Kara Jones: Testing Phylogenetic Hypotheses in a Morphologically Diverse Salamander Clade

Grants and Contracts Details


Recent radiation events have led some groups in the salamander family Plethodontidae to undergo rapid genetic diversification, creating complex relationships between morphology, ecology and phylogeny. The primary goal of this project is to elucidate the evolutionary history of one of those groups, the Desmognathus quadramaculatus species complex, which has been extensively studied with ambiguous results. I will accomplish this by first using a broad scale discovery-based approach: densely sampling across the geographic range of the species in this group and using genomic markers to assess the degree to which genetic variation is partitioned. The results of this exploratory phase will be used to inform hypotheses regarding historical divergence patterns and build models that will then be tested in a validation-based framework. Thus this study will contribute to our understanding of the evolutionary history of this clade and provide insight into an important radiation event.
Effective start/end date2/9/172/8/18


  • KY Academy of Science Foundation: $1,000.00


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