Donna L. Dittmann

Donna L. Dittmann
Collections Manager
Section of Genetic Resources, and Museum Preparator
119 Foster Hall
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Telephone: 225-578-2009
Fax: 225-578-3075


I am originally from San Francisco, CA and have a BA in Zoology from UC Berkeley. Since childhood, birds and birding have been my primary interest and a driving force. During childhood, I volunteered at the California Academy of Sciences, where I garnered my appreciation for museum science and first learned how to prepare specimens. I participated on a LSUMNS expedition to Peru in 1983, became a Research Associate in 1984, and assumed my current position in 1992. I have since participated on LSUMNS expeditions to Bolivia, Panama, Cameroon, as well as many destinations in the US, and have contributed over 8000 prepared specimens to various museums. 


My research interests include genetics, distribution, identification, and molt of birds with emphasis on those species occurring in North America. Some current projects focus on molt of Yellow-footed, Lesser Black-backed, and California gulls, Bridled and Sooty terns, Wilson’s, Band-rumped, and Leach’s storm-petrels; distribution of Louisiana’s pelagic avifauna; and hybridization of large gulls on Louisiana’s Chandeleur Islands. I also enjoy writing and illustrating identification articles (see Although wildlife illustration is principally for personal pleasure, I have also used my designs to benefit conservation; some of my donated designs include the Grand Isle Birding Festival.

Tissue collection & preservation

Sheldon, F. H., and D. L. Dittmann. 1997. The value of vertebrate tissue collections in applied and basic science. Pp. 163-174 in K. E. Hoagland and A. Y. Rossman (eds.), Global Genetic Resources: Access, Ownership, and Intellectual Property Rights. Association of Systematics Collections, Washington DC.


Cohen, B. L. , A. J. Baker, K. Blechschmidt, D. L. Dittmann, R. W. Furness, J. A. Gerwin, A. J. Helbig, J. DeKorte, H. D. Marshall, R. L. Palma, H.-U. Peter, R. Ramli, I. Siebold, M. S. Willcox, R. H. Wilson, and R. M. Zink . 1997. Enigmatic phylogeny of the skuas (Stercorariidae). Proc. Royal Soc. London 264: 181-190.

Dittmann, D. L., R. M. Zink and J. A. Gerwin. 1989. Evolutionary genetics of phalaropes. Auk 106: 326-331.

Dittmann, D. L., and R. M. Zink. 1992. Mitochondrial DNA variation among phalaropes and allies. Auk 108: 771-779.

Zink, R. M., and D. L. Dittmann. 1993. Gene flow, refugia, and evolution of geographic variation in the song sparrow. Evolution 48(1): 96-111.

Zink, R. M., D. L. Dittmann, S. W. Cardiff, and J. D. Rising. 1992. Mitochondrial DNA and the taxonomic status of the large-billed Savannah Sparrow. Condor 93: 1016-1019.

Zink, R. M., Donna L. Dittmann, John Klicka and Rachelle C. Blackwell-Rago. 1999. Evolutionary patterns of morphometrics, allozymes, and mitochondrial DNA of thrashers (genus Toxostoma). Auk 116(4): 1021-1038.

Zink, Robert M., Sievert Rohwer, Alexander V. Andreev & Donna L. Dittmann. 1995. Trans-beringia comparisons of Mitochondrial DNA differentiation in Birds. Condor 97: 639-649.

Bird distribution

Cardiff, Steven W. and Donna L. Dittmann. 2000. Brown-crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus tyrannulus) In The Birds of North America, No. 496 (A. Poole, F. Gill eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA and The American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, D.C.

Cardiff, Steven W. and Donna L. Dittmann. 2002. Ash-throated Flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens) In The Birds of North America., No. 664 (A. Poole, F. Gill eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA. DeBenedictis, Paul A., Jon. L. Dunn, Thede Tobish, Kimball Garrett, Chuck Sexton,

Greg Lasley, Donna L. Dittmann, & Stuart Tingley. 1996. ABA Checklist: Birds of the Continental United States and Canada. Fifth Edition. American Birding Association. Colorado Springs, Colarado. Dittmann, Donna L. 1995. Seventh Report of the Louisiana Bird Records Committee. J. Louis. Ornith.: 3(1): 16-42.

Dittmann, Donna L., Joseph P. Kleiman and Steven W. Cardiff. 1999. Eighth report of the Louisiana Bird Records Committee. J. Louis. Ornith. 4(2): 103-153.

Dittmann, Donna L. and Steven W. Cardiff. 2003. Ninth report of the Louisiana Bird Records Committee. J. Louis. Ornith. 6: 41-101.

Dunn, Jon L., Donna L. Dittmann, Kimball L. Garrett, Greg Lasley, Mark B. Robbins, Chuck Sexton, Stuart Tingley, Thede Tobish. 2002. ABA Checklist: Birds of the Continental United States and Canada. Sixth Edition 2002. American Birding Association. Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Robbins, M. B., D. L. Dittmann, J. L. Dunn, K. L. Garrett, S. Heinl, A. W. Kratter, G. Lasley, and B. Mactavish. 2003. ABA Checklist Committee 2002 Annual Report. Birding 35(2) 138-144.

Contact Us

Museum of Natural Science
119 Foster Hall
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Phone: 225-578-2855


Hours & Admissions

Admission: Free
: Mon - Fri, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.*
Closed: Sat; Sun; state holidays
*Closed Fri at 2 p.m. during school year.

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