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Borja Milá

Research Scientist

Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN-CSIC)
José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, Madrid 28006, Spain
Tel: (+34) 914 111 328 x1225
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Research Lines - Líneas de investigación

My research is focused on the evolutionary processes that generate and maintain biodiversity. In my group we use molecular genetic markers and phenotypic data to explore geographic variation across various spatial scales to reveal patterns of gene flow between populations, reconstruct phylogenetic relationships among lineages, and infer the historical and selective factors driving population divergence and the formation of new species. We are particularly interested in the relative roles of selection (natural and sexual selection) and neutral factors (genetic drift) in the process of diversification. Other areas of interest include biogeography, ecomorphology, bioacoustics, systematics and conservation.

Mi investigación se centra en los procesos evolutivos que generan y mantienen la biodiversidad. En mi grupo de investigación utilizamos marcadores genéticos y datos fenotípicos para explorar patrones de variación geográfica a varias escalas espaciales para revelar patrones de flujo génico entre poblaciones, reconstruir las relaciones filogenéticas entre linajes, e inferir los factores históricos y selectivos que generan divergencia poblacional y la formación de nuevas especies. Nos interesa particularmente el papel relativo de la selección (natural y sexual) y factores neutros (deriva génica) en el proceso de diversificación. Otras áreas de interés incluyen biogeografía de islas, ecomorfología, bioacústica, sistemática y conservación.


Selected Publications - Selección de publicaciones

Click here for complete list - Lista completa


Abolins-Abols, M., E. Kornobis, P. Ribeca, K. Wakamatsu, M. P Peterson, E. Ketterson, B. Milá. 2018. A role for differential gene regulation in the rapid diversification of melanic plumage coloration in the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis). Molecular Ecology, 27:4501-4515.

Friis, G., G. Fandos, A. Zellmer, J. McCormack, B. Faircloth, B. Milá. 2018. Genome-wide signals of drift and local adaptation during rapid lineage divergence in a songbird. Molecular Ecology, 27:5137-5153.

Friis, G., P. Aleixandre, R. Rodríguez-Estrella, A. Navarro-Sigüenza, B. Milá. 2016. Rapid postglacial diversification and long-term stasis within the songbird genus Junco: phylogeographic and phylogenomic evidence. Molecular Ecology, 25: 6175–6195.

Bertrand, J. A. M., B. Delahaie, Y. X. C. Bourgeois, T. Duval, R. García-Jiménez, J. Cornuault, B. Pujol, C. Thébaud, B. Milá. 2016. The role of selection and historical factors in driving population differentiation along an elevational gradient in an island passerine bird. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 29:824-836.

Alvarez, S., J. F. Salter, J. E. McCormack, B. Milá. 2015. Speciation in mountain refugia: phylogeography and demographic history of the pine siskin and black-capped siskin complex. Journal of Avian Biology, 47:335-345.

Aleixandre, P., J. Hérnandez-Montoya, B. Milá. 2013. Speciation on oceanic islands: rapid adaptive divergence vs. cryptic speciation in a Guadalupe Island songbird (Aves: Junco). PLoS ONE, 8(5): e63242.

Milá, B., E. S. Tavares, A. Muñoz Saldaña, T. B. Smith, J. Karubian, A. J. Baker. 2012. A trans-Amazonian screening of mtDNA reveals deep intraspecific divergence in forest birds and suggests a vast underestimation of species diversity. PLoS ONE 7(7): e40541.

Milá, B., B. H. Warren, P. Heeb, C. Thébaud. 2010. The geographic scale of diversification on islands: genetic and morphological divergence at a very small spatial scale in the Mascarene grey white-eye (Aves: Zosterops borbonicus). BMC Evolutionary Biology 10:158.

Milá, B., S. Carranza, O. Guillaume and J. Clobert. 2010. Marked genetic structuring and extreme dispersal limitation in the Pyrenean brook newt Calotriton asper (Amphibia: Salamandridae) revealed by genome-wide AFLP but not mtDNA. Molecular Ecology 19:108-120.

Milá, B., R. K. Wayne, P. S. Fitze and T. B. Smith. 2009. Divergence with gene flow and fine-scale phylogeographic structure in the wedge-billed woodcreeper Glyphorynchus spirurus, a Neotropical rainforest bird. Molecular Ecology 18:2979-2995.

Milá, B., J. E. McCormack, G. Castañeda, R. K. Wayneand T. B. Smith. 2007. Recent postglacial range expansion drives the rapid diversification of a songbird lineage in the genus Junco. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 274:2653-2660.

Milá, B., T. B. Smith and R. K. Wayne. 2007. Speciation and rapid phenotypic differentiation in the yellow-rumped warbler (Dendroica coronata) complex. Molecular Ecology 16:159-173.

Milá, B., T. B. Smith, R. K. Wayne. 2006. Postglacial population expansion drives the evolution of long-distance migration in a songbird. Evolution 60(11):2403-2409.

Milá, B., D.J. Girman, M. Kimura, T.B. Smith. 2000. Genetic evidence for the effect of a post-glacial population expansion on the phylogeography of a North American songbird. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 267:1033-1040.