Phred M. Benham
"With enormous series of wide-ranging species at their command, the ornithologist is in possession of material to determine the character and extent of variation in color and in size... When to this intensive laboratory investigation they add a knowledge of the environmental conditions under which the species exists, they can often definitely correlate effect and cause."
-F.M. Chapman, 1923
Much as Chapman recognized the research value of large series of bird specimens, all aspects of my research rely on both specimen collection and utilizing the existing trove of specimens in natural history collections. Associated with these specimens is a wealth of genetic, physiological, and ecological data that I integrate into research investigating the evolutionary processes that shape patterns of avian diversity.