Harilaos A Lessios

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Comparative phylogeographic studies often reveal disparate levels of sequence divergence between lineages spanning a common geographic barrier, leading to the conclusion that isolation was nonsynchronous. However, only rarely do researchers account for the expected variance associated with ancestral coalescence and among-taxon variation in demographic(More)
Populations of the ecologically important sea urchin Diadema antillarum suffered severe mass mortalities throughout the Caribbean. This mortality was first observed at Panama in January 1983; by January 1984 it had spread to the rest of the Caribbean and to Bermuda. The sequence of mortality events in most areas is consistent with the hypothesis that the(More)
The high biodiversity of tropical marine hotspots has long intrigued evolutionary biologists and biogeographers. The genus Haemulon (grunts) is one of the most important (numerically, ecologically, and economically) reef fish groups in the New World and an excellent candidate to test hypotheses of speciation and diversity generation in the Greater(More)
A latitudinal gradient in biodiversity has existed since before the time of the dinosaurs, yet how and why this gradient arose remains unresolved. Here we review two major hypotheses for the origin of the latitudinal diversity gradient. The time and area hypothesis holds that tropical climates are older and historically larger, allowing more opportunity for(More)
Studies on the evolution of reproductive proteins have shown that they tend to evolve more rapidly than other proteins, frequently under positive selection. Progress on understanding the implications of these patterns is possible for marine invertebrates, where molecular evolution can be linked to gamete compatibility. In this study, we surveyed data from(More)
Some species of sea urchins feature large variation in pigmentation. This variability may be the result of phenotypic plasticity or it may be associated with genetic divergence between morphs. Paracentrotus gaimardi exhibits five colour morphs (pink, brown, green, grey and black), which often occur side by side on the same rock. We studied genetic(More)
Conservation of large predators has long been a challenge for biologists due to the limited information we have about their ecology, generally low numbers in the wild, large home ranges and the continuous expansion of human settlements. The American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) is a typical apex predator, that has suffered from all of these characteristic(More)
The formation of the Isthmus of Panama stands as one of the greatest natural events of the Cenozoic, driving profound biotic transformations on land and in the oceans. Some recent studies suggest that the Isthmus formed many millions of years earlier than the widely recognized age of approximately 3 million years ago (Ma), a result that if true would(More)