Phoenix Group

Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics

Mariana Bulgarella <>
My main interests include evolutionary biology, ecological physiology and population genetics. Originally studying hemoglobin adaptations to high-altitude in Andean waterfowl, I focus on adaptation and speciation along environmental gradients. In February 2011, I was awarded a Post Doctoral Fellowship at Massey University. I aim to unravel how the current biogeographic pattern of Hemideina (tree weta) species has originated by combining physiological, genetic, morphological, and environmental data. Concurrently, I am studying acclimation responses in high and low-altitude tree weta populations to identify the relevance of environmental gradients in population divergence, speciation, and potential responses to climate change.
Mariana mariana

Weta hunting in South Island of New Zealand



Bulgarella M, Peters JL, Kopuchian C, Valqui T, Wilson RE & McCracken KG. 2012. Multilocus coalescent analysis of hemoglobin differentiation between low- and high-altitude populations of crested ducks (Lophonetta specularioides). Molecular Ecology 21: 350–368.

Bulgarella M, Sorenson MD, Peters JL, Wilson RE & McCracken KG. 2010. Phylogenetic relationships of Amazonetta, Speculanas, Lophonetta, and Tachyeres: Four morphologically divergent duck genera endemic to South America. Journal of Avian Biology 41: 186–199.

McCracken KG, Barger CP, Bulgarella M, Johnson KP, Kuhner MK, Moore AV, Peters JL, Trucco J, Valqui TH, Winker KS & Wilson RE. 2009. Signatures of high-altitude adaptation in the major hemoglobin of five species of Andean dabbling ducks. American Naturalist 174: 631–650.

McCracken KG, Barger CP, Bulgarella M, Johnson KP, Sonsthagen SA, Trucco J, Valqui TH, Wilson RE, Winker KS & Sorenson MD. 2009. Parallel evolution in the major haemoglobin genes of eight species of Andean waterfowl. Molecular Ecology 18: 3992–4005.

Bulgarella M, Stewart NC, Fedorov VB, Moore AV & McCracken KG. 2009. Hemoglobin transcript abundance in a bone marrow cDNA library of Crested Ducks (Lophonetta specularioides) in the Peruvian High Andes. The Auk 126: 666–672.

McCracken KG, Bulgarella M, Johnson KP, Kuhner MK, Trucco J, Valqui TH, Wilson RE & Peters JL. 2009. Gene flow in the face of countervailing selection: Adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia in the beta A hemoglobin subunit of yellow-billed pintails in the Andes. Molecular Biology and Evolution 26: 815–827.

Bulgarella M, Cella L, Quintana F, Sapoznikow A, Gosztonyi A & Kuba L. 2008. Diet of Imperial Cormorants (Phalacrocorax atriceps) and Rock Shags (P. magellanicus) breeding sympatrically in Patagonia, Argentina. Ornitología Neotropical 19: 553–563.

Bulgarella M, Wilson RE, Kopuchian C, Valqui TH & McCracken KG. 2007. Elevational variation in body size of Crested Ducks (Lophonetta specularioides) from the central High Andes, Mendoza, and Patagonia. Ornitología Neotropical 18: 587–602.

Bulgarella M & de Lamo DA. 2005. Thermal conductance of guanaco (Lama guanicoe) pelage. Journal of Thermal Biology 30: 569–573.