The Mason Lab studies avian evolution, ecology, and conservation at the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science and the Louisiana State University Department of Biological Science since Fall 2020.

We are museum-based ornithologists. Our overarching goal is to study and document avian biodiversity, and natural history collections are central to that mission. We further promote the stewardship of our planet through education and outreach to increase ecological and evolutionary literacy and mitigate biodiversity loss.


15 Apr 2023

Quinn was awarded an NSERC PGS-D for his ongoing research on the comparative phylogeography of Polylepis birds! Congrats, Quinn!!!

04 Apr 2023

Sam was awarded an NSF GRFP for her ongoing research on the evolution of iridesence in starlings! Congrats, Sam!!!

20 Nov 2022

Nick and coauthors published on deep genetic, phenotypic, and ecological divergence in Steller's Jays in the journal Ecology and Evolution.

27 Sep 2022

Sam was interviewed by the Advocate about her interest in bird color and her recent Special Saturday outreach event. Go Sam!

15 Sep 2022

The Fall 2022 semester is underway and the Mason Lab has been enjoying spending Thursday afternoons preparing specimens with Steve Cardiff, Donna Dittman, and many of the other ornithologists at the LSUMNS.

15 Aug 2022

We welcome Quinn McCallum to the Mason Lab! Quinn is joining our group as a graduate student and will be studying comparative phylogeography of Polylepis birds. Quinn joins us from the University of British Columbia, where he did his undergraduate honors thesis with Darren Irwin on Zonotrichia sparrows. Welcome, Quinn!

10 Aug 2022

We welcome Diego Ocampo Vargas to the Mason Lab! Diego is joining our group as the LSUMNS postdoctoral researcher and will be working with Nick to study diversificaiton dynamics in Sporophila. Diego is originally from Costa Rica and did his PhD with Al Uy at University of Miami and University of Rochester. Bienvenidos, Diego!

01 Aug 2022

Nick was part of a collaborative team (with PI Laura Lagomarsino, Co-PI Zakiya Kennedy-Wilson, Co-PI Morgan Kelly, and Co-PI Jeremy Brown) that was awarded an NSF RaMP grant for 3 million dollars to establish a postbacclaureate research program at LSU. We look forward to the Louisiana Graduate Network in Applied Evolution (LAGNiAppE) starting next summer!

30 Jun 2022

The Mason Lab travelled to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where they took part in the joint conference of the American Ornithological Society and Birds Caribbean. Everyone presented some part of their research by poster or talk and a good time was had by all.

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