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Michael Hickerson

Michael Hickerson
City College and the Graduate Center of CUNY
Biology Department
160 Convent Ave
rm 835

New York , NY 10031
Office Phone: (212) 650-8530


  1. Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley
  2. PhD Duke University
  3. MS Western Washington University
  4. BS The Evergreen State College


CUNY Graduate Center Subprogram: Ecology, Evolution and Behavior


Laboratory personnel:
PhD Students: Terry Demos, JT Boehm, Alexander Xue
Master's Student: Cedric Landerer
Undergraduate Students: Stephen Esposito, Xiaoou Xie


We focus on developing and applying computational and statistical methods that merge population genetics with community ecology. In so doing, we seek to answer questions about the interplay between climate change, shifting species distributions, species formation, extinction and changes in ecological interactions. We work across a range of empirical systems and develop the tools of approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) for incorporating hierarchical multi-species population models and testing community-level hypotheses.

Recent Publications:

2012 Waltari, E. and M.J. HickersonLate Pleistocene Species Distribution Modeling of North Atlantic Intertidal InvertebratesJournal of Biogeography; in press

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. HickersonReconstructing Community Assembly in Time and Space Reveals Enemy Escape in a Western Palearctic Insect CommunityCurrent Biology; 22: 532-537

2011 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 frogsProc. 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. HickersonColonization and⁄or mitochondrial selective sweeps across the North Atlantic intertidal assemblage revealed by multi-taxa approximate Bayesian computationMolecular 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 2000Molecular 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 modelingJournal 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 hotspotScience; 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 approachBMC 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 analysisBiology 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.


Assistant Professor