Stephen J. Rossiter

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Evolution is typically thought to proceed through divergence of genes, proteins and ultimately phenotypes. However, similar traits might also evolve convergently in unrelated taxa owing to similar selection pressures. Adaptive phenotypic convergence is widespread in nature, and recent results from several genes have suggested that this phenomenon is(More)
Molecular phylogenetics has rapidly established the evolutionary positions of most major mammal groups, yet analyses have repeatedly failed to agree on that of bats (order Chiroptera). Moreover, the relationship among the major bat lineages has proven equally contentious, with ongoing disagreements about whether echolocating bats are paraphyletic or a true(More)
The remarkable high-frequency sensitivity and selectivity of the mammalian auditory system has been attributed to the evolution of mechanical amplification, in which sound waves are amplified by outer hair cells in the cochlea. This process is driven by the recently discovered protein prestin, encoded by the gene Prestin. Echolocating bats use ultrasound(More)
Cases of convergent evolution - where different lineages have evolved similar traits independently - are common and have proven central to our understanding of selection. Yet convincing examples of adaptive convergence at the sequence level are exceptionally rare [1]. The motor protein Prestin is expressed in mammalian outer hair cells (OHCs) and is thought(More)
Nonfunctional visual genes are usually associated with species that inhabit poor light environments (aquatic/subterranean/nocturnal), and these genes are believed to have lost function through relaxed selection acting on the visual system. Indeed, the visual system is so adaptive that the reconstruction of intact ancestral opsin genes has been used to(More)
Recent findings of sequence convergence in the Prestin gene among some bats and cetaceans suggest that parallel adaptations for high-frequency hearing have taken place during the evolution of echolocation. To determine if this gene is an exception, or instead similar processes have occurred in other hearing genes, we have examined Tmc1 and Pjvk, both of(More)
Phylogeographical studies are typically based on haplotype data, occasionally on nuclear markers such as microsatellites, but rarely combine both. This is unfortunate because the use of markers with contrasting modes of inheritance and rates of evolution might provide a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of a species' history. Here we present a(More)
The potential for parallel impacts of habitat change on multiple biodiversity levels has important conservation implications. We report on the first empirical test of the 'species-genetic diversity correlation' across co-distributed taxa with contrasting ecological traits in the context of habitat fragmentation. In a rainforest landscape undergoing(More)
Following a dramatic decline last century, the British population of the endangered greater horseshoe bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum is highly fragmented. To examine the consequences of fragmentation and limited dispersal on patterns of genetic structure and variation, we used microsatellite markers to screen bats from around 50% of the known maternity(More)