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The integration of phylogenetics, phylogeography and palaeoenvironmental studies is providing major insights into the historical forces that have shaped the Earth's biomes. Yet our present view is biased towards arctic and temperate/tropical forest regions, with very little focus on the extensive arid regions of the planet. The Australian arid zone is one(More)
The disparity in species richness among groups of organisms is one of the most pervasive features of life on earth. A number of studies have addressed this pattern across higher taxa (e.g. 'beetles'), but we know much less about the generality and causal basis of the variation in diversity within evolutionary radiations at lower taxonomic scales. Here, we(More)
We present a new, broadly applicable measure of the spatial restriction of phylogenetic diversity, termed phylogenetic endemism (PE). PE combines the widely used phylogenetic diversity and weighted endemism measures to identify areas where substantial components of phylogenetic diversity are restricted. Such areas are likely to be of considerable importance(More)
The Black Rat (Rattus rattus) spread out of Asia to become one of the world's worst agricultural and urban pests, and a reservoir or vector of numerous zoonotic diseases, including the devastating plague. Despite the global scale and inestimable cost of their impacts on both human livelihoods and natural ecosystems, little is known of the global genetic(More)
Green pythons, which are regionally variable in colour patterns, are found throughout the lowland rainforest of New Guinea and adjacent far northeastern Australia. The species is popular in commercial trade and management of this trade and its impacts on natural populations could be assisted by molecular identification tools. We used mitochondrial(More)
Australian scincid lizards in the genus Ctenotus constitute the most diverse vertebrate radiation in Australia. However, the evolutionary processes that have generated this diversity remain elusive, in part because both interspecific phylogenetic relationships and phylogeographic structure within Ctenotus species remain poorly known. Here we use nucleotide(More)
The Australian skink lizard Egernia stokesii lives in aggregations of up to 17 individuals. Previously, at one site, these aggregations have been shown to comprise paired unrelated individuals and several cohorts of their young. To investigate whether social structuring in this species is a response to ecological conditions or is phylogenetically(More)
We used nucleotide sequences from four mitochondrial genes and structural features of the mitochondrial control region, combined with a revised, previously published, morphological data set to infer phylogenetic relationships among the pythons. We aimed to determine which of two competing hypotheses of relationships of the genera Aspidites and Python best(More)
Phylogenetic relationships among the venomous Australo-Papuan elapid snake radiation remain poorly resolved, despite the application of diverse data sets. To examine phylogenetic relationships among this enigmatic group, portions of the cytochrome b and 16S rRNA mitochondrial DNA genes were sequenced from 19 of the 20 terrestrial Australian genera and 6 of(More)