Skip navigation
Previous Next

Science News

February 2013
0

Department of Life Sciences Seminar

 

 

Connecting with the Amazon: discovering parasitoid diversity and cultivating care

 

 

Anu Veijalainen

University of Turku, Finland

 

Friday 1 of March 11:00
Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)

 

 

The koinobiont (specialist) groups of the megadiverse parasitoid wasp family Ichneumonidae have been thought to be more species rich in temperate than tropical environments. However, recent studies have questioned this classic assumption. Here, I demonstrate which koinobiont subfamilies may have a regular species richness gradient in the Western Hemisphere based on relative abundance data from the southern US, Central America, and western Amazonia. I also show that additional sampling in tropical forests can reveal reservoirs of very high unknown ichneumonid diversity. As an example, I present a study which found over 170 undescribed Neotropical orthocentrine species using morphological and molecular species separation methods. This is over three times the number of all currently described tropical orthocentrine species. The talk will finish with presenting a multidisciplinary study attempting to promote environmentally sustainable behavior through free public ichneumonid species naming.

 

 

For additional details on attending this or other seminars see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/seminars-events/index.html

0

CANCELLED

 

Apologies for the short notice cancellation of this seminar. It will rescheduled at a later date.

 

 

 

Department of Life Sciences Seminar

 

 

Pancrustacean phylogenomics and remipepede venomics


Bjoern M. von Reumont

Aquatic Invertebrates, Dept.of Life Sciences, NHM

 

Wednesday 27 of February 11:00
Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)


Remipedes are a small and enigmatic group of crustaceans, first described only 30 years ago. The stygiobiontic species of this group dwell in remote underwater cave habitats, so called anchialine caves. New analyses of both morphological and molecular data have recently suggested a close relationship between Remipedia and Hexapoda instead of the former hypotheses that remipedes represent a rather basal split within crustaceans. Thus, remipedes may be pivotal for understanding the evolutionary history of crustaceans and hexapods. However, to test this hypothesis using new data and new types of analytical approaches from the field of NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) data is important. The most recent phylogenomic analysis of pancrustaceans includes all crustacean species for which EST data are available (46 species), and the largest alignment encompasses 866,479 amino acid positions and 1,886 genes. A series of phylogenomic analyses was performed to evaluate pancrustacean relationships. The results demonstrate that the different ways to compile an initial data set of core orthologs and the selection of data subsets by matrix reduction can have marked effects on the reconstructed phylogenetic trees. Further, the comparison of nucleotide vs aminoa acid data level might represent an important step to identify noise and misleading signal in the data. Venomous animals are ubiquitous in aquatic and terrestrial habitats across the world. However, our understanding of fundamental issues about the biology and evolution of venoms and venomous organisms is incomplete because the main empirical pillars of venomics - the scientific study of venoms – are currently limited to a few well-studied taxa such as spiders, scorpions, reptiles and cone snails. In order to broaden and strengthen the foundation of venomics, a renewed focus on neglected putatively venomous taxa is needed, especially on taxa that are distantly related to known venomous species. In this respect aquatic cave dwelling remipede crustaceans are an extraordinarily promising group, as Crustacea is the only major traditional arthropod group that lacks known venomous species. We present here the first 3D morphological reconstruction of the venom apparatus of remipedes, as well as a transcriptomic profile of genes expressed in their putative venom glands based on next generation sequencing. The results shed new light on the convergent recruitment of venom toxins in the animal kingdom.

 

 

 

For additional details on attending this or other seminars see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/seminars-events/index.html

0

Department of Life Sciences Seminar

 

 

Pancrustacean phylogenomics and remipepede venomics


Bjoern M. von Reumont

Aquatic Invertebrates, Dept.of Life Sciences, NHM

 

Wednesday 27 of February 11:00
Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)


Remipedes are a small and enigmatic group of crustaceans, first described only 30 years ago. The stygiobiontic species of this group dwell in remote underwater cave habitats, so called anchialine caves. New analyses of both morphological and molecular data have recently suggested a close relationship between Remipedia and Hexapoda instead of the former hypotheses that remipedes represent a rather basal split within crustaceans. Thus, remipedes may be pivotal for understanding the evolutionary history of crustaceans and hexapods. However, to test this hypothesis using new data and new types of analytical approaches from the field of NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) data is important. The most recent phylogenomic analysis of pancrustaceans includes all crustacean species for which EST data are available (46 species), and the largest alignment encompasses 866,479 amino acid positions and 1,886 genes. A series of phylogenomic analyses was performed to evaluate pancrustacean relationships. The results demonstrate that the different ways to compile an initial data set of core orthologs and the selection of data subsets by matrix reduction can have marked effects on the reconstructed phylogenetic trees. Further, the comparison of nucleotide vs aminoa acid data level might represent an important step to identify noise and misleading signal in the data. Venomous animals are ubiquitous in aquatic and terrestrial habitats across the world. However, our understanding of fundamental issues about the biology and evolution of venoms and venomous organisms is incomplete because the main empirical pillars of venomics - the scientific study of venoms – are currently limited to a few well-studied taxa such as spiders, scorpions, reptiles and cone snails. In order to broaden and strengthen the foundation of venomics, a renewed focus on neglected putatively venomous taxa is needed, especially on taxa that are distantly related to known venomous species. In this respect aquatic cave dwelling remipede crustaceans are an extraordinarily promising group, as Crustacea is the only major traditional arthropod group that lacks known venomous species. We present here the first 3D morphological reconstruction of the venom apparatus of remipedes, as well as a transcriptomic profile of genes expressed in their putative venom glands based on next generation sequencing. The results shed new light on the convergent recruitment of venom toxins in the animal kingdom.

 

 

 

For additional details on attending this or other seminars see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/seminars-events/index.html

0

Department of Earth Sciences Seminars


Tuesday 19th February, 4.00pm

Mineralogy Seminar Room

 

 

4.00 pm
Popocatepetl – Curatorial notes from an active volcano
David Smith, Department of Earth Sciences, NHM


Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico, is the 2nd highest volcano in North America and one of the most currently active in the world.  It last erupted in April 2010 and has since been discharging small ash clouds and an average 7 tonnes of gas per day.
A successfully funded collections enhancement bid permitted Dave Smith and Chiara Petrone to collect fresh, well documented pyroclastic and lava samples from known, dated eruptions and fill a void in the petrology collection that will permit future geochemical research into the evolution of the magmatic processes occurring beneath this dynamic volcano.
In addition to field sampling, this exciting project was the first Earth Science trip to involve the Nature Live team.  Following the successes of biodiversity trips to Borneo, Costa Rica and the Bahamas this Earth Science trip, although a much smaller venture, included a number of live videoconferences with schools, Nature Live link-ups and live web-chats.
Fresh back from the dizzy heights of 4600m, Dave Smith will give a visual presentation of his experience of working on the side of this intimidating volcano, and will discuss the merits of contextualising field samples with good documentation and images.


4.30 pm
A new primitive ornithischian dinosaur from the Venezuelan Andes
Paul Barrett, Department of Earth Sciences, NHM


Relatively little is known about the early evolution of ornithischian (bird-hipped) dinosaurs, due to a dearth of specimens from the Late Triassic–Early Jurassic. New material from a bonebed in the Venezuelan Andes, from the La Quinta Formation, is helping to shed light on their diversification in the wake of the end-Triassic extinction (ETE). The new animal is represented by abundant, but disarticulated material, representing at least four (and probably more) juveniles and subadults. New dating of the formation, based on detrital zircons, places the material at 200.9 Ma, just 0.5 million years after the ETE. Phylogenetic analysis recovers the new dinosaur close to the base of the group, providing some insights into the initial evolution of ornithischian biology. This material shows that ornithischians recovered quickly after the ETE and also increased their geographical distribution at this time.

 

 

 

Followed by wine and cheese!!!

 

 

 

For additional details on attending this or other seminars see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/seminars-events/index.html

0

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Posted by C Lowry Feb 13, 2013

Publications for the previous 4 weeks (Search done 7th February 2013)

Search on the basis of ‘Nat SAME Hist SAME Mus* SAME Lon*’ using Web of Science + TRING

 

 

EARTH SCIENCES

 

ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL MINERALOGY

Ehlmann, B.L., Berger, G., Mangold, N., MICHALSKI, J.R., Catling, D.C., Ruff, S.W., Chassefiere, E., Niles, P.B., Chevrier, V. & Poulet, F. 2013. Geochemical Consequences of Widespread Clay Mineral Formation in Mars' Ancient Crust. Space Science Reviews, 174(1-4): 329-364. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11214-012-9930-0  )

Kroner, A., Alexeiev, D.V., Rojas-Agramonte, Y., Hegner, E., Wong, J., Xia, X., Belousova, E., Mikolaichuk, A.V., SELTMANN, R., Liu, D. & Kiselev, V.V. 2013. Mesoproterozoic (Grenville-age) terranes in the Kyrgyz North Tianshan: Zircon ages and Nd-Hf isotopic constraints on the origin and evolution of basement blocks in the southern Central Asian Orogen. Gondwana Research, 23(1): 272-295.  ( http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gr.2012.05.004 )

MISRA, S.K., DYBOWSKA, A., BERHANU, D., Luoma, S.N. & VALSAMI-JONES, E. 2012. The complexity of nanoparticle dissolution and its importance in nanotoxicological studies. Science of the Total Environment, 438: 225-232. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.08.066 )

Niles, P.B., Catling, D.C., Berger, G., Chassefiere, E., Ehlmann, B.L., MICHALSKI, J.R., Morris, R., Ruff, S.W. & Sutter, B. 2013. Geochemistry of Carbonates on Mars: Implications for Climate History and Nature of Aqueous Environments. Space Science Reviews, 174(1-4): 301-328. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11214-012-9940-y )

ZAITSEV, A.N., WILLIAMS, C.T., WALL, F. & Zolotarev, A.A. 2012. Evolution of chemical composition of pyrochlore group minerals from phoscorites and carbonatites of the Khibina alkaline massif. Geology of Ore Deposits, 54(7): 503-515.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1134/s1075701512070094 )

 

 

INVERTEBRATES AND PLANTS

Lamsdell, J.C., Hosgor, I. & SELDEN, P.A. 2013. A new Ordovician eurypterid (Arthropoda: Chelicerata) from southeast Turkey: Evidence for a cryptic Ordovician record of Eurypterida. Gondwana Research, 23(1): 354-366. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gr.2012.04.006)

 

MINERAL AND PLANETARY SCIENCES

Siidra, O.I., Krivovichev, S.V., Turner, R.W., RUMSEY, M.S. & SPRATT, J. 2013. Crystal chemistry of layered Pb oxychloride minerals with PbO-related structures: Part I. Crystal structure of hereroite, Pb32O20(O,square) (AsO4)(2) (Si,As,V,Mo)O-4 (2)Cl-10. American Mineralogist, 98(1): 248-255.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.2138/am.2013.4241 )

Siidra, O.I., Krivovichev, S.V., Turner, R.W., RUMSEY, M.S. & SPRATT, J. 2013. Crystal chemistry of layered Pb oxychloride minerals with PbO-related structures: Part II. Crystal structure of vladkrivovichevite, Pb32O18 Pb4Mn2O Cl-14(BO3)(8)center dot 2H(2)O. American Mineralogist, 98(1): 256-261. (http://dx.doi.org/10.2138/am.2013.4244 )

 

 

VERTEBRATES, ANTHROPOLOGY & MICROPALAEONTOLOGY

ANDREWS, P. & Fernandez-Jalvo, Y. 2012. Bronze Age barrows at Longstone Edge: Taphonomy and site formation. Quaternary International, 275: 43-54.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2011.06.041)

Brace, S., Palkopoulou, E., Dalen, L., LISTER, A.M., Miller, R., Otte, M., Germonpre, M., Blockley, S.P.E., Stewart, J.R. & Barnes, I. 2012. Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(50): 20532-20536. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1213322109 )

Compton, T. & STRINGER, C. 2012. The human remains. Pp. 118-230 in S. Aldhouse-Green, R. Peterson and E.A. Walker (eds) Neanderthals in Wales: Pontnewydd and the Elwy Valley caves. 

Coulombe, P., Qualls, C., KRUSZYNSKI, R., Nerlich, A., Bianucci, R., Harris, R., Mermier, C. & Appenzeller, O. 2012. Network Science in Egyptology. Plos One, 7(11).   (http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0050382 )

CURRANT, A.P. & Eastham, A. 2012. The fauna. Pp. 100-117 in S. Aldhouse-Green, R. Peterson and E.A. Walker (eds) Neanderthals in Wales: Pontnewydd and the Elwy Valley caves. 

ERICSSON, R., Knight, R. & JOHANSON, Z. 2013. Evolution and development of the vertebrate neck. Journal of Anatomy, 222(1): 67-78.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7580.2012.01530.x )

Graham, A. & JOHANSON, Z. 2013. Special Issue on 'Vertebrate Evolutionary Development Biology'. Journal of Anatomy, 222(1): 1-1.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joa.12017 )

Pinhasi, R., Nioradze, M., Tushabramishvili, N., Lordkipanidze, D., Pleurdeau, D., Moncel, M.H., Adler, D.S., STRINGER, C. & Higham, T.F.G. 2012. New chronology for the Middle Palaeolithic of the southern Caucasus suggests early demise of Neanderthals in this region. Journal of Human Evolution, 63(6): 770-780.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2012.08.004 )

 

 

  

LIFE SCIENCES 

 

AQUATIC INVERTEBRATES

MORTON, B. 2012. Graveyards under the sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 64(11): 2273-2274.   (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.09.025 )

Hollander, J., Smadja, C.M., Butlin, R.K. & REID, D.G. 2013. Genital divergence in sympatric sister snails. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 26(1): 210-215. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jeb.12029 )

 

 

GENOMIC AND MICROBIAL DIVERSITY

Guillou, L., Bachar, D., Audic, S., BASS, D., BERNEY, C., Bittner, L., Boutte, C., Burgaud, G., de Vargas, C., Decelle, J., del Campo, J., Dolan, J.R., Dunthorn, M., Edvardsen, B., Holzmann, M., Kooistra, W., Lara, E., Le Bescot, N., Logares, R., Mahe, F., Massana, R., Montresor, M., Morard, R., Not, F., Pawlowski, J., Probert, I., Sauvadet, A.L., Siano, R., Stoeck, T., Vaulot, D., Zimmermann, P. & Christen, R. 2013. The Protist Ribosomal Reference database (PR2): a catalog of unicellular eukaryote Small Sub-Unit rRNA sequences with curated taxonomy. Nucleic Acids Research, 41(D1): D597-D604.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gks1160 )

HAWKSWORTH, D.L. 2013. The oldest sequenced fungal specimen. Lichenologist, 45(1): 131-132.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0024282912000710 )

Pan, H.B., Gao, F., Lin, X.F., WARREN, A. & Song, W.B. 2013. Three New Loxophyllum Species (Ciliophora: Pleurostomatida) from China with a Brief Review of the Marine and Brackish Loxophyllum Species. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 60(1): 44-56.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jeu.12005 )

Pawlowski, J., Audic, S., Adl, S., BASS, D., Belbahri, L., BERNEY, C., Bowser, S.S., Cepicka, I., Decelle, J., Dunthorn, M., Fiore-Donno, A.M., Gile, G.H., Holzmann, M., Jahn, R., Jirku, M., Keeling, P.J., Kostka, M., Kudryavtsev, A., Lara, E., Lukes, J., Mann, D.G., Mitchell, E.A.D., Nitsche, F., Romeralo, M., Saunders, G.W., Simpson, A.G.B., Smirnov, A.V., Spouge, J.L., Stern, R.F., Stoeck, T., Zimmermann, J., Schindel, D. & de Vargas, C. 2012. CBOL Protist Working Group: Barcoding Eukaryotic Richness beyond the Animal, Plant, and Fungal Kingdoms. Plos Biology, 10(11): Article no. e1001419. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001419 )

Xu, H.L., Jiang, Y., Zhang, W., Zhu, M.Z., Al-Rasheid, K.A.S. & WARREN, A. 2013. Annual variations in body-size spectra of planktonic ciliate communities and their relationships to environmental conditions: a case study in Jiaozhou Bay, northern China. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 93(1): 47-55.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0025315412001075 )

 

 

PARASITES & VECTORS

Chen, B., HARBACH, R.E., Walton, C., He, Z.B., Zhong, D.B., Yan, G.Y. & Butlin, R.K. 2012. Population genetics of the malaria vector Anopheles aconitus in China and Southeast Asia. Infection Genetics and Evolution, 12(8): 1958-1967.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2012.08.007 )

DANABALAN, R., Ponsonby, D.J. & LINTON, Y.M. 2012. A critical assessment of available molecular identification tools for determining the status of Culex pipiens s.l. in the United Kingdom. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, 28(4): 68-74. 

Gasser, R.B., Jabbar, A., Mohandas, N., Schnyder, M., Deplazes, P., LITTLEWOOD, D.T.J. & Jex, A.R. 2012. Mitochondrial genome of Angiostrongylus vasorum: Comparison with congeners and implications for studying the population genetics and epidemiology of this parasite. Infection Genetics and Evolution, 12(8): 1884-1891.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2012.07.022 )

HARBACH, R.E. 2012. Culex pipiens: species versus species complex - taxonomic history and perspective. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, 28(4): 10-23. 

KNOPP, S., Mohammed, K.A., Ali, S.M., Khamis, I.S., Ame, S.M., Albonico, M., GOUVRAS, A., Fenwick, A., Savioli, L., Colley, D.G., Utzinger, J., Person, B. & ROLLINSON, D. 2012. Study and implementation of urogenital schistosomiasis elimination in Zanzibar (Unguja and Pemba islands) using an integrated multidisciplinary approach. Bmc Public Health, 12.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-12-930 )

RICHARDS, C.S., ROWLINSON, C.C., CUTTIFORD, L., Grimsley, R. & HALL, M.J.R. 2013. Decomposed liver has a significantly adverse affect on the development rate of the blowfly Calliphora vicina. International Journal of Legal Medicine, 127(1): 259-262. 

(http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-012-0697-3 )

RICHARDS, C.S., ROWLINSON, C.C. & HALL, M.J.R. 2013. Effects of storage temperature on the change in size of Calliphora vicina larvae during preservation in 80% ethanol. International Journal of Legal Medicine, 127(1): 231-241.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-012-0683-9 )

 

 

PLANTS

Kelly, L.J., Leitch, A.R., Clarkson, J.J., KNAPP, S. & Chase, M.W. 2013. Reconstructing the complex evolutionary origin of wild allopolyploid tobaccos (Nicotiana section Suaveolentes). Evolution, 67(1): 80-94.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01748.x )

ELLIS, L.T. 2012. Typification of Dawsonia polytrichoides R.Br. (Musci, Polytrichaceae). Journal of Bryology, 34: 296-U7.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1743282012y.0000000016 )

ELLIS, L.T., Bednarek-Ochyra, H., Ochyra, R., Cykowska, B., Dulin, M.V., Ezer, T., Kara, R., Flores, J.R., Suarez, G.M., Garcia, C., Martins, A., Sergio, C., Garilleti, R., Kirmaci, M., Agcagil, E., Kurbatova, L.E., Lebouvier, M., Papp, B., Szurdoki, E., Philippov, D.A., Plasek, V., Pocs, T., Sabovljevic, M., Sawicki, J., Sim-Sim, M., Szuecs, P., Bidlo, A., Vana, J., Vigalondo, B., Lara, F., Draper, I., Virchenko, V.M. & Wolski, G.J. 2012. New national and regional bryophyte records, 33. Journal of Bryology, 34: 281-291.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1743282012y.0000000030)

 

 

TERRESTRIAL INVERTEBRATES

CAMERON, R.A.D., Triantis, K.A., Parent, C.E., Guilhaumon, F., Alonso, M.R., Ibanez, M., Martins, A.M.D., Ladle, R.J. & Whittaker, R.J. 2013. Snails on oceanic islands: testing the general dynamic model of oceanic island biogeography using linear mixed effect models. Journal of Biogeography, 40(1): 117-130. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2012.02781.x )

HANSSON, C. & Shevtsova, E. 2012. Revision of the European species of Omphale Haliday (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Eulophidae). Zookeys(232): 1-157.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.232.3625 )

Mironov, V.G. & GALSWORTHY, A.C. 2012. A generic level review of Eupithecia Curtis and some closely related genera based on the Palaearctic, Nearctic and Oriental fauna (Lepidoptera, Geometridae, Larentiinae). Zootaxa(3587): 46-64.  

Rougerie, R., Haxaire, J., KITCHING, I.J. & Hebert, P.D.N. 2012. DNA barcodes and morphology reveal a hybrid hawkmoth in Tahiti (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). Invertebrate Systematics, 26(5-6): 445-450.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/is12029 )

SHUBERT, E. 2012. Use and misuse of the Impact Factor. Systematics and Biodiversity, 10(4): 391-394.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14772000.2012.753716 )

TENNENT, W.J. & Rawlins, A. 2012. A new Jamides Huebner, 1819 from the islands of North Maluku, Indonesia (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). Nachrichten des Entomologischen Vereins Apollo, 33(2-3): 139-141.  

Wang, R.-R., WEBB, M.D. & Liang, A.-P. 2012. Review of Lavora Muir (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Tropiduchidae) with descriptions of two new species from Solomon Islands. Insect Systematics & Evolution, 43(3-4): 299-319.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1876312x-04303005 )

 

 

VERTEBRATES

BRITZ, R., Ali, A., Philip, S., Kumar, K. & Raghavan, R. 2012. First record from the wild of Carinotetraodon imitator in Peninsular India (Teleostei: Tetraodontiformes: Tetraodontidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 23(2): 105-109. 

Helgen, K.M., PORTELA-MIGUEZ, R., Kohen, J.L. & Helgen, L.E. 2012. Twentieth century occurrence of the Long-Beaked Echidna Zaglossus bruijnii in the Kimberley region of Australia. Zookeys(255): 103-132.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.255.3774 )

HU, X., Huang, J. & WARREN, A. 2012. The morphology and phylogeny of two euplotid ciliates, Diophrys blakeneyensis spec. nov and Diophrys oligothrix Borror, 1965 (Protozoa, Ciliophora, Euplotida). International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 62: 2757-2773.   (http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/ijs.0.039503-0 )

Kotharambath, R., WILKINSON, M., Oommen, O.V., George, S., Nussbaum, R.A. & GOWER, D.J. 2012. On the systematics, distribution and conservation status of Ichthyophis longicephalus Pillai, 1986 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Ichthyophiidae). Journal of Natural History, 46(47-48): 2935-2959.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00222933.2012.717972 )

   

 

SCIENCE FACILITIES

Chalar, C., Salome, M., Senorale-Pose, M., Marin, M., WILLIAMS, C.T. & Dauphin, Y. 2013. A high resolution analysis of the structure and chemical composition of the calcareous corpuscles from Mesocestoides corti. Micron, 44: 185-192.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micron.2012.06.008 )

Dauphin, Y., BALL, A.D., Castillo-Michel, H., Chevallard, C., Cuif, J.-P., Farre, B., Pouvreau, S. & Salome, M. 2013. In situ distribution and characterization of the organic content of the oyster shell Crassostrea gigas (Mollusca, Bivalvia). Micron, 44: 373-383 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micron.2012.09.002 )

Oliveira, S.S., Amorim, D.d.S. & BLAGODEROV, V. 2012. Redescription of the enigmatic Thoracotropis cypriformis Freeman (Diptera, Mycetophilidae). Revista Brasileira De Entomologia, 56(4): 458-462. 

Price, M.C., KEARSLEY, A.T. & Burchell, M.J. 2013. Validation of the Preston-Tonks-Wallace strength model at strain rates approaching similar to 10(11) s(-1) for Al-1100, tantalum and copper using hypervelocity impact crater morphologies. International Journal of Impact Engineering, 52: 1-10.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2012.09.001 )

Schmahl, W.W., Griesshaber, E., Kelm, K., Goetz, A., Jordan, G., BALL, A., Xu, D.Y., Merkel, C. & Brand, U. 2012. Hierarchical structure of marine shell biomaterials: biomechanical functionalization of calcite by brachiopods. Zeitschrift Fur Kristallographie, 227(11): 793-804.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1524/zkri.2012.1542 )

Siidra, O.I., Krivovichev, S.V., Turner, R.W., RUMSEY, M.S. & SPRATT, J. 2013. Crystal chemistry of layered Pb oxychloride minerals with PbO-related structures: Part I. Crystal structure of hereroite, Pb32O20(O,square) (AsO4)(2) (Si,As,V,Mo)O-4 (2)Cl-10. American Mineralogist, 98(1): 248-255.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.2138/am.2013.4241 )

Siidra, O.I., Krivovichev, S.V., Turner, R.W., RUMSEY, M.S. & SPRATT, J. 2013. Crystal chemistry of layered Pb oxychloride minerals with PbO-related structures: Part II. Crystal structure of vladkrivovichevite, Pb32O18 Pb4Mn2O Cl-14(BO3)(8)center dot 2H(2)O. American Mineralogist, 98(1): 256-261.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.2138/am.2013.4244 )

ZAITSEV, A.N., WILLIAMS, C.T., WALL, F. & Zolotarev, A.A. 2012. Evolution of chemical composition of pyrochlore group minerals from phoscorites and carbonatites of the Khibina alkaline massif. Geology of Ore Deposits, 54(7): 503-515.  (http://dx.doi.org/10.1134/s1075701512070094 )

0

Department of Life Sciences Seminar

 

The origin of land plants-fungus symbioses: novel insights from the bryophyte clade

 

 

Silvia Pressel

Plants, Dept of Life Sciences, NHM

 

Wednesday 20 of February 11:00
Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)


Bryophytes (liverworts, mosses and hornworts) are the closest living relatives to the first land plants. Because of their evolutionary position, bryophytes are considered key to understanding the origin and evolution of some of the major adaptations that drove plant terrestrialization: cuticle, stomata, intercellular spaces, conducting cells and fungal symbioses.  In this seminar I will focus on the latter and will discuss how our latest collaborative research is providing novel insights on the earliest symbiotic events between land plants and fungi.  Our discovery that the Mucoromycotina, a fungal lineage thought to have diverged earlier than the Glomeromycota, are the ubiquitous symbionts in liverworts from the earliest divergent clade of land plants (Haplomitriopsida) directly challenges the long-held paradigm that glomeromycotes formed the ancestral land plant-fungus symbiosis.  On the other hand, our latest anatomical and molecular phylogenetic data on the mycobionts of hornworts – currently considered the sister group to tracheophytes - show that in this group both Glomeromycota and Mucoromycotina fungi can form symbioses, and often simultaneously. This discovery suggests that ancient terrestrial plants relied on a more versatile and wider repertoire of fungi than hitherto assumed and further highlights the so far unappreciated ecological and evolutionary role of the Mucoromycotina, a largely ‘forgotten’ primeval fungal lineage.

 

 

 

For additional details on attending this or other seminars see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/seminars-events/index.html

0

MALACOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON AGM

 

Species delimitation and chirality: molluscs as model organisms

 

17 April 2013
Flett Theatre, NHM London


Programme (tbc):

1.30-2.00pm:  Malacological Society of London AGM
2.00-3.00pm: Nico Puillandre: Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Departement Systematique et Evolution, Paris “Large scale species delimitation method for hyperdiverse group”
3.00-3.30pm:  coffee & tea
3.30-4.30pm: Menno Schilthuizen: Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity Naturalis, Leiden "Through the looking glass: mirror images in animal form"
4.30-6.00pm:  wine and discussion

 

 

Large scale species delimitation method for hyperdiverse group
Nico Puillandre


Speciation is rarely an instantaneous event, but rather a process during which the characters (DNA, morphology, ecology...) will accumulate differences at various rhythms. Consequently, species delimitation methods should rely on several lines of evidence, and species should be considered as hypotheses that will be modified with additional characters. Furthermore, traditional approaches are sometimes not adapted, especially in hyperdiverse groups such as the Turridae (Gastropoda, Conoidea), where most of the species remain unknown and where homoplasy and plasticity makes morphological characters weakly reliable. We propose to overcome these difficulties by using first COI barcodes, analysed with a new method we developed, called ABGD (Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery), which automatically identifies in the pairwise distribution of genetic distances the limit between intra and interspecific distances. We use a range of prior intraspecific divergence to infer from the data a model-based limit for intraspecific divergence. The method then detects the barcode gap as the first significant gap beyond this limit and uses it to partition the data. Inference of the limit and gap detection are then recursively applied to previously obtained groups to get finer partitions until there is no further partitioning. Species hypotheses obtained with ABGD were also compared with results from GMYC, and then modified and validated using other available evidences (an unlinked gene – 28S, geographic and bathymetrical distributions and morphological characters) in an integrative context. Following this methodology, we delimited 94 species of Turridae, of which more than 50 are likely new to science.

 

Through the looking glass: mirror images in animal form
Menno Schilthuizen

 

Although many animals, especially the so-called Bilateria, seem bilaterally symmetric, many are internally strongly asymmetric, and some even externally. Snails are a good example of the latter. With the exception of their head and foot, their bodies are coiled helically. Although the spiral-like shape of snails is very familiar, the phenomenon poses many riddles. For example, we still don't fully understand the genetics and development of coiled development. Another mystery is how and why right-handed coiling evolves from left-handed coiling and vice versa, and how some species maintain both coiling morphs in the same population. In this talk, I will explore the evolution of asymmetry in snails, and then expand the malacological insights to asymmetry in the body shapes of other animals.

 

 

Registration: Registration is free, but please email the organizer, Suzanne Williams (s.williams@nhm.ac.uk) and let her know you will attend the meeting.

 

 

 

 

For additional details on attending this or other seminars see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/seminars-events/index.html

0

Department of Life Sciences Seminar

 

 

Cetacean Strandings and the NHM: 100 years of recording, collecting and research

 

Brian Smith, Richard Sabin, Molly Clery

Department of Life Sciences, NHM

 

Wednesday 13 of February 11:00
Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)


In 1913 the museum initiated the systematic recording of all cetaceans that die along the shores of the British Isles. On this day one hundred years ago the first stranded animal was recorded by the museum.  The National Whale Stranding Recording Scheme has been collecting data ever since. Through the scheme the NHM has had access to the cetaceans that come ashore for research and its collections.

The talk will be split into 3 sections, the history of the scheme, benefit to the collections and the current scheme.

 

 

 

For additional details on attending this or other seminars see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/seminars-events/index.html

0

Department of Life Sciences Seminars

 

 

The earliest appearance of pearls in the paleontological record: clues for complex parasite life cycles or fossil biases?


Kenneth De Baets

School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol

 

Wednesday 6 of February 11:00
Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)

 

 

Recent molecular studies have suggested that the basal parasitic flatworms (Neodermata) had a simple life cycle, while more derived parasitic flatworms (Cestoda, Trematoda) developed complex life cycles. The intermediate stages of cestodes and trematodes have commonly been implicated in the formation of pearls or other shell secretions in recent bivalves. Late Paleozoic blister and early Mesozoic free pearls in fossil bivalves and other mollusks have therefore often been used as an indication for the presence of complex parasite life cycles. We investigated the occurrence of fossil pearls in mollusks as well parasitic flatworms fossils through geological time in an up to date ecological and phylogenetic framework. Their fossil record proves to be extremely biased, particularly within the Paleozoic and Mesozoic. Furthermore, the occurrence of pearls in distantly related orders as well as various other mollusk phyla suggests an ancient origin of pearl-like structures in the earliest shelled mollusks. Although the flatworm body fossil record is very poor, it does agree with the idea that parasitic flatworms coevolved with their vertebrate hosts to some extent. In absence of reliable parasitic flatworm fossils, the host fossil record is often used to calibrate molecular clocks. Using the host fossil record to test the hypothesis of coevolution leads to circularity, which might be resolved by calibrating parasite molecular clocks with biogeographic events instead.

 

 

 

 

Molecular clocks and tectonic blocks

Kenneth De Baets

School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol

 

Friday 8 of February 11:00
Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)

 

 

Establishing an evolutionary timescale is the fundamental yet elusive goal of the earth and life sciences. Molecular clock methodology has usurped completely the role of the incomplete fossil record in establishing an evolutionary timescale but, ironically, it remains reliant on palaeontological data for calibration. Not surprisingly, it has become popular to eschew the fossil evidence entirely, instead calibrating divergence time analyses using geochronologically dated tectonic events that have left a phylogenetic footprint of divergence in evolutionary lineages. Unfortunately, tectonic calibrations have not enjoyed the same scrutiny and, therefore the development, as fossil calibrations. The profound accuracy and precision of geochronological dates of rock units belies their accuracy and precision in dating divergence events because:  these biogeographic calibrations are rarely, if ever, justified; (ii) in eschewing fossil evidence, biogeographic calibrations assume the biogeography of living organisms is a faithful reflection of their ancestral lineages; (iii) age evidence is equally rarely established; (iv) tectonic episodes are protracted and so they should be represented by spans of time, not single dates; (v) biogeographic events have a different impact on lineages dependent on their ecology. These limitations can be overcome or, at least controlled for since, like fossil calibrations, vicariance-based calibrations can be implemented as probabilistic constraints that span an interval of time, entertaining the probability that the tectonic event was causal to the calibrating node, (ii) errors in the accuracy of dating the tectonic event, (iii) the temporal extent of the tectonic episode, (iv) the differential impact of the tectonic event on organisms with different ecologies. Finally, we would argue that palaeontological evidence can add to knowledge of the historical biogeography and ecology of evolutionary lineages supplementing insights provided by the extant biodiversity.

 

 

 

 

For additional details on attending this or other seminars see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/seminars-events/index.html