In collaboration with Paul van Els (LSU), Pedro F. Victoriano (advisor; UdeC) and Lacey Knowles (UofM) I'm trying to resolve the systematics and evolutionary history of the South American Pipits (Anthus spp.) by using moltilocus DNA data. Also, I'm working in phylogeography and species delimitation of Correndera Pipit (Anthus correndera) and Hellmayr's Pipit (Anthus hellmayri) by using genome-wide information (ddRAD-seq). Both are polytipic species widely distributed in southern South America, with contrasting patterns that led their distribution and evolution. The main goals of my research are to assess (1) the degree of genealogical concordance with subspecies designations; (2) the degree of phylogeographic differentiation across the distribution of the species; (3) to reconstruct the demographic history of the populations including possible past expansions/colonizations; and (4) to infer the role of Pleistocene glaciations in driving patterns of lineage differentiation.
Storm-Petrels of the Atacama desert
As a part of the scientific team of ROC, we are working in the Atacama desert in northern Chile to find the breeding sites of three poorly known storm-petrels: Markham's storm-petrel, Hornby's storm-petrel and Elliot's storm petrel. The main goals of this research are: (1) characterize the reproductive biology of the Storm-Petrelsin Northern Chile, with emphasis to identifying breeding sites, reproductive phenology, population size and connectivity (by using DNA data) and fidelity to breeding sites; (2) identify the main threats to the species in their breeding colonies; and (3) propose a conservation category for Markham's Storm Petrel.
You can find more information about this fascinating project in this webpages: www.redobservadores.cl/actividades/investigacion/proyecto-golondrinas-del-desierto/ abcbirds.org/birds/lost-birds/
Shorebirds Atlas of Chile
During the boreal winter, the Pacific coast of South America supports a large proportion of a number of Nearctic shorebird populations. In order to (1) quantify shorebird populations in the region, (2) identify important sites, and (3) facilitate the development of research initiatives at the local level shorebirds. During 2014 with ROC and CORBIDI volunteers we made an extensive survey of shorebirds in Perú and Chile. Right now we are preparing an Atlas with the results of this surveys that will be published on early 2018!
Natural history and bioacoustics of birds
In Chile we have a lot of poorly known bird species. Some basic information as distribution, breeding, behavior and songs are greatly important to determine the conservation categories of endangered species. But also, we have a lot of common species poorly known. So, in an effort to improve our knowledge of Chilean birds I'm involved in several projects as (1) Chilean breeding birds Atlas, (2) eBird-Chile and (3) Neotropical Waterfowl Census.
Related Publications: Barros R., H.V. Norambuena & V. Raimilla (2014) Breeding population of Red-legged Cormorant (Phalacrocorax gaimardi) along the Araucania region coast, south-central Chile. Waterbirds 37(3): 331-334. Norambuena H.V., V. Raimilla & J.E. Jiménez (2012) Breeding behavior of a pair of Rufous-tailed Hawks (Buteo ventralis) in southern Chile.Journal of Raptor Research 46(2): 211-215. Raimilla V., E. Hauenstein, H.V. Norambuena, A. Jaramillo & R. Cañete (2012) Nuevos antecedentes sobre el estatus y hábitat del Bailarín chico argentino (Anthus hellmayri) en el centro-sur de Chile.Ornitología Neotropical 23(2): 151-158.