Dr. Santiago Claramunt

Santiago Claramunt

Santiago Claramunt

Associate Curator, Ornithology

Area: Natural History, Biodiversity

Interests: Ornithology, phenotypic evolution, systematics, diversification, Furnariidae

Exhibitions & Galleries: Gallery of Birds, Life in Crisis: Schad Gallery of Biodiversity

Phone: 416-586-5520


Chapman Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Ornithology, American Museum of Natural History (2010-2012)
Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University (2010)
Licentiateship in Biological Sciences, Universidad de la República, Uruguay (1999)
Santiago Claramunt is Associate Curator of Ornithology at the ROM. He is also a cross-appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto.
Santiago was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he started pursuing his interests in science and ornithology. He studied at Universidad de la República and worked at the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural before departing to the USA for graduate studies at Louisiana State University and a postdoctoral appointment at the American Museum of Natural History. He is now an avian systematist and evolutionary biologist reconstructing the evolutionary history of birds and studying their diversification using macroevolutionary approaches. He is interested in understanding how speciation, extinction, phenotypic evolution, and dispersal influenced the evolution of avian diversity.
In addition to studies of bird diversity in general, Santiago is focusing on the family Furnariidae as an example of a continental-scale adaptive radiation. The study of Furnariidae is revealing that the processes shaping these large continental radiations may be different from those proposed by classic theories of adaptive radiation.
Santiago is a member of the South American Classification Committee, an official committee of the American Ornithological Society dedicated to creating a standard vetted classification for the birds of South America.
Selected Publications
For a complete list of publications, see Google Scholar
  • Cracraft, J. and S. Claramunt. 2017. "Conceptual and alalytical worldviews shape differences about global avian biogeography." Journal of Biogeography, doi:10.1111/jbi.12969.
  • Seeholzer, G.F., S. Claramunt, and R.T. Brumfield. 2017. "Niche evolution and diversification in a Neotropical radiation of birds (Aves: Furnariidae)." Evolution, doi:10.111/evo.13177.
  • Weeks, B.C. S. Claramunt, and J. Cracraft. 2016. "Integrating systematics and biogeography to disentangle the roles of history and ecology in biotic assembly." Journal of Biogeography, 43(8): 1546-1559.
  • Claramunt, S. and J.L. Cracraft. 2015. "A new time tree reveals Earth history's imprint on the evolution of modern birds." Science Advances, 1:e1501005.
  • Weeks. B.C. and S. Claramunt. 2014. "Dispersal has inhibited avian diversification in Australasian archipelagoes." Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences, 281: 20141257.
  • Tobias, J.A., C.K. Cornwallis, E.P. Derryberry, S. Claramunt, R.T. Brumfield, and N. Seddon. 2014. "Species coexistence and the dynamics of phenotypic evolution in adaptive radiation." Nature506: 359-363.
  • Claramunt, S. 2014. "Phylogenetic relationships among Synallaxini spinetails (Aves: Furnariidae) reveal a new biogeographic pattern across the Amazon and Parana river basins." Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 78: 223–231.
  • Claramunt, S., E.P. Derryberry, C.D. Cadena, A.M. Cuervo, C. Sanín, and R.T. Brumfield. 2013. "Phylogeny and classification of Automolus foliage-gleaners and allies (Furnariidae)." Condor , 115(2): 375-38.
  • Claramunt, S., E.P. Derryberry, R.T. Brumfield,  and J.V. Remsen, Jr. 2012. "Ecological opportunity and diversification in a continental radiation of birds: climbing adaptations and cladogenesis in the Furnariidae." American Naturalist, 179(5): 649-666.
  • Claramunt, S., E.P. Derryberry, J.V. Remsen, Jr., and R.T. Brumfield. 2012. "High dispersal ability inhibits speciation in a continental radiation of passerine birds." Proc. Roy. Soc. B., 279: 1567-1574.
  • Claramunt, S. 2010. "Discovering exceptional diversifications at continental scales: the case of the endemic families of Neotropical suboscine passerines." Evolution, 64(7): 2004–2019.


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