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The role of ecology in the origin of species has been the subject of long-standing interest to evolutionary biologists. New sources of spatially explicit ecological data allow for large-scale tests of whether speciation is associated with niche divergence or whether closely related species tend to be similar ecologically (niche conservatism). Because of the(More)
Evolutionary relationships among birds in Neoaves, the clade comprising the vast majority of avian diversity, have vexed systematists due to the ancient, rapid radiation of numerous lineages. We applied a new phylogenomic approach to resolve relationships in Neoaves using target enrichment (sequence capture) and high-throughput sequencing of ultraconserved(More)
Since the recognition that allopatric speciation can be induced by large-scale reconfigurations of the landscape that isolate formerly continuous populations, such as the separation of continents by plate tectonics, the uplift of mountains or the formation of large rivers, landscape change has been viewed as a primary driver of biological diversification.(More)
BACKGROUND Genetic tests of paleoecological hypotheses have been rare, partly because recent genetic divergence is difficult to detect and time. According to fossil plant data, continuous woodland in the southwestern USA and northern Mexico became fragmented during the last 10,000 years, as warming caused cool-adapted species to retreat to high elevations.(More)
We present the first genomic-scale analysis addressing the phylogenetic position of turtles, using over 1000 loci from representatives of all major reptile lineages including tuatara. Previously, studies of morphological traits positioned turtles either at the base of the reptile tree or with lizards, snakes and tuatara (lepidosaurs), whereas molecular(More)
The International Crocodilian Genomes Working Group (ICGWG) will sequence and assemble the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) and Indian gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) genomes. The status of these projects and our planned analyses are described.
Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies are revolutionizing many biological disciplines but have been slow to take root in phylogeography. This is partly due to the difficulty of using NGS to sequence orthologous DNA fragments for many individuals at low cost. We explore cases of recent divergence in four phylogenetically diverse avian systems using a(More)
In recent articles published in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Mark Springer and John Gatesy (S&G) present numerous criticisms of recent implementations and testing of the multispecies coalescent (MSC) model in phylogenomics, popularly known as "species tree" methods. After pointing out errors in alignments and gene tree rooting in recent(More)
Arachnida is an ancient, diverse and ecologically important animal group that contains a number of species of interest for medical, agricultural and engineering applications. Despite their importance, many aspects of the arachnid tree of life remain unresolved, hindering comparative approaches to arachnid biology. Biologists have made considerable efforts(More)