Dr. Robert Glen Moyle

Rob Moyle
  • Co-Director, Undergraduate Biology Program
  • Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Curator

Contact Info

Office Phone:
University of Kansas
1345 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045


Dr. Robert Moyle's research seeks to understand the patterns and processes of avian diversification.


I am interested in three broad topics; the historical biogeography of pantropical groups, patterns of endemism and drivers of diversification in SE Asia and the tropical Pacific, and the evolution of life history traits within tropical groups. Even in "well studied" groups like birds, relatively little is known about diversity in the tropics. Because of this, the first step in much of my research is to accurately account for this diversity, generally using museum collections and genetic surveys to reveal populations that have independent histories and field surveys to document current distributions and community structure. The genetic data are then used to reconstruct the evolutionary history of groups of interest. These evolutionary histories can be combined with natural history data and used to test hypotheses about factors that might influence diversification. Much of my work focuses on two insular regions (Melanesia and the Philippines/Greater Sunda islands) that are ideal systems for studying the tempo and mode of speciation in birds. Field expeditions are a large component of my research program, for specimen acquisition as well as collecting life history data.

Research interests:

  • Ornithology
  • Systematics
  • Phylogeny
  • Biogeography

Selected Publications

Moyle, Robert G., Joseph D. Manthey, Peter A. Hosner, Mustafa Rahman, Maklarin Lakim, and Frederick H. Sheldon. “A Genome-Wide Assessment of Stages of Elevational Parapatry in Bornean Passerine Birds Reveals No Introgression: Implications for Processes and Patterns of Speciation.” Journal Articles. PEERJ 5 (2017). https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3335.

Uy, J Albert C, Elizabeth A Cooper, Stephen Cutie, Moira R Concannon, Jelmer W Poelstra, Robert G Moyle, and Christopher E Filardi. “Mutations in Different Pigmentation Genes Are Associated with Parallel Melanism in Island Flycatchers.” Journal Articles. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 283, no. 1834 (June 2016): 20160731.

Manthey, J D, L C Campillo, K J Burns, and R G Moyle. “Comparison of Target-Capture and Restriction-Site Associated DNA Sequencing for Phylogenomics: A Test in Cardinalid Tanagers (Aves, Genus: Piranga).” Journal Articles. Systematic Biology, January 28, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syw005.

Moyle, Robert G, Carl H Oliveros, Michael J Andersen, Peter A Hosner, Brett W Benz, Joseph D Manthey, Scott L Travers, Rafe M Brown, and Brant C Faircloth. “Tectonic Collision and Uplift of Wallacea Triggered the Global Songbird Radiation.” Journal Articles. Nature Communications 7 (2016).

Manthey, J D, and R G Moyle. “Isolation by Environment in White-Breasted Nuthatches (Sitta Carolinensis) of the Madrean Archipelago Sky Islands: A Landscape Genomics Approach.” Journal Articles. Molecular Ecology 24, no. 14 (June 1, 2015): 3628–38. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.13258.

Andersen, M J, P A Hosner, C E Filardi, and R G Moyle. “Phylogeny of the Monarch Flycatchers Reveals Extensive Paraphyly and Novel Relationships within a Major Australo-Pacific Radiation.” Journal Articles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 83 (February 1, 2015): 118–36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2014.11.010.

Moyle, R G, P A Hosner, A W Jones, and D C Outlaw. “Phylogeny and Biogeography of Ficedula Flycatchers (Aves: Muscicapidae): Novel Results from Fresh Source Material.” Journal Articles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 82 Pt A (January 1, 2015): 87–94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2014.09.029.

Andersen, Michael J., Hannah T. Shult, Alice Cibois, Jean-Claude Thibault, Christopher E. Filardi, and Robert G. Moyle. “Rapid Diversification and Secondary Sympatry in Australo-Pacific Kingfishers (Aves: Alcedinidae: Todiramphus).” Journal Articles. Royal Society Open Science 2, no. 2 (January 6, 2015): 140375. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.140375.

Mittermeier, John C, Carl H Oliveros, Tri Haryoko, Mohammad Irham, and Robert G Moyle. “An Avifaunal Survey of Three Javan Volcanoes’Gn Salak, Gn Slamet, and the Ijen Highlands.” Journal Articles. BirdingASIA 22 (November 15, 2014): 91–100.

Hosner, P A, L A S├ínchez-Gonz├ílez, A T Peterson, and R G Moyle. “Climate-Driven Diversification and Pleistocene Refugia in Philippine Birds: Evidence from Phylogeographic Structure and Paleoenvironmental Niche Modeling.” Journal Articles. Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution 68, no. 9 (August 1, 2014): 2658–74. https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.12459.

Andersen, M J, A Naikatini, and R G Moyle. “A Molecular Phylogeny of Pacific Honeyeaters (Aves: Meliphagidae) Reveals Extensive Paraphyly and an Isolated Polynesian Radiation.” Journal Articles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 71 (February 1, 2014): 308–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2013.11.014.

Andersen, Michael J, Arpid S Nyari, Ian Mason, Leo Joseph, John P Dumbacher, Christopher E Filardi, and Robert G Moyle. “Molecular Systematics of the World’s Most Polytypic Bird: The Pachycephala Pectoralis/Melanura (Aves: Pachycephalidae) Species Complex.” Journal Articles. Zoological Journal of the Linnena Society 170 (2014): 566–88. https://doi.org/10.1111/zoj.12088.

Mittermeier, John C., Ryan C. Burner, Carl H. Oliveros, Dewi M. Prawiradilaga, Mohammad Irham, Tri Haryoko, and Robert G. Moyle. “Vocalisations and Display Behaviour of Javan Woodcock Scolopax Saturata Support Its Status as a Distinct Species.” Journal Articles. FORKTAIL, no. 30 (2014): 130–31.

Moyle, R. G., R. M. Jones, and M. J. Andersen. “A Reconsideration of Gallicolumba (Aves: Columbidae) Relationships Using Fresh Source Material Reveals Pseudogenes, Chimeras, and a Novel Phylogenetic Hypothesis.” Journal Articles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66, no. 3 (2013): 1060–66.

Brown, Rafe M, Cameron D Siler, Carl H Oliveros, Jacob A Esselstyn, Arvin C Diesmos, Peter A Hosner, Charles W Linkem, et al. “Evolutionary Processes of Diversification in a Model Island Archipelago.” Journal Articles. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 44 (2013): 411–35. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-110411-160323.

Grants & Other Funded Activity

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Hybridization and its downstream consequences for biodiversity.. DEB-1406989. $16733.00. (6/1/2014 - 5/31/2016). Federal. Status: Funded

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Disentangling phylogenetic relationships in an explosive bird radiation. DEB-1311513. $19256.00. (7/1/2013 - 6/30/2015). Federal. Status: Funded

RAPID: Re-organization of Philippine Rainforest Biodiversity Following Disturbance on Regional Scales from a Powerful Typhoon. DEB-1418895. $125942.00. (6/1/2014 - 5/31/2015). Federal. Status: Funded