Jaime A. Chaves is a Biologist from Ecuador. He is currently pursuing
his third year in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department (EEB)
at the UCLA doctoral program. He obtained his Masters degree in 2004 at
San Francisco State University and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his
Jaime was recently advanced to PhD candidacy presenting his research on
the evolution and phylogeography of hummingbirds in the Andes in South
America. He was awarded the best graduate student poster presentation
this year by the EEB Department with his current work. Some of his
other awards are the Fulbright Scholarship, Frank M. Chapman Memorial
Fund (AMNH), Lida Scott Brown (EEB), Grant in Aid of Research (SICB),
and Royal Geographical Society of London.
Jaime is the author of several papers on bird frugivory, cloud forest
avifauna, and life history and distribution of birds in Ecuador. He is
also the author of a book on hummingbirds, and wrote and illustrated a
bird field guide to Ecuador. Besides being in the forest catching
hummingbirds, he also likes to play soccer and dedicate time to
My main interest is studying the factors promoting hummingbird diversity in South America. Specifically, I study phylogeographic patterns of hummingbird species in the Andes, paying particular attention to the role of geography, natural selection, and genetic drift in differentiating the populations of the Speckled Hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys). The impressive latitudinal range this hummingbird exhibits (Andes of Venezuela to Bolivia) makes it suitable to examine mechanisms promoting genetic and morphologic differentiation in the different habitats where it is found along the cordillera and at different elevations.
To find out more about Jaime's projects, visit:
Photo of Jaime holding an oropendola by Philip Koch.