Category Archives: species delimitation

What’s in a name? A review of cryptic species and species concepts

It is a contentious can of worms. Species concepts are both essential to understand and at the same time incredibly difficult to define. Species names allow us to discuss fundamental units of biodiversity in any ecosystem and study genome evolution, … Continue reading

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Posted in evolution, Molecular Ecology, the journal, speciation, species delimitation | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

DNA sequence data shows that this “living fossil” isn’t so fossilized after all

Living fossils are a tricky concept for evolutionary biology. In principle it seems simple: living organisms that closely resemble creatures seen in the fossil record going back millions of years. Usually they’re a single representative of a fossil record containing … Continue reading

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Highlights from the Standalone Society of Systematic Biologists meeting – part 1

The 2017 standalone meeting of the Society of Systematic Biologists included expert-led debates on major issues in molecular systematics. Didn’t make it to Baton Rouge? Don’t worry – Bryan McLean and I report on the main points below, and highlight some of our … Continue reading

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Posted in phylogenetics, species delimitation, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Phylogeny of the elves illustrates why we need to sample elf DNA immediately

Last year for Christmas Eve, Dominic Evangelista reconstructed the evolutionary history of elves and elf-like fantasy creatures in a tour-de-force of nerd crossover. Seriously, go read that piece if you haven’t. It has an alternate abstract in Elvish. As with … Continue reading

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Posted in DNA barcoding, phylogenetics, primates, species delimitation | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Hidden History of Kiwi Diversification

Of the millions of Earth’s species that likely remain to be described, a majority is thought to be invertebrates, plants, fungi, or microbes. Nevertheless, the pace of species description in some vertebrate groups has not slackened over the past few … Continue reading

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Posted in genomics, phylogenetics, phylogeography, species delimitation, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On Integrative Species Delimitation…

Accurate delimitation of species is a fundamental first step that underlies much of what we do in biology. But this can prove challenging in many situations. Why? Let me count the ways. Incomplete lineage sorting, hybridization, morphological conservatism, and niche … Continue reading

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Posted in evolution, methods, phylogeography, population genetics, software, species delimitation | 1 Comment

Genomics of Hybridization – Part 1

In a series of articles, I will discuss recent advances in hybridization genomics – the fundamentals of adaptive introgression, “islands of speciation”, differential gene flow, and linked selection have been discussed in my previous posts (here, here, and also at … Continue reading

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Posted in adaptation, evolution, genomics, methods, natural history, next generation sequencing, pedigree, phylogenetics, plants, population genetics, RNAseq, software, speciation, species delimitation, STRUCTURE, theory, transcriptomics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Introgression history in sticklebacks and oaks

Speciation theory has many monikers for differential gene flow – migration, introgression, admixture, hybridization, secondary contact. As a homogenizing process, gene flow at large acts to reduce differentiation between populations post-divergence. However, selection and demography affect the rates of gene … Continue reading

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Posted in adaptation, evolution, genomics, natural history, phylogenetics, population genetics, selection, speciation, species delimitation | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The diversity hiding in lizard blood

  Pathogens have got this reproduction thing figured out. Clone yourself and grow populations quickly? Sure. Occasionally reproduce sexually? Absolutely. The have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too reproductive modes among biological lineages that are capable of both sexual and asexual reproduction throw a mighty wrench … Continue reading

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Rooting eukaryotes in the Arctic Ocean

While the general consensus has centered around the evolution of eukaryotes within the TACK superphylum of Archaea (Thaum-, Aigar-, Cren-, and Kor-archaeota), considerable controversy yet remains with (a) the rooting of the eukaryote common ancestor, and (b) ‘missing’ links in … Continue reading

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