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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Department ofVertebrate Zoology

Division of Mammals

Tarsius bancanus
bar Eliecer Gutierrez
    Eliécer E. Gutiérrez
    Research Associate

  • Phone: (202)633-1112
  • Fax: (202)633-0182
  • E-mail: gutierreze[at]

  • Mailing Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    PO Box 37012, MRC 108
    Washington, DC 20013-7012

  • Shipping Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    National Museum of Natural History
    1000 Constitution Ave, NW
    Washington, DC 20004

Related Links

Personal website


Ph.D. (Biology): City University of New York, 2012
B.S. (Biology): Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela, 2004

Research Interests

My research focuses on theoretical and applied aspects of systematics and biogeography to understand patterns of biodiversity, and I use mammals as a study system. I aim to elucidate the factors that drive speciation at local geographic scales, as well as the large-scale events responsible for the diversification of mammals. I am interested in the application of ecological niche modeling (ENM) methods and "next-generation" sequencing technologies in biogeography and conservation biology. In addition, I am interested on taxonomic studies and inventory work on poorly studied regions. Addressing these subjects of research provides opportunities to also work on methodological and conceptual issues in systematics and biogeography—an important component of my research interests.

I am currently working on the project "Revealing the evolutionary history of the deer genus Odocoileus, with emphasis on the cariacou complex". Deer of the genus Odocoileus have never been subjected to taxonomic revision, and the status of the Neotropical populations (i.e., the cariacou complex) remains to be assessed. This study will both establish a species-level taxonomy and will provide insights about the biogeography of New World deer. Odocoileus populations in several countries of Central and South America are actively hunted, even in absence of effective management programs; therefore, by determining the taxonomic identity of populations in these regions, this study will yield essential information for conservation planning and management of species facing different degrees of extinction risks.

Recent Publications

Hawkins M. T. R., C. A. Hofman, T. Callicrate, M. M. McDonough, M. T. N. Tsuchiya, E. E. Gutiérrez, K. M. Helgen, and J. E. Maldonado. [Early View]. In-solution hybridization for mammalian mitogenome enrichment: pros, cons, and challenges associated with multiplexing degraded DNA. Molecular Ecology Resources. doi:10.1111/1755-0998.12448

Gutiérrez, E. E., J. E. Maldonado, A. Radosavljevic, J. Molinari, B. M. Patterson, J. M. Martínez-C., A. R. Rutter*, M. T. R. Hawkins, F. J. Garcia, and K. M. Helgen. 2015. The taxonomic status of Mazama bricenii and the significance of the Táchira Depression for mammalian endemism in the Cordillera de Mérida, Venezuela. PLoS ONE. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0129113.
*undergraduate student that participated in NHA internship program and mentored by E. E. Gutiérrez and K. M. Helgen.

Gutiérrez, E. E. and R. H. Pine. 2015. No need to replace an "anomalous" primate (Primates) with an "anomalous" bear (Carnivora, Ursidae). ZooKeys, 487: 141–154. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.487.9176

Gutiérrez, E. E., R. P. Anderson, R. S. Voss, J. Ochoa-G., M. Aguilera, and S. A. Jansa. 2014. Phylogeography of the mouse opossum Marmosa robinsoni, with insights into the biogeographic history of dry habitats in northern South America. Journal of Mammalogy, 95(6):1175-1188. doi:

Voss, R. S., E. E. Gutiérrez, S. Solari, SR. V. Rossi, and S. A. Jansa. 2014. Phylogenetic relationships of mouse opossums (Didelphidae, Marmosa) with a revised subgeneric classification and notes on sympatric diversity. American Museum Novitates, 3817:1-27. doi:

Gutiérrez, E. E., R. A. Boria, and R. P. Anderson. 2014. Can biotic interactions cause allopatry? Niche models, competition, and distributions of South American mouse opossums. Ecography 37: 741–753. DOI: 10.1111/ecog.00620

Gutiérrez, E. E. and K. M. Helgen. 2013. Outdated taxonomy blocks conservation. Nature, 495(7441): 314. doi:10.1038/495314e

Anderson, R. P., E. E. Gutiérrez, J. Ochoa-G., F. J. García, and M. Aguilera. 2012. Faunal nestedness and species-area relationship for small non-volant mammals in "sky islands" of northern Venezuela. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, 47(3): 157-170.

Gutiérrez, E. E., P. J. Soriano, R. V. Rossi, J. Murillo, J. Ochoa-G., and M. Aguilera. 2011. Occurrence of Marmosa waterhousei in the Venezuelan Andes, with comments on its biogeographic significance. Mammalia, 75: 381–386.

Gutiérrez, E. E., S. A. Jansa, and R. S. Voss. 2010. Molecular systematics of mouse opossums (Didelphidae: Marmosa): assessing species limits using mitochondrial DNA sequences, with comments on phylogenetic relationships and biogeography. American Museum Novitates, 3692: 1–22.

Anderson, R. P., and E. E. Gutiérrez. 2009. Taxonomy, distribution, and natural history of the genus Heteromys (Rodentia: Heteromyidae) in central and eastern Venezuela, with the description of a new species from the Cordillera de la Costa. In R. S. Voss and M. D. Carleton (editors), Systematic mammalogy: contributions in honor of Guy G. Musser. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 331: 33–93.

Gutiérrez, E. E., and J. Molinari. 2008. Morphometrics and taxonomy of bats of the genus Pteronotus (subgenus Phyllodia) in Venezuela. Journal of Mammalogy, 89(2): 292–305.

Molinari, J., E. E. Gutiérrez, A. A. Ascenção, J. M. Nassar, A. Arends, and R. J. Márquez. 2005. Predation by giant centipedes, Scolopendra gigantea, on three species of bats in a Venezuelan cave. Caribbean Journal of Science, 41(2): 340–346.

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