David Toews

Assistant Professor of Biology

David Toews

Huck Affiliations


Publication Tags

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Genes Genomics Genome Color Songbirds Diet Birds Plumage Phenotype Reproductive Isolation Carotenoids Gene Flow Polymorphism Nucleotides Chromosomes Breeding Pollen Phylogeny Methodology Feathers Introgression History Bird Mutation Hybridization

Most Recent Publications

Jennifer Walsh, Shawn M. Billerman, Bronwyn G. Butcher, Vanya G. Rohwer, David P.L. Toews, Vicens Vila-Coury, Irby J. Lovette, 2023, Communications Biology

Leonardo Campagna, David P.L. Toews, 2022, Current Biology on p. R1173-R1186

John Carpenter, Alexander Worm, Than Boves, Andrew Wood, Joseph Poston, Toews, David P. L., 2022, Ornithology

David P.L. Toews, Tessa A. Rhinehart, Robert Mulvihill, Spencer Galen, Stephen M. Gosser, Tom Johnson, Jessie L. Williamson, Andrew W. Wood, Steven C. Latta, 2022, Ecology and Evolution

Brandon D. Hoenig, Allison M. Snider, Anna M. Forsman, Keith A. Hobson, Steven C. Latta, Eliot T. Miller, Michael J. Polito, Luke L. Powell, Samantha L. Rogers, Thomas W. Sherry, David P.L. Toews, Andreanna J. Welch, Sabrina S. Taylor, Brady A. Porter, 2022, Ornithology

Gut microbiome composition better reflects host phylogeny than diet diversity in breeding wood-warblers

Marcella D. Baiz, Andrea Benavides C., Eliot T. Miller, Andrew W. Wood, David P.L. Toews, 2022, Molecular Ecology

Molecular assays of pollen use consistently reflect pollinator visitation patterns in a system of flowering plants

Aubrie R.M. James, Monica A. Geber, David P.L. Toews, 2022, Molecular Ecology Notes on p. 361-374

Silu Wang, Madelyn J. Ore, Else K. Mikkelsen, Julie Lee-Yaw, David P.L. Toews, Sievert Rohwer, Darren Irwin, 2021, Nature Communications

Rare hybrid solves “genetic problem” of linked plumage traits

Marcella D. Baiz, Andrew W. Wood, David P.L. Toews, 2021, Ecology

David P.L. Toews, Marcella D. Baiz, Gunnar R. Kramer, Irby J. Lovette, Henry M. Streby, Scott A. Taylor, 2021, Ecology and Evolution on p. 10720-10723

Most-Cited Papers

David P.L. Toews, Scott A. Taylor, Rachel Vallender, Alan Brelsford, Bronwyn G. Butcher, Philipp W. Messer, Irby J. Lovette, 2016, Current Biology on p. 2313-2318

The Evolution and Genetics of Carotenoid Processing in Animals

David P.L. Toews, Natalie R. Hofmeister, Scott A. Taylor, 2017, Trends in Genetics on p. 171-182

Kira E. Delmore, David P.L. Toews, Ryan R. Germain, Gregory L. Owens, Darren E. Irwin, 2016, Current Biology on p. 2167-2173

Migration, mitochondria, and the yellow-rumped warbler

David P.L. Toews, Milica Mandic, Jeffrey G. Richards, Darren E. Irwin, 2014, Evolution; international journal of organic evolution on p. 241-255

David P.L. Toews, Leonardo Campagna, Scott A. Taylor, Christopher N. Balakrishnan, Daniel T. Baldassarre, Petra E. Deane-Coe, Michael G. Harvey, Daniel M. Hooper, Darren E. Irwin, Caroline D. Judy, Nicholas A. Mason, John E. McCormack, Kevin G. McCracken, Carl H. Oliveros, Rebecca J. Safran, Elizabeth S.C. Scordato, Katherine Faust Stryjewski, Anna Tigano, J. Albert C. Uy, Benjamin M. Winger, 2015, Ornithology on p. 13-30

A comparison of genomic islands of differentiation across three young avian species pairs

Darren E. Irwin, Borja Milá, David P.L. Toews, Alan Brelsford, Haley L. Kenyon, Alison N. Porter, Christine Grossen, Kira E. Delmore, Miguel Alcaide, Jessica H. Irwin, 2018, Molecular Ecology on p. 4839-4855

Kang Wook Kim, Benjamin C. Jackson, Hanyuan Zhang, David P.L. Toews, Scott A. Taylor, Emma I. Greig, Irby J. Lovette, Mengning M. Liu, Angus Davison, Simon C. Griffith, Kai Zeng, Terry Burke, 2019, Nature Communications on p. 1852

Alan Brelsford, David P.L. Toews, Darren E. Irwin, 2017, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences on p. 20171106

David P.L. Toews, Alan Brelsford, Christine Grossen, Borja Milá, Darren E. Irwin, 2016, Ornithology on p. 698-717

David P.L. Toews, Scott A. Taylor, Henry M. Streby, Gunnar R. Kramer, Irby J. Lovette, 2019, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America on p. 18272-18274

News Articles Featuring David Toews

What shapes the composition of microbes in a warbler’s gut?

Differences among the collection of bacteria and other microorganisms that live within birds’ digestive tracts — their gut microbiomes — are not primarily driven by diet diversity, contrary to a recently proposed hypothesis.

Researchers confirm a western Pa. birdwatcher's discovery: a new songbird hybrid

Penn State researchers have identified a rare hybrid of two western Pennsylvania songbirds. The bird is a combination of the rose-breasted grosbeak and brightly-colored scarlet tanager. Stephen Gosser—a self-described “diehard birder”— spotted it in Lawrence County, along the Commonwealth’s western edge, in June 2020.

A rare hybrid bird found in western Pennsylvania

A pairing 10 million years in the making was discovered in the woods of western Pennsylvania. Researchers from Penn State University documented the first-ever hybrid of a rose-breasted grosbeak and scarlet tanager.

Birdsong reveals rare hybrid coupling 10 million years in the making

A team of researchers led by Penn State was able to use a combination of genomic sequencing and song analysis to identify a rare hybrid bird whose ancestors haven’t shared the same breeding location or lineage for 10 million years.

Mysterious Bird Is the First-Ever Documented Hybrid of Its Kind

Here's a beautiful story for anyone who appreciates birds. A female rose-breasted grosbeak got together with a male scarlet tanager despite the bird species' preferences for dwelling in different habitats. Their offspring, a male, has now made ornithology history as the first-ever documented hybrid of its kind.

Never-before-seen colorful bird hybrid surprises scientists

A birder named Stephen Gosser recently took a stroll through the woods in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, when he heard what he thought was a scarlet tanager.

Penn State biologists explore the secrets of the warbler genome

Looking through binoculars at the trees in their backyards during the pandemic, many brand-new birders may have been surprised by the diversity of visitors stopping by — finches, jays and warblers in an astounding array of yellows, blues and reds.

Weird warbler reveals genetics of its mismatched colors

An incredibly rare hybrid warbler with mismatched color patterns has allowed researchers to disentangle the genetic drivers of two traits that usually come as a package deal — the black face mask and the black throat patch in blue-winged and golden-winged warblers.

Warbler coloration shaped by evolution via distinct paths

Two genes that are important for the diverse colors and patterns of warbler plumage have evolved through two very different processes, according to a new study led by Penn State researchers. These evolutionary processes could help explain the rapid evolution of these songbirds into so many unique species.

The Gene that Makes Female Birds Drab

In some finch species, the difference between colorful males and muted females comes down to one gene, BCO2, which encodes an enzyme that degrades carotenoids.