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Title: Systematics and phylogeography of Seychelles amphibians
Author: Maddock, S. T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 9398
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis investigates evolutionary patterns of variation in endemic amphibians from the Seychelles archipelago. Focal groups include the treefrog (Tachycnemis seychellensis), and a radiation of caecilians in three genera (Grandisonia, Hypogeophis and Praslinia), and attempts to place these into a phylogenetic context. The introduction (Chapter 1) discusses the importance of islands in the study of evolution and examines patterns of intraspecific variation that have been reported in other Seychelles organisms. Chapter 2 provides the first intraspecific molecular study of the monotypic Seychelles treefrog Tachycnemis, implementing a species tree approach in order to investigate its relationship with its closest living relatives (Heterixalus) from Madagascar and test whether its ancestor colonised the Seychelles via overseas dispersal. Chapters 3 and 4 explore variation in the six species of Seychelles caecilian, all of which overlap in range on at least one island. To assess within- and among-island intraspecific variation in these subterranean amphibians, Chapter 3 uses genetic data from both mitochondrial and nuclear markers, while Chapter 4 uses morphometric and meristic data. Differing patterns of geographic structure was observed among the caecilian species. The final two data chapters analyse species-level relationships among the Seychelles caecilians. Chapter 5 utilises Next Generation Sequencing to obtain mitogenomic data, and multiple approaches to infer phylogeny, and the effectiveness of alternative methods are evaluated. Chapter 6 attempts to resolve relationships of the island caecilians using 11 nuclear loci and multiple methods of phylogenetic inference. Chapter 7 discusses how the thesis has increased knowledge of the study taxa and of the evolution of amphibians on islands, particularly the Seychelles.
Supervisor: Day, J. ; Gower, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available