Austin Patton

Austin Patton
University of California, Berkeley | UCB · Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

Doctor of Philosophy

About

30
Publications
7,731
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349
Citations

Publications

Publications (30)
Article
Full-text available
Reconstructing species' demographic histories is a central focus of molecular ecology and evolution. Recently, an expanding suite of methods leveraging either the sequentially Markovian coalescent (SMC) or the site-frequency spectrum (SFS) have been developed to reconstruct population size histories from genomic sequence data. However, few studies...
Article
Full-text available
Green salamanders (Plethodontidae: Aneides aeneus) are rock outcrop habitat specialists, possessing numerous unique morphological adaptations (e.g., prehensile tail and squared toe-pads) for climbing. Some authors believe A. aeneus, which is widely distributed across the Appalachian Mountains of the inland eastern United States, comprises a species...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptive radiation plays a fundamental role in our understanding of the evolutionary process. However, the concept has provoked strong and differing opinions concerning its definition and nature among researchers studying a wide diversity of systems. Here, we take a broad view of what constitutes an adaptive radiation, and seek to find commonalitie...
Article
Full-text available
Whether hybridization generates or erodes species diversity has long been debated, but to date most studies have been conducted at small taxonomic scales. Salamanders (order Caudata) represent a taxonomic order in which hybridization plays a prevalent ecological and evolutionary role. We employed a recently developed model of trait-dependent divers...
Article
Emergence to endemism The emergence of a devastating transmissible facial cancer among Tasmanian devils over the past few decades has caused substantial concern for their future because these animals are already threatened by a regional distribution and other stressors. Little is known about the overall history and trajectory of this disease. Patto...
Article
Full-text available
Estimating the complex relationship between fitness and genotype or phenotype (i.e. the adaptive landscape) is one of the central goals of evolutionary biology. However, adaptive walks connecting genotypes to organismal fitness, speciation, and novel ecological niches are still poorly understood and processes for surmounting fitness valleys remain...
Article
Full-text available
Ecologically divergent selection can lead to the evolution of reproductive isolation through the process of ecological speciation, but the balance of responsible evolutionary forces is often obscured by an inadequate assessment of demographic history and the genetics of traits under selection. Snake venoms have emerged as a system for studying the...
Article
Significance Isolated and infrequently colonized, islands harbor many of nature’s most renowned evolutionary radiations. Despite this evolutionary exuberance, island occupation has long been considered irreversible: The much tougher competitive and predatory milieu on mainlands prevents colonization, much less evolutionary diversification, from isl...
Article
Full-text available
Background Transmissible cancers lie at the intersection of oncology and infectious disease, two traditionally divergent fields for which gene expression studies are particularly useful for identifying the molecular basis of phenotypic variation. In oncology, transcriptomics studies, which characterize the expression of thousands of genes, have ide...
Preprint
Full-text available
Estimating the complex relationship between fitness and genotype or phenotype (i.e. the adaptive landscape) is one of the central goals of evolutionary biology. However, adaptive walks connecting genotypes to organismal fitness, speciation, and novel ecological niches are still poorly understood and processes for surmounting fitness valleys remain...
Article
Full-text available
Tasmanian devils ( Sarcophilus harrisii ) are evolving in response to a unique transmissible cancer, devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), first described in 1996. Persistence of wild populations and the recent emergence of a second independently evolved transmissible cancer suggest that transmissible cancers may be a recurrent feature in devils. Her...
Article
Full-text available
The geographic distribution of biodiversity is central to understanding evolutionary biology. Paleogeographic and paleoclimatic histories often help to explain how biogeographic patterns unfold through time. However, such patterns are also influenced by a variety of other factors, such as lineage diversification, that may affect the probability of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Transmissible cancers lie at the intersection of oncology and infectious disease, two traditionally divergent fields for which gene expression studies are particularly useful for identifying the molecular basis of phenotypic variation. In oncology, transcriptomics studies, which characterize the expression of thousands of genes, have ide...
Preprint
Full-text available
The geographic distribution of biodiversity is central to understanding evolutionary biology. Paleogeographic and paleoclimatic histories often help to explain how biogeographic patterns unfold through time. However, such patterns are also influenced by a variety of other factors, such as lineage diversification, that may affect the probability of...
Article
Telomeres protect chromosomes from degradation during cellular replication. In humans, it is well-documented that excessive telomere degradation is one mechanism by which cells can become cancerous. Increasing evidence from wildlife studies suggests that telomere length is positively correlated with survival and health and negatively correlated wit...
Article
Design study is an established approach of conducting problem-driven visualization research. The academic visualization community has produced a large body of work for reporting on design studies, informed by a handful of theoretical frameworks, and applied to a broad range of application areas. The result is an abundance of reported insights into...
Preprint
Full-text available
Design study is an established approach of conducting problem-driven visualization research. The academic visualizationcommunity has produced a large body of work for reporting on design studies, informed by a handful of theoretical frameworks, andapplied to a broad range of application areas. The result is an abundance of reported insights into vi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) are evolving in response to a unique transmissible cancer, devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), first described in 1996. Persistence of wild populations and the recent emergence of a second independently evolved transmissible cancer suggest that transmissible cancers may be a recurrent feature in devils. We us...
Article
Genetic structure in host species is often used to predict disease spread. However, host and pathogen genetic variation may be incongruent. Understanding landscape factors that have either concordant or divergent influence on host and pathogen genetic structuring is crucial for wildlife disease management. Devil facial tumor disease (DFTD) was firs...
Article
Full-text available
Spontaneous tumor regression has been documented in a small proportion of human cancer patients, but the specific mechanisms underlying tumor regression without treatment are not well-understood. Tasmanian devils are threatened with extinction from a transmissible cancer due to universal susceptibility and a near 100% case fatality rate. In over 10...
Article
Full-text available
Chiggers are the larval form of trombiculid and leeuwenhoekiid mites that parasitize terrestrial vertebrates. With one exception, species of chiggers that infest amphibians burrow under the skin to encapsulate and feed. They are detected by the naked eye as moving red or orange dots, swollen nodules, lesions, or pustules. Alabama, USA, has only one...
Preprint
Full-text available
Whether hybridization generates or erodes species diversity has long been debated, but to date most studies have been conducted at small taxonomic scales. Salamanders (order Caudata) represent a taxonomic order in which hybridization plays a prevalent ecological and evolutionary role. We employed a recently developed model of trait-dependent divers...
Article
Full-text available
The migration-selection interaction is the strongest determinant of whether a beneficial allele increases in frequency within a population. Results of empirical studies examining the role of gene flow in an adaptive context, however, have largely been equivocal, with examples of opposing outcomes being repeatedly documented (e.g., local adaptation...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the genetic basis of disease-related phenotypes, such as cancer susceptibility, is crucial for the advancement of personalized medicine. Although most cancers are somatic in origin, a small number of transmissible cancers have been documented. Two such cancers have emerged in the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) and now threaten...
Article
Full-text available
As next-generation sequencing data become increasingly available for non-model organisms, a shift has occurred in the focus of studies of the geographic distribution of genetic variation. Whereas landscape genetics studies primarily focus on testing the effects of landscape variables on gene flow and genetic population structure, landscape genomics...
Article
Understanding the scales over which land use affects animal populations is critical for conservation planning, and it can provide information about the mechanisms that underlie correlations between species distributions and land use. We used a citizen science database of anuran surveys to examine the relationship between road density, land use and...

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