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Michael Hickerson

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Michael Hickerson


MR 835
Marshak Science Building
Phone Number: 
(212) 650-8530 (Office)
Personal Website:

Dr. Hickerson focuses on developing and applying computational and statistical methods that merge population genetics with community ecology to answer questions about the interplay between climate change, shifting species distributions, species formation, extinction and changes in ecological interactions. Dr. Hickerson works across a range of empirical systems and develops multi-species population genetic models for community-scale inference.


Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Davis 2006 Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley 2004-2006 PhD Duke University, 1997-2003 M.S. Western Washington University, 1996-1997 B.S. The Evergreen State College 1993
Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Davis 2006
Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley 2004-2006
PhD Duke University, 1997-2003
M.S. Western Washington University, 1996-1997
B.S. The Evergreen State College 1993

Courses Taught

Biology 228 - Ecology and Evolution
Anthropological Genomics
Statistical Phylogeography
Seminar in Population Genomics

2013 Boehm J.T, , L. Woodall, P. Teske, S. Lourie, J. Waldman, and M. J. Hickerson. Marine dispersal and barriers drive Atlantic seahorse diversification. Journal of Biogeography; doi: 10.1111/jbi.12127
2013 Waltari, E. and M.J. Hickerson. Late Pleistocene Species Distribution Modeling of North Atlantic Intertidal Invertebrates. Journal of Biogeography; 40: 249-260
2012 Stone, G.N., K. Lohse, J. A. Nicholls, P. Fuentes-Utrilla, F. Sinclair, K. Schönrogge, G. Csóka, G. Melika, J-L. Nieves-Aldrey, J. Pujade-Villar, M. Tavakoli, R. R. Askew and M. J. Hickerson. Reconstructing Community Assembly in Time and Space Reveals Enemy Escape in a Western Palearctic Insect Community. Current Biology; 22: 532-537
2012 Bell, R.C., J.B. MacKenzie, M.J. Hickerson, K.L. Chavarria, M. Cunningham, S. Williams, and C. Moritz. Comparative multi-locus phylogeography confirms multiple vicariance events in co-distributed rainforest frogs. Proc. R. Soc. B: doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1229
2011 Huang, W. , N. Takebayashi, Y. Qi and M. J. Hickerson, MTML-msBayes: Approximate Bayesian comparative phylogeographic inference from multiple taxa and multiple loci with rate heterogeneity. BMC Bioinformatics; doi:10.1186/1471-2105-12-1
2010 Ilves, K., W. Huang, J.P. Wares, and M. J. Hickerson. Colonization and⁄or mitochondrial selective sweeps across the North Atlantic intertidal assemblage revealed by multi-taxa approximate Bayesian computation. Molecular Ecology; 19: 4505-4519
2010 Beaumont, M., Nielsen, R, Robert, C., Hey, J., Gaggiotti, O., Knowles, L., Estoup, A., Panchal, M., Corander, Hickerson, M., Sisson, S., Fagundes, N., Chikhi, L., Beerli, P., Vitalis, R., Cornuet, J.-M., Huelsenbeck, J., M., Foll, M., Yang, Z., Rousset, F., Balding, D., and Excoffier, L., In defense of model-based inference in phylogeography (Reply: Templeton 2009). Molecular Ecology. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04515.x
2010 Hickerson, M. J., B. C. Carstens, J. Cavender-Bares, K. A. Crandall, C. H. Graham, J. B. Johnson, L. Rissler, P. F. Victoriano, and A.D. Yoder. Phylogeography's past, present, and future: 10 years after Avise 2000. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution;
2009 Lozier J. D., Aniello P., and M.J. Hickerson. Predicting the distribution of Sasquatch in western North America: anything goes with ecological niche modeling. Journal of Biogeography. 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02152.x (press)
2009 Carnaval, A.C., M.J. Hickerson, C.F.B. Haddad, M.T. Rodrigues, and C. Moritz. Stability predicts genetic diversity in the Brazilian Atlantic forest hotspot. Science; 323: 785-789 (press)
2009 Waldman, J., R. Daniels, M. Hickerson, and I. Virgin. Mitochondrial DNA Analysis Indicates Sea Lampreys Are Indigenous to Lake Ontario: Response to Comment. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society; 138: 1190-1197. doi: 10.1577/T08-035R.1
2008 Hickerson, M.J., and C.P. Meyer. Testing comparative phylogeographic models of marine vicariance and dispersal using a hierarchical Bayesian approach. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 8: 322. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-322.
2008 Riddle, B.R. M.N. Dawson, E.A. Hadley, D.J.Hafner, M.J. Hickerson, S.J. Mantooth, and A.D. Yoder. The role of molecular genetics in sculpting the future of integrative biogeography. Progress in Physical Geography.32: 173-202.
2007 Rosenblum, E., M.J. Hickerson, and C. Moritz. A multilocus perspective on colonization accompanied by selection and gene flow.Evolution. 61: 2917-2985
2007 A. Leaché, S.A. Crews and M.J. Hickerson. Two waves of diversification in mammals and reptiles of Baja California revealed by hierarchical Bayesian analysis. Biology Letters. 3:646-650
2007 Hickerson, M.J., E. Stahl, and N. Takebayashi. msBayes: A flexible pipeline for comparative phylogeographic inference using approximate Bayesian computation (ABC). BMC Bioinformatics. 8:268.
2006. Hickerson, M.J., E, Stahl, and H.A. Lessios. Test for simultaneous divergence using approximate Bayesian computation. Evolution 60: 2435-2453.
2006 Stöck, M, C. Moritz, M.J. Hickerson, D. Frynta, T. Dujsebayeva, V. Eremchenko, J. R. Macey, T. Papenfuss, and D. Wake. Evolution of mitochondrial relationships and biogeography of palearctic green toads (Bufo viridis subgroup) with insights into their genomic plasticity. Mol. Phy. Evol. 41:663-689
2006. Hickerson, M.J., C. W. Cunningham. Nearshore fish (Pholis gunnellus) persists across the North Atlantic through multiple glacial episodes. Molecular Ecology 15: 4095-4107.
2006. Hickerson, M.J., C. Meyer, and C. Moritz. DNA-barcoding will fail to discover new animal species over broad parameter space. Systematic Biology 55:729-739.
2006. Hickerson, M.J., G. Dolman, and C. Moritz. Phylogeographic summary statistics for testing simultaneous vicariance. Molecular Ecology15: 209-23.
2005. Hickerson M.J. C. W. Cunningham. Contrasting Quaternary histories in an ecologically divergent pair of low-dispersing intertidal fish (Xiphister) revealed by multi-locus DNA analysis. Evolution 59: 344-360.
2004. Riginos, C., M.J. Hickerson, C. Henzler, and C. W. Cunningham. Differential patterns of male and female trans-Atlantic gene flow in the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis. Evolution 58: 2438-2451.
2004. Satta, Y., M.J. Hickerson, H. Watanabe, C.O. O'hUigin, and J. Klein. Ancestral population sizes and species divergence times in the primate lineage on the basis of intron BAC end sequences. Journal of Molecular Evolution 59: 478-487
2003. Hickerson, M.J., M. Gilchrist, and N. Takebayashi. Calibrating a molecular clock from Phylogeographic data: moments and likelihood estimators. Evolution 57: 2216-2225.
2001. Hickerson, M.J., and J. R. P. Ross. Post-glacial population history and genetic structure of the northern clingfish (Gobbiesox maeandricus), revealed from mtDNA analysis. Marine Biology 138: 407-419.
2000 Hickerson, M.J., and C. W. Cunningham. Dramatic mitochondrial gene rearrangements in the hermit crab Pagurus longicarpus (Crustacea, Anomura). Molecular Biology and Evolution 17: 639-644.
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