The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change
is a research museum of the Leibniz Association
Link to Leibniz Association
In this project, we aim to use mitochondrial genes to construct the first comprehensive phylogenetic tree for the oystercatchers (Haematopodidae), a monotypic family of waders with a worldwide distribution.. Even though the oystercatchers form a rather small group of birds with only 12 currently acknowledged species, molecular genetic data is still incomplete. By including historical specimens in collections at the ZFMK, we also hope to enlighten the hitherto unresolved systematic position of some taxa. Finally, our goal is to comprehend the evolutionary background of the striking plumage duality between the different species, being either pied or all-black.