Curator of its bird collection, he is a champion of museum collections and their scientific potential for understanding and ameliorating the biodiversity crisis. He penned an op-ed in the L.A. Times on threats to public museums and serves on the board of the National Science Collections Alliance.

His prior work co-developing new genomic markers for phylogenetics, called ultraconserved elements or UCEs, helped pave the way for using new DNA sequencing technologies in the field of systematics.

Dr. McCormack currently holds a National Science Foundation CAREER grant focusing on using museum specimens in the Moore Laboratory to understand 100 years of human-caused environmental change to Mexico's landscape and bird communities.

He posts on Twitter about museums, birds, and genomes.

View Dr. McCormack's full faculty profile.

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Office Number: 
Moore Laboratory of Zoology 250A