Kristofer M. Helgen

Kristofer M. Helgen
Australian Museum · Australian Museum Research Institute

PhD, University of Adelaide

About

287
Publications
203,650
Reads
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8,217
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2008 - present
Smithsonian Institution
Position
  • Research Zoologist and Curator of Mammals
September 2001 - April 2006
University of Adelaide
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
September 2001 - May 2006
University of Adelaide
Field of study
  • Vertebrate Zoology
September 1997 - June 2001
Harvard University
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (287)
Article
Full-text available
Incomplete lineage sorting (ILS) makes ancestral genetic polymorphisms persist during rapid speciation events, inducing incongruences between gene trees and species trees. ILS has complicated phylogenetic inference in many lineages, including hominids. However, we lack empirical evidence that ILS leads to incongruent phenotypic variation. Here, we...
Preprint
Background Gut microbiota studies often rely on a single sample taken per individual, representing a snapshot in time. However, we know that gut microbiota composition in many animals exhibits intra-individual variation over the course of days to months. Such temporal variations can be a confounding factor in studies seeking to compare the gut micr...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Comprehensive, global information on species' occurrences is an essential biodiversity variable and central to a range of applications in ecology, evolution, biogeography and conservation. Expert range maps often represent a species' only available distributional information and play an increasing role in conservation assessments and macroeco...
Article
Full-text available
Bone responds to elevated mechanical loading by increasing in mass and density. Therefore, wild animals should exhibit greater skeletal mass and density than captive conspecifics. This expectation is pertinent to testing bone functional adaptation theories and to comparative studies, which commonly use skeletal remains that combine zoo and wild-cau...
Article
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The establishment of protected areas (PAs) is a central strategy for global biodi- versity conservation. While the role of PAs in protecting habitat has been high- lighted, their effectiveness at protecting mammal communities remains unclear. We analyzed a global dataset from over 8671 camera traps in 23 countries on four continents that detected 3...
Article
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November 2020 marked 2 y since the launch of the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP), which aims to sequence all known eukaryotic species in a 10-y timeframe. Since then, significant progress has been made across all aspects of the EBP roadmap, as outlined in the 2018 article describing the project’s goals, strategies, and challenges (1). The launch phas...
Article
Cooper et al . (Research Articles, 19 February 2021, p. 811) propose that the Laschamps geomagnetic inversion ~42,000 years ago drove global climatic shifts, causing major behavioral changes within prehistoric groups, as well as events of human and megafaunal extinction. Other scientific studies indicate that this proposition is unproven from the c...
Article
Full-text available
The flying squirrels (Pteromyini, Rodentia) are the most diverse and widely distributed group of gliding mammals. Taxonomic boundaries and relationships within flying squirrels remain an area of active research in mammalogy. The discovery of new specimens of Pteromys ( Hylopetes) leonardi Thomas, 1921 previously considered a synonym of Hylopetes al...
Article
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The woolly flying squirrel, Eupetaurus cinereus, is among the rarest and least studied mammals in the world. For much of the 20th century it was thought to be extinct, until it was rediscovered in 1994 in northern Pakistan. This study outlines the first taxonomic and biogeographical review of the genus Eupetaurus, which until now has contained only...
Article
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The hominin fossil record of Island Southeast Asia (ISEA) indicates that at least two endemic ‘super-archaic’ species—Homo luzonensis and H. floresiensis—were present around the time anatomically modern humans arrived in the region >50,000 years ago. Intriguingly, contemporary human populations across ISEA carry distinct genomic traces of ancient i...
Article
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Dire wolves are considered to be one of the most common and widespread large carnivores in Pleistocene America¹, yet relatively little is known about their evolution or extinction. Here, to reconstruct the evolutionary history of dire wolves, we sequenced five genomes from sub-fossil remains dating from 13,000 to more than 50,000 years ago. Our res...
Article
Full-text available
Background Marsupials are born much earlier than placental mammals, with most crawling from the birth canal to the protective marsupium (pouch) to further their development. However, little is known about the microbiology of the pouch and how it changes throughout a marsupial’s reproductive cycle. Here, using stringent controls, we characterized th...
Article
Full-text available
Background Herbivorous mammals co-opt microbes to derive energy and nutrients from diets that are recalcitrant to host enzymes. Recent research has found that captive management—an important conservation tool for many species—can alter the gut microbiota of mammals. Such changes could negatively impact the ability of herbivorous mammals to derive e...
Article
Full-text available
Taxonomy is the science of the classification of living things and comprises two main processes, defining taxa and naming them. In relation to the taxonomy of the Dingo, the scientific name has been unstable for many years. It has been referred to as Canis familiaris, Canis familiaris dingo, Canis lupus familiaris, Canis lupus dingo or Canis dingo....
Article
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[Excerpt] He was always a modest man, but Ken was a genius and the toughest man we knew. He was also extraordinarily generous of spirit. The way he gave of himself, his time, and his hard-won stores of knowledge, was legendary amongst his friends and colleagues. We admired him and we loved him. Ken was a world-renowned comparative anatomist, verteb...
Article
Full-text available
Trachypithecus, which currently contains 20 species divided into four groups, is the most speciose and geographically dispersed genus among Asian colobines. Despite several morphological and molecular studies, however, its evolutionary history and phylogeography remain poorly understood. Phayre's langur (Trachypithecus phayrei) is one of the most w...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Herbivorous mammals co-opt microbes to derive energy and nutrients from diets that are recalcitrant to host enzymes. Recent research has found that captive management—an important conservation tool for many species—can alter the gut microbiota of mammals. Such changes could negatively impact the ability of herbivorous mammals to derive e...
Preprint
Full-text available
The hominin fossil record of Island Southeast Asia (ISEA) indicates that at least two endemic super-archaic species, Homo luzonensis and H. floresiensis, were present around the time anatomically modern humans (AMH) arrived in the region >50,000 years ago. Contemporary human populations carry signals consistent with interbreeding events with Deniso...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Marsupials are born much earlier than placental mammals, with most crawling from the birth canal to the protective marsupium (pouch) to further their development. However, little is known about the microbiology of the pouch and how it changes throughout a marsupial’s reproductive cycle. Here, using stringent controls, we characterized t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Marsupials are born much earlier than placental mammals, with most crawling from the birth canal to the protective marsupium (pouch) to further their development. However, little is known about the microbiology of the pouch and how it changes throughout a marsupial’s reproductive cycle. Here, using stringent controls, we characterized t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Marsupials are born much earlier than placental mammals, with most crawling from the birth canal to the protective marsupium (pouch) to further their development. However, little is known about the microbiology of the pouch and how it changes throughout a marsupial’s reproductive cycle. Here, using stringent controls, we characterized th...
Article
Natural history specimens are widely used across ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation. Although biological sex may influence all of these areas, it is often overlooked in large-scale studies using museum specimens. If collections are biased towards one sex, studies may not be representative of the species. Here, we investigate sex ratios...
Article
A recent study of mammoth subfossil remains has demonstrated the potential of using relatively low-coverage high-throughput DNA sequencing to genetically sex specimens, revealing a strong male-biased sex ratio [P. Pečnerová et al., Curr. Biol. 27, 3505–3510.e3 (2017)]. Similar patterns were predicted for steppe bison, based on their analogous femal...
Article
Full-text available
Liang Bua, the type locality of Homo floresiensis, is a limestone cave located in the western part of the Indonesian island of Flores. The relatively continuous stratigraphic sequence of the site spans the past ~190 kyr and contains ~275,000 taxonomically identifiable vertebrate skeletal elements, ~80% of which belong to murine rodent taxa (i.e., r...
Article
Full-text available
Adopting the name Canis dingo for the Dingo to explicitly denote a species-level taxon separate from other canids was suggested by Crowther et al. (2014) as a means to eliminate taxonomic instability and contention. However, Jackson et al. (2017), using standard taxonomic and nomenclatural approaches and principles, called instead for continued use...
Article
Full-text available
The evolutionary history of the colugo, a gliding arboreal mammal distributed throughout Sundaland, was influenced by the location of and connections between forest habitats. By comparing colugo phylogenetic patterns, species ecology, sample distributions, and times of divergence to those of other Sundaic taxa with different life history traits and...
Article
Full-text available
Phylogenomic datasets are illuminating many areas of the Tree of Life. However, the large size of these datasets alone may be insufficient to resolve problematic nodes in the most rapid evolutionary radiations, because inferences in zones of extraordinarily low phylogenetic signal can be sensitive to the model and method of inference, as well as th...
Article
Full-text available
The koala, the only extant species of the marsupial family Phascolarctidae, is classified as 'vulnerable' due to habitat loss and widespread disease. We sequenced the koala genome, producing a complete and contiguous marsupial reference genome, including centromeres. We reveal that the koala's ability to detoxify eucalypt foliage may be due to expa...
Article
Amongst the Australasian kangaroos and wallabies (Macropodidae) one anomalous genus, the tree-kangaroos, Dendrolagus, has secondarily returned to arboreality. Modern tree-kangaroos are confined to the wet tropical forests of north Queensland, Australia (2 species) and New Guinea (8 species). Due to their behavior, distribution and habitat most spec...
Article
The Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), once widespread across Southeast Asia, now consists of as few as 30 individuals within Sumatra and Borneo. To aid in conservation planning, we sequenced 218 bp of control region mitochondrial (mt) DNA, identifying 17 distinct mitochondrial haplotypes across modern (N = 13) and museum (N = 26) samp...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding a species’ distributional limits is a necessary step for developing conservation priorities. The olinguito (Procyonidae: Bassaricyon neblina) is a recently described, medium-sized carnivoran found in Northern Andean cloud forests. Here, we provide revised distributional estimates for this species using current ecological niche modelin...
Article
Full-text available
Taxonomy is a scientific discipline that has provided the universal naming and classification system of biodiversity for centuries and continues effectively to accommodate new knowledge. A recent publication by Garnett and Christidis [1] expressed concerns regarding the difficulty that taxonomic changes represent for conservation efforts and propos...
Article
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We describe a new species of murine rodent from a skull collected on Bisa Island and 3 specimens from Obi Island, North Maluku Province, Indonesia. Molecular and morphological data indicate a close relationship with Halmaheramys bokimekot (Fabre et al. 2013). The new species is characterized by its combination of large size; short tail with large s...
Article
Our understanding of mechanisms operating over deep timescales to shape phenotypic diversity often hinges on linking variation in one or few trait(s) to specific evolutionary processes. When distinct processes are capable of similar phenotypic signatures, however, identifying these drivers is difficult. We explored ecomorphological evolution across...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Tema/Meio de apresentação: Evolução/Oral Polymorphic phenotypes have often been inferred to play some adaptive roles in ecological, physiological and behavioral processes. Melanism is a coloration polymorphism that is present in various groups of organisms and it is rather common in the Felidae family. The Geoffroy's Cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) is a...
Article
Full-text available
The taxonomy of American deer has been established almost entirely on the basis of morphological data and without the use of explicit phylogenetic methods; hence, phylogenetic analyses including data for all of the currently recognized species, even if based on a single gene, might improve current understanding of their taxonomy. We tested the mono...
Data
Name and DNA sequences of pairs of primers used for amplification and sequencing of the CYTB gene
Article
Full-text available
The taxonomic identity and status of the Australian Dingo has been unsettled and controversial since its initial description in 1792. Since that time it has been referred to by various names including Canis dingo, Canis lupus dingo, Canis familiaris and Canis familiaris dingo. Of these names C. l. dingo and C. f. dingo have been most often used, bu...
Article
Full-text available
White-nose syndrome, first diagnosed in North America in 2006, causes mass deaths among bats in North America. We found the causative fungus, Pseudogymnoascusdestructans, in a 1918 sample collected in Europe, where bats have now adapted to the fungus. These results are consistent with a Eurasian origin of the pathogen.
Data
Results of screening 138 historic bat specimens for Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus associated with white-nose syndrome.
Article
Full-text available
We describe a new species of Myotis (Vespertilionidae, Myotinae) from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Tobago Island. The new species (Myotis attenboroughi sp. nov.) can be distinguished from all other Neotropical congeners by cranial features and cytochrome-b gene sequences. Myotis attenboroughi sp. nov. is allied morphologically with species...
Article
Full-text available
The snow leopard, Panthera uncia, is an elusive high-altitude specialist that inhabits vast, inaccessible habitat across Asia. We conducted the first range-wide genetic assessment of snow leopards based on noninvasive scat surveys. Thirty-three microsatellites were genotyped and a total of 683-bp of mitochondrial DNA sequenced in 70 individuals. Sn...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on zoonotic disease risk is both a critical conservation objective and a public health priority. Here, we evaluate the effects of multiple forms of anthropogenic disturbance across a precipitation gradient on the abundance of pathogen-infected small mammal hosts in a multi-host, multi-pathogen...