Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Carla Dove

Program Manager, Feather Identification Lab
Department / Division
  • Ph.D., George Mason University (1998)
  • MSc., George Mason University (1994)
  • BS., University of Montana (1986)
  • A.A.S, Lord Fairfax Community College (1983)
Research Interests

Specialized research in the microscopic identification of feathers. Current research involves establishing techniques in this newly developing field within Ornithology, which applies forensic methodologies to determine species of birds from fragmentary evidence using microscopy, whole feather comparisons with museum specimens and DNA 'barcoding'. The most important application of this research is to the field of aviation safety and determining identifications of birds that are ingested into aircraft engines (birdstrikes).

Journal Article
  • Rivers, Kristine and Dove, Carla J. 2023. Bird Detectives: Science Sleuths and Their Feathered Friends. North Mankato, Minnesota: Capstone.
Book Chapter