“Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing”
Wernher von Braun
My primary areas of research interest are ecogeography and phylogeography. I am currently interested in integrating different approaches including morphology, phylogeography and ecology to explain population differentation within bird species and/or closely related bird species (species complex). My projects mostly concentrated on museum specimens, and I am interested in sub-Saharan Africa and the Western Palearctic Region. Here is some research project examples that I completed.
Ecogeographical variation of body size in Chaffinches
Significant geographic variation in body size occurs throughout Eurasia and North Africa and this variation is best explained by Boyce's seasonality hypothesis rather than Bergmann's rule. (PhD project)
Perktaş, U. 2011. Ecogeographical variation of body size in Chaffinches Fringilla coelebs. Bird Study, 58: 264-277. Link
Phylogeography of the Green Woodpecker complex
We used complete mitochondrial ND2 sequences from populations throughout the range to investigate the genetic structure and evolutionary history of this complex. Three well-differentiated clades, corresponding to three biogeographical regions, were recovered. The populations in North Africa were sister to those of Europe and, within Europe, Iberia was sister to rest of Europe and Near East.
Perktaş, U., Barrowclough, GF. & Groth, JG. 2011. Phylogeography and species limits in the green woodpecker complex (Aves: Picidae): multiple Pleistocene refugia and range expansion across Europe and Near East. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 104: 710-723. Link
Climate-driven range shifts and demographic events over the history of Kruper's Nuthatch
This study first-ever documented evidence of an interglacial refugium during the Last Interglacial for birds in Anatolia and suggests the need of a re-examination of the effects of the Last Interglacial on the geographic distribution and genetic structure of species.
Perktaş, U., Gür, H., Sağlam, İK. & Quintero, E.. 2015. Climate-driven range shifts and demographic events over the history of Kruper's Nuthatch. Bird Study, 62: 14-28. Link