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Rasmussen, Pamela C., Ph.D.

Assistant Curator of Mammalogy & Ornithology, MSU Museum
Assistant Professor, MSU Department of Zoology
Research Associate, Smithsonian Institution
Scientific Associate, Bird Group, Department of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, Tring, UK, 2002-present
Member of Editorial Board, Systematics and Biodiversity, 2003-present
Adjunct Assistant Scientific Associate, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, 2003-present
Fellow, American Ornithologists’ Union, 2007
American Ornithologists Union (AOU) Committee on Classification & Nomenclature, 1999-present
Associate Editor, The Ibis, 1998-present
Aves Editor, Zootaxa, 2008-present

Research Interests/Experience

Dr. Rasmussen's research focuses on the diversity, vocalizations, taxonomy, and conservation of the avifauna of southern Asia. She recently (2005) co-authored a two-volume book, Birds of South Asia: the Ripley Guide, which was published in April 2005. She has also worked on systematics, ecology, behavior, and zooarcheology of Patagonian seabirds, and co-authored (with Dr. Storrs Olson) a review of the Mio-Pliocene avifauna of North Carolina.


Media Featuring Rasmussen's Research

  • Featured guest on NPR’s “Whad’Ya Know” with Michael Feldman, 31 October 2009. AP. 2009. 
  • MSU expert says endangered Indonesia crow survives. Chicago Tribune, 17 October 2009, accessed 12 November 2009.
  • Oehler, D. 2009. Rediscovered: Forest Owlet. Bird Watcher’s Digest. November/December ‘09.
  • Seabrook, J. 2006. The Meinertzhagen Ruse. The New Yorker.
  • Grimmett, R. 2005. Taking flight. Nature 438: 916.
  • Dalton, R. 2005. Ornithologists stunned by bird collector's deceit. Nature 437: 302-303. 
  • Weidensaul, S. 2002. The ghost with trembling wings. Science, wishful thinking, and the search for lost species. North Point Press, New York.
  • Gallagher, T. 1998. Lost and found. Living Bird, Spring 1998. 

Selected Publications

  • Renner, S.C., P.C. Rasmussen, J.H. Rappole, Theing Aung, & Myint Aung. 2009. Discovery of the Large Blue Flycatcher Cyornis [banyumas] magnirostris breeding in northern Kachin State (Burma/Myanmar) and taxonomic implications for the Cyornis-group. J. Orn. 150: 671-683.
  • Svensson, L., R. Prys-Jones, P.C. Rasmussen, & U. Olsson. 2008. Discovery of ten new specimens of large-billed reed warbler Acrocephalus orinus, and new insights into its distributional range. J. Avian Biol. 39: 605-610.
  • Alström, P., P.C. Rasmussen, U. Olsson, & P. Sundberg. 2008. Species delimitation based on multiple criteria: the Spotted Bush Warbler Bradypterus thoracicus complex (Aves: Megaluridae). Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society 154: 291-307.
  • Indrawan, M., P.C. Rasmussen, & Sunarto. Submitted. A new species of white-eye (Zosterops) from the Togian Islands, Gulf of Tomini, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Wilson Journal of Ornithology.
  • Grenyer, R., C.D.L. Orme, S.F. Jackson, G.H. Thomas, R.G. Davies, T.J. Davies, K.E. Jones, V.A. Olson, R.S. Ridgely, P.C. Rasmussen, T.S. Ding, P.M. Bennett, T.M. Blackburn, K.J. Gaston, J.L. Gittleman, & I.P.F. Owens. 2006. The global distribution and conservation of rare and threatened vertebrates. Nature 444: 93-96.
  • Johnson, J.A., H.R.L. Lerner, P.C. Rasmussen, & D.P. Mindell. 2006. Systematics within Gyps vultures: a clade at risk. BMC-Evolutionary Biology 6.
  • Orme, C.D.L., R.G. Davies, M. Burgess, F. Eigenbrod, N. Pickup, V. Olson, A.J. Webster, T.-S. Ding, P.C. Rasmussen, R.S. Ridgely, A.J. Stattersfield, P.M. Bennett, T.M. Blackburn, K.J. Gaston, & I.P.F. Owens. 2005. Global hotspots of species richness are not congruent with endemism or threat. Nature 436:1016-1019.
  • Rasmussen, P.C. & J.C. Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: the Ripley guide. 2 vols. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

Selected Exhibitions

  • “Avelution: Birds in the Development of Darwin’s Theories of Evolution,” Michigan State University Museum, 2010
  • "Birds of South Asia: History vs. Mystery," Michigan State University Museum, 2003-2004 and Detroit Zoo Wildlife Interpretive Gallery, 2005-2006


Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1990
M.S., Walla Walla College, 1983