Rowan J. Schley

Rowan J. Schley
University of Exeter | UoE

PhD - Imperial College London
I am a postdoctoral research fellow examining whether hybridisation catalysed explosive radiation in tropical trees.

About

22
Publications
10,262
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
145
Citations
Citations since 2016
22 Research Items
145 Citations
201620172018201920202021202201020304050
201620172018201920202021202201020304050
201620172018201920202021202201020304050
201620172018201920202021202201020304050
Introduction
I am a postdoctoral research fellow interested in the evolution, biogeography and conservation of tropical biodiversity. My research is broadly centred around speciation with a particular focus on the effects of introgression, using genomic approaches to address these questions. Currently, I am researcher Co-I on a project examining whether hybridisation catalysed explosive radiation in tropical trees.
Additional affiliations
July 2019 - March 2021
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Position
  • Postdoctoral Researcher
Description
  • Postdoctoral research post working on the evolution of genome size and dynamics of repetitive elements across the palm family (Arecaceae).
October 2014 - November 2014
Imperial College London
Position
  • Research Assistant
Description
  • Independent fieldwork on continuous biodiversity monitoring at the S.A.F.E. project in Malaysian Borneo. I was responsible for setting up microphones and scouting sites for microphones to be placed in the future.
Education
October 2015 - June 2019
Imperial College London
Field of study
  • Evolutionary Biology - "Diversification and the patterns of introgression in a clade of Neotropical trees"
September 2013 - September 2014
Imperial College London
Field of study
  • Ecology, Evolution and Conservation (Distinction)
September 2010 - June 2013
University of Portsmouth
Field of study
  • Marine Biology (First class)

Publications

Publications (22)
Article
The flora of the Neotropics is unmatched in its diversity, however the mechanisms by which diversity has accumulated are debated and largely unclear. The Brownea clade (Leguminosae) is a characteristic component of the Neotropical flora, and the species within it are diverse in their floral morphology, attracting a wide variety of pollinators. This...
Article
Full-text available
Hybridisation has the potential to generate or homogenize biodiversity and is a particularly common phenomenon in plants, with an estimated 25% of plant species undergoing inter‐specific gene flow. However, hybridisation in Amazonia’s megadiverse tree flora was assumed to be extremely rare despite extensive sympatry between closely related species,...
Article
Full-text available
Hybridisation can facilitate both evolutionary diversification and extinction and has had a critical role in plant evolution, with~ 25% of species known to hybridise in some temperate floras. However, in the species-rich neotropical flora, hybridisation’s role in the evolution of diversity remains unclear. Our review examines studies of hybridisati...
Article
Full-text available
Genome size varies 2,400‐fold across plants, influencing their evolution through changes in cell size and cell division rates which impact plants’ environmental stress tolerance. Repetitive element expansion explains much genome size diversity, and the processes structuring repeat ‘communities’ are analogous to those structuring ecological communit...
Article
Phenotypes promoting dispersal over ecological timescales may have macroevolutionary consequences, such as long‐distance dispersal and diversification. However, whether dispersal traits explain the distribution of pantropical plant groups remains unclear. Here we reconstruct the biogeographical history of a tree clade to assess whether seed dispers...
Data
Supporting Information 1. A list of all reviewed hybridisation studies based in the Neotropics.
Preprint
Full-text available
Genome size varies 2,400-fold across plants, influencing their evolution through changes in cell size and cell division rates which impact plants’ environmental stress tolerance. Repetitive element expansion explains much genome size diversity, and the processes structuring repeat ‘communities’ are analogous to those structuring ecological communit...
Article
Full-text available
Premise: The inference of evolutionary relationships in the species-rich family Orchidaceae has hitherto relied heavily on plastid DNA sequences and limited taxon sampling. Previous studies have provided a robust plastid phylogenetic framework, which was used to classify orchids and investigate the drivers of orchid diversification. However, the e...
Article
Full-text available
The date palm, Phoenix dactylifera, has been a cornerstone of Middle Eastern and North African agriculture for millennia. It was first domesticated in the Persian Gulf, and its evolution appears to have been influenced by gene flow from two wild relatives, P. theophrasti, currently restricted to Crete and Turkey, and P. sylvestris, widespread from...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aim Phenotypes which evolved for dispersal over ecological timescales may lead to significant macroevolutionary consequences, such as infrequent long-distance dispersal and diversification in novel environments. We aimed to reconstruct the phylogenetic history of Pterocarpus (Leguminosae/ Fabaceae) to assess whether seed dispersal phenotypes help t...
Article
Well-supported phylogenies are a prerequisite for the study of the evolution and diversity of life on earth. The subfamily Calamoideae accounts for more than one fifth of the palm family (Arecaceae), occurs in tropical rainforests across the world, and supports a billion-dollar industry in rattan products. It contains ca. 550 species in 17 genera,...
Preprint
Full-text available
The date palm ( Phoenix dactylifera ) has been a cornerstone of Middle Eastern and North African agriculture for millennia. It is presumed that date palms were first domesticated in the Persian Gulf and subsequently introduced into North Africa, where their evolution in the latter region appears to have been influenced by gene flow from the wild re...
Preprint
Full-text available
Premise of the study Evolutionary relationships in the species-rich Orchidaceae have historically relied on organellar DNA sequences and limited taxon sampling. Previous studies provided a robust plastid-maternal phylogenetic framework, from which multiple hypotheses on the drivers of orchid diversification have been derived. However, the extent to...
Article
Full-text available
Dalbergia odorifera T. C. Chen (Leguminosae), a rare and endangered tree species endemic to Hainan Island of China, produces the most expensive and rarest wood in China. The wood characteristics of D. odorifera are remarkably similar to those of D. tonkinensis (a much less sought‐after species from Vietnam), and the DNA from wood are often highly d...
Preprint
Full-text available
This pre-print is currently under consideration at Molecular Ecology. Hybridization has the potential to generate or homogenize biodiversity and is a particularly common phenomenon in plants, with an estimated 25% of species undergoing inter-specific gene flow. However, hybridization in Amazonia’s megadiverse tree flora was assumed to be extremely...
Article
Poor morphological and molecular differentiation in recently diversified lineages is a widespread phenomenon in plants. Phylogenetic relationships within such species complexes are often difficult to resolve because of the low variability in traditional molecular loci. Furthermore, biological phenomena responsible for topological incongruence such...
Preprint
Full-text available
Poor morphological and molecular differentiation in recently diversified lineages is a widespread phenomenon in plants. Phylogenetic relationships within such species complexes are often difficult to resolve because of the low variability in traditional molecular loci, as well as various other biological phenomena responsible for topological incong...
Preprint
Full-text available
Poor morphological and molecular differentiation in recently diversified lineages is a widespread phenomenon in plants. Phylogenetic relationships within such species complexes are often difficult to resolve because of the low variability in traditional molecular loci, as well as various other biological phenomena responsible for topological incong...
Article
Australia harbours a rich and highly endemic orchid flora, with c. 90 % of species endemic to the country. Despite that, the biogeographic history of Australasian orchid lineages is only poorly understood. Here we examined evolutionary relationships and the spatio-temporal evolution of the sun orchids (Thelymitra, 119 species), which display disjun...
Article
Premise of research. The Neotropical endemic Macrolobium is one of the most species-rich genera (ca. 75 species) within subfamily Detarioideae (Fabaceae, alternatively Leguminosae). Two sections distinguished by floral morphology have been recognized in the past. Although morphologically diverse, species within the genus share several characters, i...
Poster
Full-text available
First-prize winning poster, which was presented at Imperial College London Life Sciences PhD poster session. This poster details the work undertaken for the first section of this PhD project, investigating the phylogenetic relationships, pace of evolution over time and biogeographical history of the Brownea clade.

Questions

Questions (5)
Question
In the past I have used PhyDesign (http://phydesign.townsend.yale.edu/) to profile phylogenetic informativeness on smaller phylogenomic datasets, but I was wondering if any new iterations/similar tools exist based on this method? In addition, when I use PhyDesign now the link it provides to download the results doesnt work.
Thanks!
Question
I have tried calculating and plotting these with HiEst, Introgress etc but with no luck. Is there a more modern method to do this, using ddRADseq data?
Question
What is the best way to date a phylogenomic tree using fossil calibration? It is more or less straightforward with a few Sanger loci using programs like BEAST, but it becomes intractable with hundreds of genes, as produced with phylogenomic approaches (e.g., target capture). Just wondering if anyone had any opinions?
Thanks a lot!
Question
Hi there,
I have ddRADseq data, with RAD-loci assembled de-novo using the STACKS pipeline for two species and their hybrids. As such, I was wondering how I could estimate Fst for each of those putative loci without using BayeScan. This is because many of my samples are hybrids which violate the model assumptions of the program.
I have seen a method mentioned which uses the ' Bayesian implementation of the F-model' by Gompert et al 2012, but I am unsure how to practically put this into use. I have also tried using outFLANK, but it needs a data-set containing no missing data.
Thanks a lot.
Rowan
Question
Does anyone know how to plot the result outputs (alpha, beta and quantiles) from Bayesian estimation of genomic clines (bgc)? The manual recommends to do so in R, but I am unsure of how to do the outlier plots.

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Studying genomic, ecological and morphological data to understand how palms diversify. Ongoing sub-projects: - Understanding seed size evolution in relation to insularity in palms of SE Asia (tribe Areceae, Arecaceae) - Investigating the dynamics of DNA repeats in palms at the micro and macro-evolutionary level, from genomes to environments - Exploring the mechanisms of intra-specific leaf shape variation in the palm genus Pinanga - Unravelling the origins of the largest seed in the world: Lodoicea maldivica (published)
Project
The Neotropics is arguably the most floristically diverse region on Earth, with c.100,000 plant species. The Brownea clade (Leguminosae) is a characteristic component of the lowland Amazonian tree flora, and is made up of around 125 species in 9 genera. Using the Brownea clade as a study system this project aims to: Examine the phylogenetic relationships, rates of evolution and biogeographical patterns of the Brownea clade to determine whether evolution was recent and rapid or more homogeneous and gradual. Use genomic techniques (ddRAD and hybrid bait capture) to infer the patterns of reproductive isolation and genetic introgression in two sister lineages of Brownea, which co-occur in Yasuni national park in the Ecuador. This will give insight into the mechanisms of speciation in the western Amazon, which is one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth.