Current / Past Research / Research By Category

Publications 08.24.15

Pre-existing female biases are female preferences for a particular trait that evolved prior to the evolution of that trait. Phylogenies are needed to show when the preference and trait have originated. In several live-bearing fishes (Poeciliidae), females show pre-existing biases for male swords, a colorful extension of the caudal fin. Here, we investigated the pre-existing bias hypothesis by predicting preferences for a...


News 04.22.15

Two of the Siler Lab members who received internal research grants presented their findings at OU’s annual Undergraduate Research Day on April 18, 2015.  Tucker Walton gave an oral presentation entitled “Delineating morphometric characters for use in snake species descriptions” with the help of Matt DeRuyter, Jessa Watters, and Cameron Siler.  Matt DeRuyter presented a poster entitled “Preliminary Phylogenetic Study of the Lizard Genus...


News 03.09.15

This week, we hear from George Lynn Cross Research Professor and Curator Emeritus, Dr. Laurie J. Vitt: I was Curator of Reptiles at the Sam Noble Museum and Professor in the OU Biology Department for 21 years, following eight years as Professor of Biology at UCLA. I am currently Curator and Professor Emeritus after retiring in 2011. Much of my more recent research has focused...


Publications 11.05.14

We describe two new species of morphologically cryptic monitor lizards (genus Varanus) from the Philippine Archipelago: Varanus dalubhasa sp. nov. and V. bangonorum sp. nov. These two distinct evolutionary lineages are members of the V. salvator species complex, and historically have been considered conspecific with the widespread, northern Philippine V. marmoratus. However, the new species each share closer phylogenetic affinities with V....


Research 10.12.14

Frogs in the genus Platymantis are extraordinarily diverse in the Philippine Archipelago, and new lineages within it are being discovered frequently. Species within Philippine Platymantis vary in appearance, calls, and preferred habitat. One form of Platymantis recorded during field surveys in Biak Na Bato National Park, assigned the name P. biak, had features of tree-dwelling frogs but appeared restricted to ground habitats....


Publications 09.15.13

Living amphibians exhibit a diversity of ecologies, life histories, and species-rich lineages that offers opportunities for studies of adaptive radiation. We characterize a diverse clade of frogs (Kaloula, Microhylidae) in the Philippine island archipelago as an example of an adaptive radiation into three primary habitat specialists or ecotypes. We use a novel phylogenetic estimate for this clade to evaluate the tempo of...


Publications 09.15.12

Some of Southeast Asia’s most poorly known vertebrates include forest lizards that are rarely seen by field biologists. Arguably the most enigmatic of forest lizards from the Indo Australian archipelago are the Flap-legged geckos and the Flying geckos of the genera Luperosaurus and Ptychozoon. As new species have accumulated, several have been noted for their bizarre combination of morphological characteristics, seemingly intermediate...


Publications 09.12.11

Evolutionary simplification, or loss of complex characters, is a major theme in studies of body-form evolution. The apparently infrequent evolutionary reacquisition of complex characters has led to the assertion (Dollo’s Law) that once lost, complex characters may be impossible to re-evolve, at least via the exact same evolutionary process. Here, we provide one of the most comprehensive, fine-scale analyses of squamate body-form...


Publications 09.12.10

We review the taxonomic status of Philippine bent-toed geckos previously referred to Cyrtodactylus agusanensis. We delineate four evolutionary lineages within the C. agusanensis complex from the southeastern islands of the archipelago and describe three of these lineages as new species. The new species and true C. agusanensis are identified by numerous, nonoverlapping morphological characters and by allopatric ranges on separate islands. Our...


Publications 01.17.10

We use data from external morphology and mitochondrial gene sequences to provide the basis for a taxonomic revision of two polytypic, pentadactyl Philippine species of scincid lizards of the genus Brachymeles. Although previous studies have noted significant morphological variation among island populations, the similarities in body size and scale pigmentation and pattern have led to the continued recognition of these two ‘‘widespread...