Rhett M. Rautsaw

Rhett M. Rautsaw
Clemson University | CU · Department of Biological Sciences

Master of Science

About

29
Publications
7,603
Reads
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139
Citations
Introduction
Rhett M. Rautsaw currently works at the Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University.
Additional affiliations
August 2017 - present
Clemson University
Position
  • PhD Student
August 2014 - May 2017
University of Central Florida
Position
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant/Associate
Description
  • Biology I, Herpetology, Ecology
May 2014 - May 2017
University of Central Florida
Position
  • Master's Student
Education
August 2017 - May 2022
Clemson University
Field of study
  • Biological Sciences
August 2014 - May 2017
University of Central Florida
Field of study
  • Biology
August 2012 - May 2014
Wright State University
Field of study
  • Biological Sciences

Publications

Publications (29)
Article
Full-text available
Despite the medical significance to humans and important ecological roles filled by vipers, few high-quality genomic resources exist for these snakes outside of a few genera of pitvipers. Here we sequence, assemble, and annotate the genome of Fea’s Viper (Azemiops feae). This taxon is distributed in east Asia and belongs to a monotypic subfamily, s...
Article
Full-text available
Beyond providing critical information to biologists, species distributions are useful for naturalists, curious citizens, and applied disciplines including conservation planning and medical intervention. Venomous snakes are one group that highlight the importance of having accurate information given their cosmopolitan distribution and medical signif...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the joint roles of amino acid sequences variation of proteins and differential expression during adaptive evolution is a fundamental, yet largely unrealized, goal of evolutionary biology. Here, we use phylogenetic path analysis to analyze a comprehensive venom gland transcriptome dataset spanning three genera of pitvipers to identify...
Article
[https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxicon.2021.11.009] Most traditional research on snake venoms has focused on front-fanged snake families (Viperidae, Elapidae, and Atractaspididae). However, venom is now generally accepted as being a much more broadly possessed trait within snakes, including species traditionally considered harmless. Unfortunately, due...
Article
Full-text available
Wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) are a major source of wildlife mortality and should affect regional wildlife diversity and abundance, yet most WVC studies are locally scaled. Here, we evaluated biogeographic diversity (i.e., species richness, effective diversity) and abundance of WVCs at state parks across the Florida peninsula to answer two que...
Article
Full-text available
The venoms of small rear-fanged snakes (RFS) remain largely unexplored, despite increased recognition of their importance in understanding venom evolution more broadly. Sequencing the transcriptome of venom-producing glands has greatly increased the ability of researchers to examine and characterize the toxin repertoire of small taxa with low venom...
Article
The role of natural selection in the evolution of trait complexity can be characterized by testing hypothesized links between complex forms and their functions across species. Predatory venoms are composed of multiple proteins that collectively function to incapacitate prey. Venom complexity fluctuates over evolutionary timescales, with apparent in...
Article
Motivation Next-generation sequencing has become exceedingly common and has transformed our ability to explore nonmodel systems. In particular, transcriptomics has facilitated the study of venom and evolution of toxins in venomous lineages; however, many challenges remain. Primarily, annotation of toxins in the transcriptome is a laborious and time...
Poster
Full-text available
Most research on snake venoms has focused on front-fanged snake families. However, venomics has now led to the general acceptance of venom being a much more broadly possessed trait within snakes, including species traditionally considered harmless. Due to this historical inertia, the toxin repertoire of rear-fanged snake families, particularly in t...
Poster
Full-text available
Most research on snake venoms has focused on front-fanged snake families. However, venomics has now led to the general acceptance of venom being a much more broadly possessed trait within snakes, including species traditionally considered harmless. Due to this historical inertia, the toxin repertoire of rear-fanged snake families, particularly in t...
Article
Variation in gene regulation is ubiquitous, yet identifying the mechanisms producing such variation, especially for complex traits, is challenging. Snake venoms provide a model system for studying the phenotypic impacts of regulatory variation in complex traits because of their genetic tractability. Here, we sequence the genome of the Tiger Rattles...
Article
Full-text available
The migration-selection balance often governs the evolution of lineages, and speciation with gene flow is now considered common across the tree of life. Ecological speciation is a process that can facilitate divergence despite gene flow due to strong selective pressures caused by ecological differences; however, the exact traits under selection are...
Article
Novel phenotypes are commonly associated with gene duplications and neofunctionalization, less documented are the cases of phenotypic maintenance through the recruitment of novel genes. Proteolysis is the primary toxic character of many snake venoms, and ADAM metalloproteinases, named Snake Venom Metalloproteinases (SVMPs), are largely recognized a...
Article
Traits can evolve rapidly through changes in gene expression or protein-coding sequences. However, these forms of genetic variation can be correlated and changes to one can influence the other. As a result,we might expect traits lacking differential expression to preferentially evolve through changes in protein sequences or morphological adaptation...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in gene expression can rapidly influence adaptive traits in the early stages of lineage diversification. Venom is an adaptive trait comprised of numerous toxins used for prey capture and defense. Snake venoms can vary widely between conspecific populations, but the influence of lineage diversification on such compositional differences are u...
Article
Full-text available
Small populations resulting from the impacts of habitat fragmentation are prone to increased risks of extinction because of a lack of population connectivity. Roads increase habitat fragmentation, but properly managed roadsides may be able to function as wildlife corridors. Here we use radiotelemetry to observe movement patterns of Gopher Tortoises...
Article
Coastal ecosystems worldwide are being impacted by sea-level rise caused by climate change. As mitigation efforts increase to protect these threatened ecosystems, a deeper understanding of how wildlife adapt to coastal management techniques is needed. We monitored three constructed sand dunes (built in 2010 and 2014) and two natural dunes in centra...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat fragmentation is one of the leading causes of biodiversity decline and most commonly results from urbanization and construction of transportation infrastructure. Roads are known to negatively impact species, but railways can often cause similar effects. Certain taxa, such as turtles and tortoises, are more vulnerable to railways than others...
Article
Full-text available
The use of game cameras by wildlife biologists and managers to survey wildlife, particularly medium-and large-bodied mammals, has increased dramatically. Previous attempts to survey small mammals and ectotherms have had limited detection success or were focused solely on a single species. We describe the Adapted-Hunt Drift Fence Technique (AHDriFT)...
Article
Full-text available
Sea-level rise due to climate change is a major threat to coastal ecosystems worldwide. Current management to reduce beach erosion often focuses on protecting human structures and research on effects on wildlife is lacking. Using a combination of hierarchical models and generalized linear models, we evaluated how the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyp...
Thesis
Full-text available
Urbanization and an expanding human population have led to a large degree of habitat destruction and fragmentation. These, in turn, reduce biodiversity and wildlife population sizes on a global scale. Transportation infrastructure, such as roads and railways, are some of the largest contributors to habitat fragmentation. Roads are well-established...
Poster
Full-text available
Recently, advances have been made to use game cameras to survey small mammals. These techniques use a camera contained in a 26.5 L bucket to photograph small mammals drawn to a bait station inside. By extending this technique through the inclusion of a drift fence and wooden guidance panels, we demonstrate the potential as a new method for surveyin...

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