Photography Dr. Jonathon C. Marshall
Department of Zoology, Weber State Univeristy, 2505 University Circle, Ogden, Utah, 84408 (email: jonmarshall@weber.edu)
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Name Research Interests: I research methods for delimiting species boundaries. I work mostly with Sceloporus grammicus, a lizard species complex found in Mexico, but have also published papers on other lizard species, mosquitoes, earthworms, mice, and crickets. Along with species boundaries issues I do research in phylogenetics, population genetics, and hybrid zones. (website: http://jcmarshall.blogspot.com/)
Photography Alison Whiting
Research Associate in Herpetology, Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (email: alison.whiting@yahoo.com)
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Name Research Interests: I am interested in the evolution of the lScincidae, primarily in inferring phylogenetic relationships within skinks using molecular data, and utilizing the resulting phylogeny to interpret evolutionary processes. Some of my past work has looked at Southern African skink genera, South American Mabuya, and Malagasy skinks. I am also interested in relationships within and among skinks distributed in Papua New Guinea and Australia.
Photography Nelson Jorge da Silva, Jr.
Universidade Católica de Goiás Mestrado em Ciências Ambientais e Saúde Rua 232 nº 128 - 3º andar - Área V - Setor Universitário CEP 74605-140 - Goiânia, Goiás, Brasil - Telefax: (55-62) 3946-1346 herp@terra.com.br; njsj@ucg.br; nelson@naturae.com.br
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Name Research Interests: My main research subject is New World coral snake taxonomy, which includes mostly morphological characters but also molecular data to recover philogenetic relationships. The primary group of study are the South American triadal coralsnakes; my collaborators and I have published a number of papers on phylogeny of some groups and alpha taxonomy, and I also have published some papers on coral snake venoms. Beyond this main interest I am part of a multidisciplinary graduate program on environmental sciences, and we have published papers related to subjects as environmental impacts of hidroelectric power plants, deforestation and loss of biodiversity in the Brazilian Cerrado, and the unsustainability of biofuels. I also act as an environmental consultant in faunal inventories and monitoring, which gives me the opportunity to continue publishing papers on biodiversity, biodiversity loss, and the description of new species of amphibians and reptiles. Earlier this year (2009) I was awarded the Anhanguera Merit Cross (from the Government of Goiás) for outstanding services in environmental protection in the State of Goiás.
Photography Elisabeth Arévalo
Associate Professor of Biology Providence College, Providence, RI 02918 (email:earevalo@providence.edu)
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Name Research Interests: I am interested in answering questions in evolutionary biology and for that reason I have used lizards and wasps as model organisms. Currently, I am studying the evolution of sociality in paper wasps of the genus Polistes. I use molecular markers, microsatellites to assess relatedness within colonies and to determine the hierarchical structure of these wasps. Species within the genus Polistes have worldwide distribution including tropical and temperate environments. While I have worked with temperate species in the past, I am now looking at the social adaptations of species distributed in tropical environments. Specifically, I am working with the species Polistes erythrocephalus for which I have constructed a microsatellite library and I am using them to screen populations from Costa Rica. In order to look at the evolution of sociality, kin selection and to understand how is that conflicts between castes are resolved; I have also looked at the phylogenetic history of the subfamily Polistinae with the use of molecular and morphological characters.
Photography Kent Reed
Associate Professor, Animal Genomics Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota 295 ASVM, 1988 Fitch Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108 (email: reedx054@umn.edu))
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Name Research Interests: My primary research has the development and use of genomic resources in the domestic turkey. We have developed a comprehensive genetic linkage map aligned with the chicken whole genome sequence, and are now part of a consortium to sequence the turkey genome; the first vertebrate genome to be fully sequenced and assembled with next generation sequencing technologies. Better utilization of genetic information, can enhance commercial flocks through the selection of genetically superior animals. Our functional genomic projects are aimed at addressing important biological questions regarding traits of agricultural significance (development and function of both skeletal and cardiac muscle, toxicology, genome variation and immunogenetics). Commercial turkeys are possibly the most susceptible animal species known to the toxic effects of Aflatoxin B1. Aflatoxin B1 was discovered in the early 1960s as the etiological agent of “Turkey X” disease, responsible for the widespread deaths of turkeys and other poultry throughout Europe. We are collaborating with Dr. Coulombe at Utah State University to investigate the genetic-basis for this susceptibility. A secondary emphasis of my research is examining a candidate gene for choanal atresia, a usually fatal developmental condition in alpaca and llama; with collaborators we hope to identify mutations responsible for this condition. (http://www.tc.umn.edu/~reedx054/)
Photography Mariana Morando
Centro Nacional Patagónico, Boulevard Alte. Brown s/n, U9120 ACV, Puerto Madryn, Argentina (email: morando@cenpat.edu.ar)
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Name Research Interests: I am interested in Herpetology primarily from the perspective of evolutionary genetics; I use cytogenetic and molecular data to address questions of species delimitation, and then more synthetic issues in systematic, phylogeography, biogeography, and speciation patterns. I am now employing multi-locus data sets and coalescent methods to delimit species and to test evolutionary mechanisms associated with population and species divergence (hybridization, incomplete lineage sorting, etc.)
Photography Edgar Benavides
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (email: edgar.benavides@yale.edu)
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Name Research Interests: I have just moved to Yale to take a second post-doc, and I focus on evolutionary genetics questions in the following taxa: (1) phylogeny, phylogeography, and generation of genetic diversity by environmental factors in the Galápagos Archipelago using lava lizards (Microlophus) as a models; (2) unraveling of patterns and historical processes involved in the distribution of genetic diversity along the coastal deserts of Peru and Chile in these same lizards; (3) assessing the genetic makeup of the critically endangered giant frog of Lake Titicaca (Telmatobius culeus); (4) using rapidly evolving markers (microsatellites) to identify inter-island giant tortoise hybrids in the Galapagos Archipelago; and (5) the study of amphibian and reptile biodiversity of South America in general, and Bolivia in particular.
Photography Dr. Arley Camargo
Dr. Arley Camargo Centro Nacional Patagónico – Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Ténicas Boulevard Almirante Brown 2825, 9120 Puerto Madryn, Chubut Argentina Email: arley.camargo@gmail.com
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Name Research Interests: I am interested on statistical phylogeographic methods and coalescent-based methods for species delimitation and phylogenetic inference. My ultimate goal is to combine these molecular approaches with morphological and environmental data to address patterns of speciation in recently diverged lineages. In my dissertation I am working on the Liolaemus darwinii species group from the Patagonia/Monte Desert ecoregions in Argentina. I am using multi-locus sequence data, morphological variation, and niche models to understand how historical processes in the region (e. g., Andean uplift, marine transgressions, Pleistocene glaciations, etc.) have fostered speciation and shaped demographic structures during the recent past. Moreover, I am also interested in the use of comparative phylogenetic methods for reconstructing the evolution of sexual dimorphism and life-history traits associated with speciation.
Photography Dr. Fernanda Werneck
Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade de Brasília, 70910-900 Brasília, DF BRASIL (email: fewerneck@gmail.com)
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Name Research Interests: My primary research interests include the biogeography, conservation, and evolutionary biology of the Neotropical herpetofauna, with special focus on the lizard fauna associated to dry biomes (e. g. Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests/Caatinga, Cerrado, and Chaco). My PhD research focuses on the study of the historical biogeographical relationships between the South American dry biomes, by using distribution modeling and comparative phylogeographic methods, and multiple groups of lizards as focal organisms. Current researches/manuscripts underway include: (1) patterns and perspectives on the zoogeography of South American dry biomes; (2) revisiting the Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests historical distribution: new insights based on palaeodistribution modeling and palynological evidence; (3) development of anonymous nuclear markers for the target genera (Phyllopezus, Vanzosaura, and Lygodactylus); 4) Phyllopezus pollicaris palaeodistribution niche modelling and coalescent tests of historical hypotheses; (5) conservation genetics of the dry biomes; and (6) comparative phylogeography of the dry biomes.