Christopher A. Emerling

Christopher A. Emerling
Reedley College · Department of Biology

Ph.D. Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology

About

27
Publications
11,471
Reads
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1,096
Citations
Citations since 2016
20 Research Items
927 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
Additional affiliations
September 2018 - present
Whittier College
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2017 - August 2018
CNRS, Université de Montpellier
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2015 - July 2017
University of California, Berkeley
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (27)
Article
Full-text available
The end-Cretaceous extinction led to a massive faunal turnover, with placental mammals radiating in the wake of nonavian dinosaurs. Fossils indicate that Cretaceous stem placentals were generally insectivorous, whereas their earliest Cenozoic descendants occupied a variety of dietary niches. It is hypothesized that this dietary radiation resulted f...
Article
Full-text available
Background : The study of regressive evolution has yielded a wealth of examples where the underlying genes bear molecular signatures of trait degradation, such as pseudogenization or deletion. Typically, it appears that such disrupted genes are limited to the function of the regressed trait, whereas pleiotropic genes tend to be maintained by natura...
Article
Full-text available
Penguins (Sphenisciformes) are an iconic order of flightless, diving seabirds distributed across a large latitudinal range in the Southern Hemisphere. The extensive area over which penguins are endemic is likely to have fostered variation in pathogen pressure, which in turn will have imposed differential selective pressures on the penguin immune sy...
Article
Full-text available
Penguins lost the ability to fly more than 60 million years ago, subsequently evolving a hyper-specialized marine body plan. Within the framework of a genome-scale, fossil-inclusive phylogeny, we identify key geological events that shaped penguin diversification and genomic signatures consistent with widespread refugia/recolonization during major c...
Article
Regressive evolution involves the degradation of formerly useful traits as organisms invade novel ecological niches. In animals, committing to a strict subterranean habit can lead to regression of the eyes, likely due to a limited exposure to light. Several lineages of subterranean mammals show evidence of such degeneration, which can include decre...
Chapter
Snakes comprise nearly 4,000 extant species found on all major continents except Antarctica. Morphologically and ecologically diverse, they include burrowing, arboreal, and marine forms, feeding on prey ranging from insects to large mammals. Snakes are strikingly different from their closest lizard relatives, and their origins and early diversifica...
Article
Full-text available
Background The gene for odontogenic ameloblast-associated (ODAM) is a member of the secretory calcium-binding phosphoprotein gene family. ODAM is primarily expressed in dental tissues including the enamel organ and the junctional epithelium, and may also have pleiotropic functions that are unrelated to teeth. Here, we leverage the power of natural...
Article
Genes showing versatile functions or subjected to fast expansion and contraction during the adaptation of species to specific ecological conditions, like sensory receptors for odors, pheromones and tastes, are characterized by a great plasticity through evolution. One of the most fascinating sensory receptors in the family of TRP channels, the cold...
Article
Full-text available
Ecologically and economically important fleshy edible fruits have evolved from dry fruit numerous times during angiosperm diversification. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie these shifts are unknown. In the Solanaceae there has been a major shift to fleshy fruits in the subfamily Solanoideae. Evidence suggests that an ortholog of FRUIT...
Article
Acromesomelic dysplasia are a heterogeneous group of disorders with variable spectrum and severity of skeletal anomalies in the affected individuals. Acromesomelic dysplasia type Maroteaux (AMDM) is characterized by extreme shortening of the forelimbs and disproportionate short stature. Several homozygous inactivating mutations in NPR2 have been id...
Article
Carotenoids have important roles in bird behavior, including pigmentation for sexual signaling and improving color vision via retinal oil droplets. Yellow carotenoids are diet-derived, but red carotenoids (ketocarotenoids) are typically synthesized from yellow precursors via a carotenoid ketolase. Recent research on passerines has provided evidence...
Article
Full-text available
We report here the assembly of a northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) genome. We generated Illumina paired-end sequence data at 90x coverage using nine libraries with insert lengths ranging from ~250 to 9,600 nt and read lengths from100 to 375 nt. The genome assembly is comprised of 8,108 scaffolds totaling 1.26 * 109 nt in length with...
Article
Throughout Earth's history, evolution's numerous natural 'experiments' have resulted in a diverse range of phenotypes. Though de novo phenotypes receive widespread attention, degeneration of traits inherited from an ancestor is a very common, yet frequently neglected, evolutionary path. The latter phenomenon, known as regressive evolution, often re...
Preprint
Carotenoids have important roles in bird behavior, including pigmentation for sexual signaling and improving color vision via retinal oil droplets. Yellow carotenoids are diet-derived, but red carotenoids (ketocarotenoids) are typically synthesized from yellow precursors via a carotenoid ketolase. Recent research on passerines has provided evidence...
Preprint
Full-text available
Regressive evolution of anatomical traits corresponds with the regression of genomic loci underlying such characters. As such, studying patterns of gene loss can be instrumental in addressing questions of gene function, resolving conflicting results from anatomical studies, and understanding the evolutionary history of clades. The origin of snakes...
Article
Vertebrate color vision has evolved partly through the modification of five ancestral visual opsin proteins via gene duplication, loss and shifts in spectral sensitivity. While many vertebrates, particularly mammals, birds and fishes, have had their visual opsin repertoires studied in great detail, testudines (turtles) and crocodylians have largely...
Article
Vertebrate vision is mediated by two types of photoreceptors, rod and cone cells. Rods are more sensitive than cones in dim light, but are incapable of color discrimination because they possess only one type of photosensitive opsin protein (rod opsin = RH1). By contrast, cones are more important for vision in bright light. Cones also facilitate dic...
Article
Full-text available
We reassessed the phylogenetic relationships of dasyuromorphians using a large molecular database comprising previously published and new sequences for both nuclear (nDNA) and mitochondrial (mtDNA) genes from the numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus), most living species of Dasyuridae, and the recently extinct marsupial wolf, Thylacinus cynocephalus. Our...
Article
Retinal opsin photopigments initiate mammalian vision when stimulated by light. Most mammals possess a short wavelength-sensitive opsin 1 (SWS1) pigment that is primarily sensitive to either ultraviolet or violet light, leading to variation in colour perception across species. Despite knowledge of both ultraviolet- and violet-sensitive SWS1 classes...
Article
Rod monochromacy is a rare condition in vertebrates characterized by the absence of cone photoreceptor cells. The resulting phenotype is colourblindness and low acuity vision in dim-light and blindness in bright-light conditions. Early reports of xenarthrans (armadillos, sloths and anteaters) suggest that they are rod monochromats, but this has not...
Article
Full-text available
Cetaceans have a long history of commitment to a fully aquatic lifestyle that extends back to the Eocene. Extant species have evolved a spectacular array of adaptations in conjunction with their deployment into a diverse array of aquatic habitats. Sensory systems are among those that have experienced radical transformations in the evolutionary hist...
Article
Full-text available
Phylogenetic relationships, divergence times, and patterns of biogeographic descent among primate species are both complex and contentious. Here, we generate a robust molecular phylogeny for 70 primate genera and 367 primate species based on a concatenation of 69 nuclear gene segments and ten mitochondrial gene sequences, most of which were extract...
Article
Bandicoots (Peramelemorphia) are a major order of australidelphian marsupials, which despite a fossil record spanning at least the past 25 million years and a pandemic Australasian range, remain poorly understood in terms of their evolutionary relationships. Many living peramelemorphians are critically endangered, making this group an important foc...

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