Bronwyn Butcher

Lab Manager

I provide support and training for many students, visiting scientists, and other researchers who come to the Fuller Evolutionary Biology Laboratory from all over the world to perform molecular work with samples (e.g., blood, tissue, and feathers) collected during their fieldwork. I maintain and manage the molecular laboratory and train lab users in everything from extracting DNA to whole genome sequencing.

I find it fascinating how just four little bases that make up DNA can convey so much information! Until my move to the Cornell Lab, I had spent most of my career studying DNA regulation in bacteria and knew very little about birds. Here at the Cornell Lab I continue to apply my strong molecular background to training others and hoping that they too will learn to appreciate the wonders of the molecular world. Along the way I am learning that birds are pretty cool too.


Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
B.Sc., Microbiology and Biochemistry, University of Cape Town, South Africa
B.Sc. (Honours), Microbiology, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Recent Publications

Walsh, J., S. M. Billerman, B. G. Butcher, V. G. Rohwer, D. P. L. Toews, V. Vila-Coury, and I. J. Lovette (2023). A complex genomic architecture underlies reproductive isolation in a North American oriole hybrid zone. Communications Biology 6:154.
Rohwer, S., C. S. Wood, J. L. Peters, E. T. Miller, D. Cagley, B. G. Butcher, K. L. Epperly, and L. Campagna (2022). Interspecific forced copulations generate most hybrids in broadly sympatric ducks. PLOS ONE 17:e0274059.
de Freitas, E. L., L. Campagna, B. Butcher, I. Lovette, and R. Caparroz (2022). Ecological traits drive genetic structuring in two open‐habitat birds from the morphologically cryptic genus Elaenia (Aves: Tyrannidae). Journal of Avian Biology:jav.02931.
Walsh, J., S. M. Billerman, V. G. Rohwer, B. G. Butcher, and I. J. Lovette (2020). Genomic and plumage variation across the controversial Baltimore and Bullock's Oriole hybrid zone. The Auk:ukaa044.
Walsh, J., P. M. Benham, P. E. Deane-Coe, P. Arcese, B. G. Butcher, Y. L. Chan, Z. A. Cheviron, C. S. Elphick, A. I. Kovach, B. J. Olsen, W. G. Shriver, et al. (2019). Genomics of rapid ecological divergence and parallel adaptation in four tidal marsh sparrows. Evolution Letters 3:324–338.
Lauridsen, H., S. Gonzales, D. Hedwig, K. L. Perrin, C. J. A. Williams, P. H. Wrege, M. F. Bertelsen, M. Pedersen, and J. T. Butcher (2019). Extracting physiological information in experimental biology via Eulerian video magnification. BMC Biology 17.
Thrasher, D. J., B. G. Butcher, L. Campagna, M. S. Webster, and I. J. Lovette (2018). Double-digest RAD sequencing outperforms microsatellite loci at assigning paternity and estimating relatedness: A proof of concept in a highly promiscuous bird. Molecular Ecology Resources 18:953–965.
Toews, D. P. L., S. A. Taylor, R. Vallender, A. Brelsford, B. G. Butcher, P. W. Messer, and I. J. Lovette (2016). Plumage genes and little else distinguish the genomes of hybridizing warblers. Current Biology 26:2313–2318.
Rosenberg, K. V., J. A. Kennedy, R. Dettmers, R. P. Ford, D. Reynolds, C. J. Beardmore, P. J. Blancher, R. Bogart, G. S. Butcher, A. Camfield, D. W. Demarest, et al. (2016). Partners in Flight Landbird Conservation Plan: 2016 Revision for Canada and Continental United States. [Online.] Available at
Bronwyn Butcher
Center Biodiversity Studies & Higher Education

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Golden-cheeked Warbler by Bryan Calk/Macaulay Library