The Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Oystercatcher phylogeny



Quick facts

Project title: 
Phylogeny of oystercatchers (Haematopodidae)
ZFMK Project lead: 
Object of research: 


In this project we aim at constructing a first comprehensive phylogenetic tree for the oystercatchers (Haematopodidae), a monotypic family of waders with a worldwide distribution, based on mitochondrial genes. Even though the oystercatchers form a rather small group of birds with currently 12 acknowledged species only, molecular genetic data is still incomplete. By including historical specimens kept at the ZFMK, we also hope to enlighten the hitherto unresolved systematic position of some taxa. Finally, our goal is to comprehend the evolutionary background of the striking plumage duality between the different species, being either pied or all-black.


Contact person

Former M.Sc. student
info [at]