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How and why species multiply? Disentangling the evolution of the mantellid frogs of Madagascar to unveil the determinants of species diversification

How and why species multiply? Disentangling the evolution of the mantellid frogs of Madagascar to unveil the determinants of species diversification

The study of adaptive radiations is one of the most challenging fields in evolutionary biology, and Madagascar, with its long isolation and geologically stability is a unique evolution laboratory where to study species diversification. Madagascar hosts an almost unparalleled concentration of highly diversified, endemic flora and fauna. Here, the mantellid frogs underwent an exceptional radiation that resulted in a plethora of morphological, ecological and reproductive traits. I propose to combine evolutionary genomics, morphology, ecology, cytogenetics and biogeography and use phylogenetically informed comparative analyses to infer the role and contribution of each of these determinants in this diversification. Similarly, I propose to test for the direct contribution of a potential key innovation: the femoral gland. I hypothesize that the evolution of this gland has played a crucial role in the diversification of this lineage, either by promoting assortative mating or by preventing hybridisation between already differentiated forms.

Team
Principal Investigator
Angelica Crottini

Angelica Crottini

Position: Auxiliary Researcher
Groups:
AP, BIOEVOL
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Researchers
Antigoni Kaliontzopoulou

Antigoni Kaliontzopoulou

Position: Auxiliary Researcher
Groups:
AP, PHENEVOL
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Antonio Muñoz Mérida

Antonio Muñoz Mérida

Position: Principal Researcher
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John Archer

John Archer

Position: Principal Researcher
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Students
Francesco Belluardo

Francesco Belluardo

Position: PhD Student
Group:
BIOEVOL
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Sophia Rosa

Sophia Rosa

Position: MSc Student
Group:
AP
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Walter Cocca

Walter Cocca

Position: PhD Student
Groups:
AP, BIOEVOL
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Other members
Alexandre Marcos Antonelli, Bárbara Rosa da Fonseca Santos, Franco Andreone, Miguel Vences
State
Ongoing
Proponent Institution
ICETA-UP (CIBIO-InBIO)
Funded by
FCT
Dates
2018 (Duration: 2 years)
Participant Institutions
CIBIO-InBIO, Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre at the University of Gothenburg, Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali of Torino (MRSN), Zoological Institute of the Technische Universität Braunschweig (TUBS)
Reference
PTDC/BIA-EVL/31254/2017
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