Principal Investigator
Jim with Coelognathus subradiatus on Timor Island
Jim McGuire: Jim's primary research interests are in phylogenetics, population genetics, biogeography, and comparative biology of reptiles, amphibians, and hummingbirds. He is particularly interested in how complex faunas, such as those of Sulawesi and Indonesia's Lesser Sunda Islands, have been assembled over time, as well as the processes underpinning diversification, and how species both form and sometimes merge again following secondary contact. Jim has a long-standing interest in hummingbird adaptation to high-elevation environments. A more recent interest is the elevational diversification of amphibians and reptiles on the mountains of Sulawesi.
Ammon in the field in the Namib Desert
Ammon Corl: Ammon's research has dealt with four broad areas aimed at better understanding evolutionary diversification, including 1) the factors leading to the evolution of new species, 2) the effects of sexual selection on phenotypic and genetic diversity, 3) the maintenance and loss of polymorphism, and 4) the genetic basis of polymorphic mating phenotypes. His main study system has been the side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana), a species that is polymorphic for three different male mating strategies characterized by distinct throat colors and mating behaviors. The mating strategies are maintained by an evolutionary analogue of the rock-paper-scissors game wherein orange males take territory from blue males because they are more aggressive, yellow males beat orange males by sneaking onto their large territories, and blue males beat yellow males by closely guarding their mates. Ammon is currently investigating the genetic basis of these different mating types using next-generation sequencing methods. The goal of this project is to better understand how distinct mating types evolve within a species and how color signals are linked to behavioral differences.
Graduate Students
Jeff holds the fourth known specimen of Hebius sarasinorum during our 2016 expedition to Gunung Bawakaraeng on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi
Jeff Frederick: Jeff's research interests include wildlife ecology, animal behavior, bio- and phylogeography, theoretical biology, and vertebrate life histories. Often, his research crosses taxonomic divisions. Recent projects explored: bat locomotion and diversity, seabird migration and geolocation, amphibian occupancy, mountain goat behavioral ecology, quantitative spatial analytics, climate model downscaling, and the use of indicator species to determine shifts in ecosystem structure and function as a result of climate change. For his doctoral research, Jeff is investigating the ecological mechanisms driving lineage diversification within an adaptive radiation of Limnonectes (fanged frogs) in Indonesia. His project integrates 'classical' ecological sampling techniques and ecophysiological performance data with phylogenomic and population genomic approaches to elucidate the fundamental underpinnings of anuran evolution across niche axes.