Jackie Childers

Jackie Childers

PhD Candidate

Learn more about Jackie’s research, creative works, and more on her website!


  • 2015 Master’s of Science in Biology, Villanova University
  • 2012 ​Bachelor’s of Science in Conservation Resource Studies with an emphasis in Wildlife Ecology, University of California, Berkeley

Research Interests

I am interested in studying the evolutionary patterns and processes that underlie species diversification and adaptation by conducting research in the fields of molecular systematics and comparative genomics. For my PhD I wish to pursue an integrative approach to my research by combining ecological, morphological and molecular data to address questions within an evolutionary framework. I am particularly interested in understanding how the forces of natural and sexual selection drive observed differences in phenotypes among groups of closely related organisms. My dissertation project focuses on the Old World weaverbirds (family Ploceidae), a large radiation of sparrow-like birds that occupy a wide array of habitat types throughout the African continent and parts of tropical Asia. In addition to studying African Weaverbirds, I am also broadly interested in studying patterns of species diversification in other African groups, including southern African lacertid lizards, which I primarily conducted my Master’s thesis work on.


Childers, J.L.,  Jackman, T.R., & Bauer, A.M. 2019. Phylogenetics and integrative taxonomy of the Pedioplanis undata species complex (Sauria: Lacertidae) with the description of two new species. Zootaxa (In review).

Bauer, A.M., Childers, J.L., Broeckhoven, C., Mouton, P. LF. N., 2019. A new Nucras Gray, 1838 (Squamata: Lacertidae) from the Strandveld of the Western Cape, South Africa. Zootaxa 4560 (1): 149-163.

Eifler, D.A., Eifler, M., Malela, K., Childers, J.L., 2016. Social networks in the Little Scrub Island Ground Lizard (Ameiva corax). Journal of Ethology 34(3): 343–348.

Childers, J.L. & Eifler, D.A., 2015. Intraspecific behavioural variation in the lacertid lizard Meroles cuneirostris (Strauch, 1867) (Sauria: Lacertidae). African Journal of Herpetology 64(1): 54–66.

Childers, J.L. & Eifler, D.A., 2014. Meroles cuneirostris (Wedge-snouted Sand Lizard). Cannibalism. Herpetological Review 44: 675–676.