Nicholas I. Mundy

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Melanins are a ubiquitous component of plumage colouration in birds and serve a wide variety of functions. Although the genetic control of melanism has been studied in chickens and other domestic species, little was known about the molecular genetics of melanin distribution in wild birds until recently. Studies have now revealed that a single locus, the(More)
A key question in evolutionary genetics is whether shared genetic mechanisms underlie the independent evolution of similar phenotypes across phylogenetically divergent lineages. Here we show that in two classic examples of melanic plumage polymorphisms in birds, lesser snow geese (Anser c. caerulescens) and arctic skuas (Stercorarius parasiticus), melanism(More)
BACKGROUND Evolution depends on natural selection acting on phenotypic variation, but the genes responsible for phenotypic variation in natural populations of vertebrates are rarely known. The molecular genetic basis for plumage color variation has not been described in any wild bird. Bananaquits (Coereba flaveola) are small passerine birds that occur as(More)
The anatomical basis and adaptive function of the expansion in primate brain size have long been studied; however, we are only beginning to understand the genetic basis of these evolutionary changes. Genes linked to human primary microcephaly have received much attention as they have accelerated evolutionary rates along lineages leading to humans. However,(More)
The evolution of trichromatic colour vision by the majority of anthropoid primates has been linked to the efficient detection and selection of food, particularly ripe fruits among leaves in dappled light. Modelling of visual signals has shown that trichromats should be more efficient than dichromats at distinguishing both fruits from leaves and ripe from(More)
Gorillas are humans' closest living relatives after chimpanzees, and are of comparable importance for the study of human origins and evolution. Here we present the assembly and analysis of a genome sequence for the western lowland gorilla, and compare the whole genomes of all extant great ape genera. We propose a synthesis of genetic and fossil evidence(More)
It has been suggested that the major advantage of trichromatic over dichromatic colour vision in primates is enhanced detection of red/yellow food items such as fruit against the dappled foliage of the forest. This hypothesis was tested by comparing the foraging ability of dichromatic and trichromatic Geoffroy's marmosets (Callithrix geoffroyi) for orange-(More)
Leadership of travel progression is an important aspect of group living. It is widely believed that trichromacy evolved to facilitate the detection and selection of fruit in the dappled light of a forest. Further, it has been proposed that in New World primate species, which typically contain a range of color vision phenotypes, at least one female in a(More)
The degree to which haematozoan parasites can exploit a range of vectors and hosts has both ecological and evolutionary implications for their transmission and biogeography. Here we explore the extent to which closely related mosquito species share the same or closely related haematozoan parasites, and examine the overlap in parasite lineages with those(More)
Trichromatic colour vision is of considerable importance to primates but is absent in other eutherian mammals. Primate colour vision is traditionally believed to have evolved for finding food in the forest. Recent work has tested the ecological importance of trichromacy to primates, both by measuring the spectral and chemical properties of food eaten in the(More)