Author Archives: timbarraclough

Horizontal gene transfer is ancient and ongoing in bdelloids

Isobel Eyres paper showing that horizontal gene exchange is ancient and common to bdelloid species at high levels of unto 10% of genes- much higher than observed in any other animal. Closely related species have picked up unique horizontally transferred genes, showing that the process is ongoing. The paper was timely because evidence for high frequencies of horizontal transfer in tardigrades, […]

How Do Species Interactions Affect Evolutionary Dynamics Across Whole Communities?

This paper outlines verbal theory, existing evidence and future avenues for studying evolutionary interactions across whole communities. Many thanks to the Biodiversity Research Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC) for hosting my sabbatical visit. Watching cedar waxwings and hummingbirds from my office window helped inspire this paper. We now need quantitative theory to […]

New method for delimiting species from multilocus data for large systematic samples

Tomochika had bright ideas for making multi locus delimitation feasible on much large systematic samples (i.e. multiple individuals and species) while still using genealogical theory. Read about it here. Check out the new software at his website

Horizontal gene transfer in bdelloid rotifers is ancient, ongoing and more frequent in species from desiccating habitats

6 years of hard work by Isobel shows that horizontal transfer has contributed genetic differences among bdelloids living in different habitats. It seems to be ongoing even in species that do not desiccate – interesting since the mechanism of gene transfer is argued to occur when rotifers repair their DNA following desiccation. Check out the […]

Higher taxa in mammals

Aelys Humphreys tested for higher evolutionarily significant units in mammals and found them, which is consistent with theories that isolation and species turnover can generate shared evolutionary fate above the level of species. Controversial? Check it out.

Big update and full description of GMYC out at last!

Tomochika Fujisawa added many important updates to the original GMYC method and we finally published a full description and evaluation against simulated datasets.

DNA barcoding for the meiofauna

CT’s paper showing that the DNA barcoding marker widely used for surveying the diversity of microscopic animals in environmental samples (18S rDNA) greatly underestimates the true diversity relative to an alternative marker (CO1)

Gene copy evolution in rotifers

Isobel’s paper showing unexpected numbers of alpha tubulin copies in bdelloids

Coevolution in bacteria communities

Diane’s paper showing that species interactions change how species adapt to new conditions. Primer linked to the paper in PLoS Biology Coverage on New York Times website