Joseph D Manthey

  • 2018-Present – Asst. Professor Texas Tech
  • 2016-2017 – Postdoc NYU Abu Dhabi
  • 2011-2015 – Ph.D. University of Kansas
  • 2009-2011 – M.S. Black Hills State University
  • 2004-2008 – B.S. Univ. of Wisconsin – Madison

Google Scholar Profile



Jack Hruska

  • 2018-Present – PhD Student Texas Tech
  • 2018 – M.S. University of Kansas
  • 2014 – B.A. Cornell University

Google Scholar Profile

Personal Website

Fundamentally, I study the processes that drive avian diversification and speciation. More specifically, I’m interested in cataloguing the evolutionary history of populations using a combination of molecular, phenotypic, and niche modeling data. For my PhD thesis, I will implement these approaches to better understand the evolutionary dynamics of avian taxa that are restricted to the pine-oak forests of North and Central America.

Brandon Meadows

  • 2020-Present – M.S. Student Texas Tech
  • 2020 – B.S. Texas Tech University

I am interested in the microbial community of Carpenter ants, specifically the factors governing the structure of the microbial community. I am also interested in using genomic techniques to study the evolution and ecology of the obligate symbiont found in Carpenter ants.

Garrett Behrends

  • 2021-Present – M.S. Student Texas Tech
  • 2016 – B.S. University of Nebraska – Omaha

My research interests are to examine the relationships between bird populations separated by space or time to contribute to: a further understanding of the tree of life, understanding mechanisms behind differentiation, and informing potential conservation efforts further downstream.

For my M.S., I am focusing on six Ethiopian Highland bird species. I am applying population genetic methods to determine if the Blue Nile Valley has been a substantial, long-term biogeographic barrier to gene flow, causing differentiation and the formation of distinct populations on either side of the barrier.

Past Members

  • Sarah Baty (undergrad research)
    • 2019-2020 – woodpecker genomics – now Ph.D. student at ASU
  • Brandon Meadows (undergrad research)
    • 2019-2020 – ant microbiomes – now M.S. student at TTU

Join the research group!

Do studying birds or other organisms, going out in the field, and learning bioinformatics sound fun to you? If you are potentially interested in joining the research group, please send me an introductory email to jdmanthey (at) Please include a CV/resume, and a small description of how your interests and the topics our group studies complement each other. Check out the opportunities page.

Lab Policies and Expectations

Current Collaborations (alphabetical):

Stepfanie Aguillon, Cornell: Woodpecker genomics

Stéphane Boissinot, New York University Abu Dhabi: Genomics, TEs

Luke Campillo, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa: Avian evolution, species delimitation

Ben Marks, Field Museum: Ethiopian bird biodiversity genomics

Matt Miller, University of Oklahoma: Woodpecker genomics

Rob Moyle, University of Kansas: Island biogeography and genomics

Garth Spellman, Denver Museum: Avian population genomics

Meheretu Yonas, Mekelle University: Ethiopian bird biodiversity genomics