Current / Past Research / Research By Category

Research 12.11.15

The family of live-bearing fish, Poeciliidae, includes a wide variety of colors and body shapes, one interesting variation in shape is the elongated tail found on the males of a few species. The purpose of these extended tails, or swordtails, has long been debated by biologists. Scientists in the biology department at the University of Oklahoma decided to test a hypothesis that...


Research 11.18.15

Despite the exceptionally high levels of vertebrate diversity in Southeast Asia, surprisingly little is known about the processes responsible for this occurrence. Recently, an increase in diversity of amphibians has been studied in the Philippines. One genus in particular, Sanguirana, a frog genus endemic to the Philippines, consists of seven species with distinct physical characteristics as well as one or two species...


Publications 10.17.15

Recent higher-level frog phylogenetic analyses have included a few members of the endemic Philippine frog genus Sanguirana. Although the monophyly of the group has never been disputed, the recent phylogenetically-supported inclusion of the Palawan Wood Frog (Sanguirana sanguinea) in this clade was highly unexpected. In addition, species boundaries and relationships remain unclear and new species continue to be discovered. We estimate the...


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...


Publications 06.17.15

We present a near comprehensive, densely sampled, multilocus phylogenetic estimate of species relationships within the anuran family Ceratobatrachidae, a morphologically and ecologically diverse group of frogs from the island archi- pelagos of Southeast Asia and the South-West Pacific. Ceratobatrachid frogs consist of three clades: a small clade of enigmatic, primarily high-elevation, semi-aquatic Sundaland species currently assigned to Ingerana (for which we erect...


News 05.19.15

Our expeditions to Gabon to study to the river biogeography of the Ogooué was very productive. In 5 weeks, we sampled over 1000 amphibians and reptiles from 7 different stations spread around the entire river. Since Gabon has seen so little herpetological work it was impossible for us to know which species would be the focal species of the study until we...


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...


Publications 11.04.14

Although landscape features such as mountains and rivers are recognized often as limiting factors to amphibian dispersal and gene flow, a limited number of studies have investigated such patterns across Southeast Asia. A perfect example of this is Thailand, located in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspot regions. Thailand represents the corridor between mainland Asia and the Sunda Shelf, a famous and...


Research 09.25.14

An understanding of the evolutionary processes that produce a region’s biodiversity is key to conservation. In Southeast Asia, there has been a lack of biodiversity surveys due to inaccessible forests and difficult areas to study. This, in addition to the slow pace of taxonomic work, logistical complications with field work, and the sheer amount of diversity in the area has led to...


Publications 09.15.14

We utilize robust geographical genetic sampling, a multilocus dataset, a new synthesis of numerous fossil calibration points, a time-calibrated phylogeny, and the Dispersal–Extinction–Cladogenesis model to test the prediction that widespread Southeast Asian water monitor species initially diversified on the Asian mainland and subsequently invaded the island archipelagos of the Philippines, Sundaland, and Wallacea. Our results strongly contradict these expectations and instead infer...


Publications 09.15.14

Despite rampant coastal development throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific, studies of conservation genetics and ecology of vulnerable, coastal species are rare. Large bodied vertebrates with highly specialized habitat requirements may be at particular risk of extinction due to habitat degradation and fragmentation, especially if these habitats are naturally patchily distributed, marginal, otherwise geographically limited, or associated in space with high human...