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Heather Lerner

Heather Lerner


2012-present: Director of Joseph Moore Museum and Assistant Professor, Earlham College, Richmond, IN
2009-2011: Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. and University of Maryland, College Park
2007: Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
2003: M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
1999: B.S. in Biology, Magna cum laude, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA

Assistant. Professor, Earlham College
801 National Road West  Drawer 143
Richmond,  IN  47374  United States
Phone: 949-436-6637
Email: hlerner@gmail.com

   Research Interests

I am interested in how genotype, phenotype and the environment interact to affect the persistence and evolution of species through time. I use innovative molecular approaches and computational methods to address questions about speciation, rates of evolution and adaptation. My work features development and use of next-generation sequencing methods, statistical genetic analysis and field collection of samples (tissue and subfossil specimens). I use neutral genetic variation as well as functional genomic regions to investigate the evolution of species. My work can be broadly categorized as (1) Phylogenetic, population and conservation genetics research and (2) Functional genetics and genomics of non-model organisms.

Species of Interest: 
Harpy Eagle


Lerner, H.R.L. 2011. (Review of) The eagle watchers: observing and conserving raptors around the world, edited by Ruth E. Tingay and Todd E. Katzner. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 123:418-419.

Lerner, H.R.L., M. Meyer, H.F. James, M. Hofreiter, and R.C. Fleischer. 2011. Multilocus resolution of phylogeny and timescale in the extant adaptive radiation of Hawaiian honeycreepers. Current Biology 21:1-7. DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2011.09.039       pdf

Lerner, H.R.L., and R.C. Fleischer. 2010. Prospects for the use of next-generation sequencing methods in ornithology. Auk 127:4-15.

Gjershaug, J.O., H.R.L. Lerner, and O.H. Diserud. 2009. Taxonomy and distribution of the Pygmy Eagle Aquila (Hieraaetus) weiskei (Accipitriformes: Accipitridae). Zootaxa 2326:24-38.

Lerner, H.R.L. 2009. (Review of) Raptor research and management techniques, edited by David M. Bird and Keith L. Bildstein. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 121:216-225.

Lerner, H.R.L., J.A. Johnson, A.R. Lindsay, L.F. Kiff, and D.P. Mindell. 2009. It's not too late for the Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja): high levels of genetic diversity and differentiation can fuel conservation programs. PLoS ONE 4(1):e7336. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0007336        pdf

Lerner, H.R.L., M.C. Klaver, and D.P. Mindell. 2008. Molecular phylogenetics of the buteonine birds of prey (Accipitridae). Auk 125:304-315.        pdf

Lerner, H.R.L. 2007. Molecular phylogenetics of diurnal birds of prey in the avian Accipitridae family. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Johnson, J.A., H.R.L. Lerner, P.C. Rasmussen, and D.P. Mindell. 2006. Systematics within Gyps vultures: a clade at risk. BMC Evolutionary Biology 6(65):1-12. DOI 10.1186/1471-2148-6-65       pdf

Bunce, M., M. Szulkin, H.R.L. Lerner, I. Barnes, B. Shapiro, A. Cooper, and R.N. Holdaway. 2005. Ancient DNA provides new insights into the evolutionary history of New Zealand's extinct Giant Eagle. PLoS Biology 3(1):e9. DOI 10.1371/journal.pbio.0030009        pdf

Lerner, H., and D. Mindell. 2005. Phylogeny of eagles, Old World vultures, and other Accipitridae based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37:327-346.        pdf

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