Speaker: James Thomas
What is a species? Traditionally, species have been distinguished based on behavior and morphology studies. Modern molecular biology has opened the bird genome for examination. Dr. James W. Thomas has studied the correlation between variations in behavior of the White-throated Sparrow and variations in specific genes of the bird. Now at the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center (NISC), he has also participated in an extensive study of the genome of the Hawaiian amakihi (a honeycreeper) that will help resolve questions of species and population genetics in these and possibly other bird families. Dr. Thomas, who evaluates and oversees new DNA sequencing technologies, will discuss how these modern genetic studies are performed.