Linda Whittingham

Biological Sciences


  • PhD, Biology (Dissertation advisor: Dr. Raleigh J. Robertson), Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 1988-1992
  • MS, Biology (Thesis advisor: Dr. Robert B. Payne), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1985-1988
  • BS, Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1980-1983

Research Interests

Evolution, ecology, animal behavior, ornithology and systematics. Using field studies and genetic techniques (e.g. DNA sequencing, microsatellites, and DNA fingerprinting) to study evolutionary questions. In particular, how ecological and phylogenetic factors influence the evolution and maintenance of behavioral patterns (e.g. parental investment, mating system, mate choice) and life-history characteristics.

Selected Publications

Minias, Piotr, Whittingham, Linda A., and Dunn, Peter O.“Coloniality and migration are related to selection on MHC genes in birds” Evolution71. (2017): 432-441.
Bateson, Zachary , Whittingham, Linda A., Johnson, Jeffrey, and Dunn, Peter O.“Contrasting patterns of selection and drift between two categories of immune genes in prairie-chickens” Molecular Ecology24. (2015): 6095-6106.
Dunn, Peter O., Armenta, Jessica, and Whittingham, Linda A.“Natural and sexual selection act on different axes of variation in avian plumage color” Science Advances/AAAS1.2 (2015): 10.1126/sciadv.1400155.
Whittingham, Linda A., Freeman-Gallant, Corey, Taff, Conor, and Dunn, Peter O.“Different ornaments signal male health and MHC variation in two populations of a warbler” Molecular Ecology/Wiley24.7 (2015): 1584-95.
Hess, Brian, Dunn, Peter O., and Whittingham, Linda A.“Females choose multiple males in the lekking Greater-prairie Chicken” Auk129.1 (2012): 133-139.
Taff, Connor, Freeman-Gallant, Corey, Dunn, Peter O., and Whittingham, Linda A.“Multi-modal sexual selection in a warbler: plumage and song are related to different fitness components” Animal Behaviour84.4 (2012): 813-821.
Bollmer, Jennifer L., Dunn, Peter O., Freeman-Gallant, Corey , and Whittingham, Linda A.“Social and extra-pair mating in relation to major histocompatibility complex variation in common yellowthroats” Proceedings of the Royal Society London B, Royal Society279.1748 (2012): 4778-4785.
Dunn, Peter O., Bollmer, Jennifer , Freeman-Gallant, Corey , and Whittingham, Linda A.“MHC variation is related to a sexually-selected ornament, survival and parasite resistance in common yellowthroats” Evolution67.3 (2012): 679-687.
Eimes, John, Bollmer, Jennifer, Johnson, Jeff, Whittingham, Linda A., van Oosterhout, Cock, and Dunn, Peter O.“Rapid loss of MHC class II variation in a bottlenecked population is explained by drift and loss of copy number variation” Journal of Evolutionary Biology24.9 (2011): 1847-1856.
Dunn, Peter O., Winkler, David, Whittingham, Linda A., Susan, Hannon, and Roberston, Raleigh. “A test of the mismatch hypothesis: how predictable is food abundance for aerial insectivores ?” Ecology92. (2011): 450-461.
Whittingham, Linda A., and Dunn, Peter O.“Fitness benefits of polyandry for experienced females” Molecular Ecology19. (2010): 2328-2335.
Petersen, M., Dunn, Peter O., and Whittingham, Linda A.“Extra-territorial forays are related to a male ornamental trait in common yellowthroats” Animal Behaviour72. (2006): 479-486.