Silu Wang


Silu Wang.

Silu Wang


Silu Wang


Research Interests

Speciation, Adaptation, Forest Evolutionary Genomics, Birds


  • BS, Behavior Genetics and Neurobiology, University of Toronto
  • MA, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Texas, Austin
  • PhD, Zoology, University of British Columbia
  • Postdoctoral Research, University of California Berkeley, and UC Davis

Office Hours

  • By appointment

Courses Taught

  • Speciation, Tropical Ecology, and Evolution

Research Summary

Dr. Silu Wang's Forest Speciation Lab investigates speciation and adaption of forest avian species complexes in the early stage of speciation. Species boundaries are dynamic, underpinned by the tension between gene flow and genetic incompatibilities among diverging lineages. Species boundaries often change in response to climate changes. We mainly work on avian species complexes in the early stage of speciation in the old-growth forests of Americas. In the midst of climatic and biodiversity crises, we strive to understand the diversity of life while seeking conservation strategies. We study the organismal footprints of hybridization, adaptation, and reproductive isolation in various temporal and spatial scales, with the ultimate mission to understand and maintain biodiversity in the changing world.

Selected Publications

Key: *corresponding author; +equal contribution; ^ mentee.

  • Li Q., Chen D., Wang S.2023. Character displacement of egg colors during tinamou speciation. Evolution. 77: 1874–1881. Link.
  • de Zwaan D. R., Mackenzie J.^, Mikkelsen E.^, Wood, C., Wang S.* 2022. Opposing dominance within a color gene block is associated with maladaptive hybrid signal discordance. PNAS nexus. 1: 1-6. Link.
  • Wang S., Nalley M.J., Chatla K., Aldaimalani R.^, MacPherson A., Wei KH-C., Corbett R., Mai D., Bachtrog D.* 2022. Neo-sex chromosome evolution shapes sex-dependent asymmetrical introgression barrier. PNAS. 119: e2119382119. Link.
  • +MacPherson A.*, +Wang S., Rieseberg L., Yamaguchi R., Otto S. 2022. Parental population range expansion before secondary contact promotes heterosis. American Naturalist. 200: E1-E15. Link
  • Ore M.*^, Wang S., Irwin D.E. 2022. Gradual transitions in genetics and songs between coastal and inland populations of Setophaga townsendi. Ornithology. 140:ukac060. Link.
  • Wang S.*, Ore M. Mikkelsen E.^ , Lee-Yaw, J., Rohwer S., Irwin DE. 2021. Signatures of mito-nuclear climate adaptation in a warbler species complex. Nature Communications. 12:4279. Link.
  • Wang S.*, Rohwer S., de Zwaan D. R., Toews D.P.L., Lovette I.J., Mackenzie J. ^, Irwin DE. 2020. Selection on a small genomic region underpins differentiation in multiple color traits between two warbler species. Evolution Letters. 4: 502-515. Link.
  • Wang S.*, Rohwer S., Delmore K., Irwin DE. 2019. Cross-decade stability of an avian hybrid zone. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 32:1242-1251. Link.
  • Wang S., Sokolowski M. B.* 2017. Aggressive behaviors, food-deprivation, and the foraging gene. Royal Society Open Science. 4:170042. Link.
  • Wang S.*, Cummings M. E., Kirkpatrick M. A. 2015. Coevolution of male courtship and sexual conflict characters in mosquitofish. Behavioral Ecology. 26: 1013-1020. Link.
  • Wang S.M.T., Ramsey M., Cummings M. E.* 2014. Plasticity of the mate choice mind: courtship evokes choice-like brain responses in females from a coercive mating system. Genes, Brain and Behavior. 13: 365-375. Link.