Biology ETDs


Jason Malaney

Publication Date



Understanding how diversity is partitioned across the landscape can provide perspectives related to the environmental processes that have influenced the evolutionary history of organisms. This main idea, often termed phylogeography, serves as the backdrop to my research where I explore three broad concepts including historical biogeography, cryptic diversity and ecology, and conservation phylogenetics. I address various questions in each of these concepts by using a set of mammals that are associated with montane and mesic environments of North America. More specifically, I focus on the jumping mice (Zapodidae) to test hypotheses that scale to the broader community. This approach allows for a more refined understanding and interpretation of how species have responded to geophysical changes of the past that may be useful for predicting how future environmental pressures may influence geographically oriented lineages. By integrating across multiple disciplines of population genetics, phylogenetics, phylogeography, distribution modeling, and paleoclimatology, I assess how environmental change has left an imprint on the genetics and ecology of various organisms. Signatures of the past are useful to forecast conservation issues of the future.

Project Sponsors

Funding was provided by Lloyd David and Carlye Cannon Wattis Foundation Internship (Denver Museum of Nature and Science), Graduate Research Development Grant from the Graduate Professional Student Association (UNM), New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Share with Wildlife Fund, National Science Foundation (0415668), T&E Inc., and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.




Conservation prioritization, species distribution modeling, comparative phylogeography, historical biogeography

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Biology Department

First Advisor

Cook, Joseph

First Committee Member (Chair)

Poe, Steve

Second Committee Member

Turner, Tom

Third Committee Member

Guralnick, Robert