Jeffrey C. Oliver

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The red-legged frog, Rana aurora, has been recognized as both a single, polytypic species and as two distinct species since its original description 150 years ago. It is currently recognized as one species with two geographically contiguous subspecies, aurora and draytonii; the latter is protected under the US Endangered Species Act. We present the results(More)
The selection of fossil data to use as calibration age priors in molecular divergence time estimates inherently links neontological methods with paleontological theory. However, few neontological studies have taken into account the possibility of a taphonomic bias in the fossil record when developing approaches to fossil calibration selection. The(More)
Batesian mimics gain protection from predation through the evolution of physical similarities to a model species that possesses anti-predator defences. This protection should not be effective in the absence of the model since the predator does not identify the mimic as potentially dangerous and both the model and the mimic are highly conspicuous. Thus,(More)
This study examined the effects of increased leaf nitrogen in natural host-plants (Plantago spp.) on female oviposition preference, larval performance, and larval chemical defense of the butterfly Junonia coenia. Increased availability of soil nutrients caused the host-plant’s foliar nitrogen to increase and its chemical defense to decrease. Larval(More)
SUMMARY AUGIST (accomodating uncertainty in genealogies while inferring species tress) is a new software package for inferring species trees while accommodating uncertainty in gene genealogies. It is written for the Mesquite software system and provides sampling procedures to incorporate uncertainty in gene tree reconstruction while providing confidence(More)
Understanding how novel complex traits originate involves investigating the time of origin of the trait, as well as the origin of its underlying gene regulatory network in a broad comparative phylogenetic framework. The eyespot of nymphalid butterflies has served as an example of a novel complex trait, as multiple genes are expressed during eyespot(More)
Visual patterns in animals may serve different functions, such as attracting mates and deceiving predators. If a signal is used for multiple functions, the opportunity arises for conflict among the different functions, preventing optimization for any one visual signal. Here we investigate the hypothesis that spatial separation of different visual signal(More)
Butterfly eyespots represent novel complex traits that display substantial diversity in number and size within and across species. Correlative gene expression studies have implicated a large suite of transcription factors, including Distal-less (Dll), Engrailed (En), and Spalt (Sal), in eyespot development in butterflies, but direct evidence testing the(More)
Aposematic coloration, or warning coloration, is a visual signal that acts to minimize contact between predator and unprofitable prey. The conditions favoring the evolution of aposematic coloration remain largely unidentified. Recent work suggests that diet specialization and resultant toxicity may play a role in facilitating the evolution and persistence(More)
The Lecanoromycetes is the largest class of lichenized Fungi, and one of the most species-rich classes in the kingdom. Here we provide a multigene phylogenetic synthesis (using three ribosomal RNA-coding and two protein-coding genes) of the Lecanoromycetes based on 642 newly generated and 3329 publicly available sequences representing 1139 taxa, 317 genera,(More)