Dan Wait

Dan Wait

PhD Candidate


  • 2012 Bachelor’s of Arts in Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley

Research Interests

I believe the study of biology can only be approached appropriately when we take into account the inherent complexity of life and do our very best to observe and collect data from all facets of our study organism’s biology. Much conjecturing and theoretical modelling has been done to establish the theory behind speciation and how it works, but empirical studies have been stymied due to our inability to access the information in avian genomes. With recent progress in genomic techniques, we are increasingly gaining tools to empirically demonstrate the ways in which speciation occurs on the molecular level. The next step is to pair this data with observations of the organisms themselves: when, where, why, and how do they breed? And what are the environmental variables that constrain the range of the organism? The main goal of my PhD work is to combine old-school field biology and museum collections practices with cutting edge genomics research in order to elucidate the broader patterns of the speciation process in avian systems.


  • Phoung, M A.,  M. C.W. Lim, D.R. Wait, K.C. Rowe, & C. Moritz. 2014. Delimiting species in the genus Otospermophilus (Rodentia: Sciuridae), using genetics, ecology, and morphology. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 113(4): 1136-1151.


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Dan in the jungles of Sulawesi, Indonesia