Nigel P. Barker

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Phylogenetic relationships among advanced snakes (Acrochordus + Colubroidea = Caenophidia) and the position of the genus Acrochordus relative to colubroid taxa are contentious. These concerns were investigated by phylogenetic analysis of fragments from four mitochondrial genes representing 62 caenophidian genera and 5 noncaenophidian taxa. Four methods of(More)
Dating the Tree of Life has now become central to relating patterns of biodiversity to key processes in Earth history such as plate tectonics and climate change. Regions with a Mediterranean climate have long been noted for their exceptional species richness and high endemism. How and when these biota assembled can only be answered with a good understanding(More)
We explore the potential impact of conflicting gene trees on inferences of evolutionary history above the species level. When conflict between gene trees is discovered, it is common practice either to analyze the data separately or to combine the data having excluded the conflicting taxa or data partitions for those taxa (which are then recoded as missing).(More)
Leucadendron is a moderately large genus of Proteaceae almost entirely restricted to the Cape Floristic Region of southern Africa. The genus is unusual in being dioecious and sexually dimorphic. ITS sequence data were obtained from 62 of the 96 currently recognized taxa (85 species and 11 subspecies). Phylogenetic analyses were conducted under Maximum(More)
This analysis goes beyond many phylogenies in exploring how phylogenetic structure imposed by morphology, ecology, and geography reveals useful evolutionary data. A comprehensive range of such diversity is evaluated within tribe Indigofereae and outgroups from sister tribes. A combined data set of 321 taxa (over one-third of the tribe) by 80 morphological(More)
The grass subfamily Danthonioideae is one of the smaller in the family. We utilize DNA sequence data from three chloroplast regions (trnL, rpoC2 and rbcL) and one nuclear region (Internal Transcribed Spacer; ITS) both singly and in combination to elucidate the relationships of the genera in the subfamily. The topology retrieved by the ITS region is not(More)
The importance of vicariance events on the establishment of phylogeographic patterns in the marine environment is well documented, and generally accepted as an important cause of cladogenesis. Founder dispersal (i.e. long-distance dispersal followed by founder effect speciation) is also frequently invoked as a cause of genetic divergence among lineages, but(More)
This study constitutes the first evolutionary investigation of the snake family Psammophiidae--the most widespread, most clearly defined, yet perhaps the taxonomically most problematic of Africa's family-level snake lineages. Little is known of psammophiid evolutionary relationships, and the type genus Psammophis is one of the largest and taxonomically most(More)
Genetic breaks separating regional lineages of marine organisms with potentially high broadcasting abilities are generally attributed either to dispersal barriers such as currents or upwelling, or to behavioural strategies promoting self-recruitment. We investigated whether such patterns could potentially also be explained by adaptations to different(More)
Phylogeny reconstruction is challenging when branch lengths vary and when different genetic loci show conflicting signals. The number of DNA sequence characters required to obtain robust support for all the nodes in a phylogeny becomes greater with denser taxon sampling. We test the usefulness of an approach mixing densely sampled, variable non-coding(More)