Santiago Ron

Santiago Ron
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador | PUCE · Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas

PhD
Evolutionary Biologist. Professor, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador

About

254
Publications
80,488
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
6,764
Citations
Introduction
Evolutionary biologist, principal professor and Curator of Amphibians at the Museum of Zoology (QCAZ), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE). My research focusses in the evolution and diversity of the amphibians of the Neotropical Region. I lead the development of BIOWEB Ecuador, an on-line platform for managing and publishing information about the Ecuadorian biodiversity Member of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the Ecuadorian Academy of Sciences.
Additional affiliations
September 2007 - present
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador
Position
  • Professor (Full)
August 2007 - present
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador
Position
  • Curator
August 2002 - May 2006
University of Texas at Austin
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
August 2002 - May 2007
University of Texas at Austin
Field of study
  • Evolution, Ecology and Behavior
August 1996 - August 1998
University of Kansas
Field of study
  • Systematics and Ecology

Publications

Publications (254)
Article
Full-text available
One application of ecological niche modeling is predicting suitable areas for the establishment of invasive species. Herein, I model the fundamental niche of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a pathogen linked to amphibian declines on several continents. Niche models were generated with the Genetic Algorithm of Rule-Set Prediction...
Article
Full-text available
As the Earth warms, many species are likely to disappear, often because of changing disease dynamics. Here we show that a recent mass extinction associated with pathogen outbreaks is tied to global warming. Seventeen years ago, in the mountains of Costa Rica, the Monteverde harlequin frog (Atelopus sp.) vanished along with the golden toad (Bufo per...
Article
Full-text available
We developed an approach that combines distribution data, environmental geographic information system layers, environmental niche models, and phylogenetic information to investigate speciation processes. We used Ecuadorian frogs of the family Dendrobatidae to illustrate our methodology. For dendrobatids there are several cases for which there is si...
Article
Full-text available
The Jambato Toad, Atelopus ignescens, is endemic to montane forests, inter-Andean valleys, and paramos in Ecuador. Although formerly abundant and widely distributed, the species has not been recorded in nature since 1988. To determine its population status, data from intensive surveys in 1999-2001 are compared with those from 1967 and 1981. Presenc...
Article
Full-text available
Female mate preferences can favour the evolution of complex secondary sex traits in males. A mechanism increasingly explored to explain the origin of such male traits is sensory exploitation. Under sensory exploitation, female mating preferences are by-products of sensory biases that originate previously (often in nonreproductive contexts). Túngara...
Article
Full-text available
Field biology is an area of research that involves working directly with living organisms in situ through a practice known as “fieldwork.” Conducting fieldwork often requires complex logistical planning within multiregional or multinational teams, interacting with local communities at field sites, and collaborative research led by one or a few of t...
Article
Major historical landscape changes have left significant signatures on species diversification. However, how these changes have affected the build-up and maintenance of Amazonia’s megadiversity continues to be debated. Here, we addressed this issue by focusing on the evolutionary history of a pan-Amazonian toad genus that has diversified throughout...
Preprint
Full-text available
Amphibians are a clade of over 8,400 species that provide unique research opportunities and challenges. With amphibians undergoing severe global declines, taking stock of our current understanding of amphibians is imperative. Focusing on 2016–2020, we assessed trends in amphibian publishing, conservation research, systematics, and community resourc...
Article
We describe a new species of Pristimantis from southern Ecuador, province of Zamora Chinchipe. The new species is closely related to an undescribed species of Pristimantis from Reserva Tapichalaca, Ecuador and with species of a clade historically assigned to the P. unistrigatus species group, such as P. parvillus, P. luteolateralis, P. walkeri, amo...
Article
Several species of Cophomantini are known to have an enlarged prepollex, commonly modified as an osseous spine. We surveyed the osteology and myology of the prepollex and associated elements of 94 of the 190 species of Cophomantini, sampling all genera, except Nesorohyla. Two distinct prepollex morphologies were found: a bladeshaped and a spine-sha...
Preprint
Full-text available
With up to 140 species of Myotis worldwide, these small, insectivorous bats are an exemplar for understanding biogeographic process such as intercontinental colonization and evolutionary processes of diversification, speciation, and convergent adaptative evolution. Species limits and associated distributions, however, remain poorly delineated acros...
Article
Species richness in the genus Pristimantis is underestimated due to the existence of morphologically cryptic species. This is worsened by the low sampling effort and the lack of studies using genetic markers. Here, we use molecular and morphological data to determine the phylogenetic relationships of a clade of Pristimantis distributed throughout m...
Article
Full-text available
With 566 species, the neotropical genus Pristimantis is the most speciose vertebrate genus. As a result of its striking diversity, taxonomic reviews remain a challenge. Herein, we present an updated phylogeny of the Pristimantis lacrimosus group and describe a new species from Llanganates and Sangay National Parks. We also report, for the first tim...
Presentation
Full-text available
Poison frogs sequester lipophilic alkaloids into their skin for use in chemical defense against predators. Many poison frog species use flashy colors to warn predators of the noxious compounds in their skin, a defense mechanism called aposematism. The poison frog group Epipedobates has high variation in the types of alkaloids it uses in defense and...
Article
Full-text available
We conducted a long-term inventory of the herpetofauna of Wildsumaco Wildlife Sanctuary in the eastern part of the Napo Province in Ecuador. This private preserve is about 500 ha in size and is located on the southern slopes of Volcán Sumaco. The preserve contains primary forest, secondary forest, and pasture habitats. Based mostly on nocturnal tra...
Article
Full-text available
True toads of the genus Rhinella are among the most common and diverse group of Neotropical anurans. These toads are widely distributed throughout South America, inhabiting a great diversity of environments and ecoregions. Currently, however, the genus is defined solely on the basis of molecular characters, and it lacks a proper diagnosis. Although...
Article
Full-text available
The outstanding species richness of Amazonia has fascinated biologists for centuries. However, the records of actual numbers and distribution of species forming its ecosystems are so incomplete that the understanding of the historical causes and regional determinants of this diversity remain speculative. Anuran clades have repeatedly been documente...
Article
The outstanding biodiversity of the Guiana Shield has raised many questions about its origins and evolution. Frogs of the genera Adelastes, Otophryne and Synapturanus form an ancient lineage distributed mostly across this region. These genera display strikingly disparate morphologies and life-history traits. Notably, Synapturanus is conspicuously a...
Article
Full-text available
Microbiome‐pathogen interactions are increasingly recognised as an important element of host immunity. While these host‐level interactions will have consequences for community disease dynamics, the factors which influence host microbiomes at larger scales are poorly understood. We here describe landscape scale pathogen‐microbiome associations withi...
Article
The Leptodactylus melanonotus species group is widely distributed across the Neotropics and contains 17 valid species. Here we reassess the taxonomic status of several taxa of the group, focusing mainly on the Amazonian L. petersii and both its junior synonyms (L. brevipes and L. intermedius), based on morphological, acoustic, cytogenetic, and DNA...
Article
Full-text available
Molecular phylogenies have yielded strong support for many parts of the amphibian Tree of Life, but poor support for the resolution of deeper nodes, including relationships among families and orders. To clarify these relationships, we provide a phylogenomic perspective on amphibian relationships by developing a taxon-specific Anchored Hybrid Enrich...
Article
Full-text available
We describe through integrative taxonomy a new Amazonian species of leaf-litter toad of the Rhinella margaritifera species group. The new species inhabits open lowland forest in southwest Amazonia in Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia. It is closely related to a Bolivian species tentatively identified as Rhinella cf. paraguayensis. Both the new species and...
Article
Full-text available
A new phylogeny for the Pristimantis lacrimosus species group is presented, its species content reviewed, and three new species described from the eastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes. Our phylogeny includes, for the first time, samples of P. aureolineatus, P. bromeliaceus, and P. lacrimosus. The morphology of hyperdistal subarticular tubercles i...
Article
Full-text available
We describe two new species of salamanders of the genus Oedipina, subgenus Oe-dopinola, from two localities on the northwestern foothills of Ecuador, at elevations between 921 and 1,067 m. These are the southernmost members of the genus. We examined different museum collections and we found just three specimens of Oedipina from Ecuador, obtained th...
Article
Full-text available
The adaptive role of amphibian oocyte melanic pigmentation and its molecular control are still elusive. Here we present evidence of a polymorphism in egg pigmentation in the emerald glass frog Espadarana prosoblepon. In Ecuadorian natural populations of this species, females can lay dark brown or pale eggs that develop into normal pigmented tadpole...
Article
Full-text available
The combination of genetic and phenotypic characters for species delimitation has allowed the discovery of many undescribed species of Neotropical amphibians. In this study, we used DNA sequences (genes 12S, 16S, ND1 and COI) and morphologic, bioacoustic and environmental characters of the Boana semilineata group to evaluate their phylogenetic rela...
Article
Aim We investigate the spatiotemporal context of the diversification of Allobates, a widespread genus of Amazonian frogs with high species diversity particularly in western Amazonia. We tested if that diversity originated in situ or through repeated dispersals from other Amazonian areas and if this diversification took place during or after the Peb...
Article
Many vertebrates have distinctive blue-green bones and other tissues due to unusually high biliverdin concentrations—a phenomenon called chlorosis. Despite its prevalence, the biochemical basis, biology, and evolution of chlorosis are poorly understood. In this study, we show that the occurrence of high biliverdin in anurans (frogs and toads) has e...
Data
Supporting information for the article "Systematics of the Boana semilineata species group (Anura: Hylidae), with a description of two new species from Amazonian Ecuador"
Article
Full-text available
The Andes have experienced an unprecedented wave of amphibian declines and extinctions that are linked to a combination of habitat reduction and the spread of the fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). In the present study, a range of high-altitude habitats in Southern Ecuador were surveyed for the presence of Bd. With a particular f...
Article
General consensus emphasizes that no single biological process can explain the patterns of species' distributions and diversification in the Neotropics. Instead, the interplay of several processes across space and time must be taken into account. Here we investigated the phylogenetic relationships and biogeographic history of tree frogs in the Dend...
Article
Full-text available
Elachistocleis is a Neotropical genus of microhylid frogs with 18 species, most of which occur east of the Andes in South America. Here, we present a new phylogeny of Gastrophryninae and describe and name a new species of Elachistocleis from southern Ecuador-the first to be found west of the Andes and also the first from Ecuador. Our phylogeny is b...
Article
Full-text available
Describimos 3 nuevas especies de cutines Pristimantis del subgénero Hypodictyon de la bioregión del Chocó de Colombia y Ecuador. Además, presentamos una filogenia actualizada del subgénero Hypodictyon en la que reportamos por primera vez la posición filogenética de P. calcaratus, P. colomai, P. illotus, P. kuri, P. rosadoi, P. tenebrionis y P. vari...
Article
Full-text available
Molecular phylogenies have yielded strong support for many parts of the amphibian Tree of Life, but poor support for the resolution of deeper nodes, including relationships among families and orders. To clarify these relationships, we provide a phylogenomic perspective on amphibian relationships by developing a taxon-specific Anchored Hybrid Enrich...
Article
Full-text available
The combination of genetic and phenotypic characters for species delimitation has allowed the discovery of many undescribed species of Neotropical amphibians. In this study, we used DNA sequences (genes 12S, 16S, ND1 and COI) and morphologic, bioacoustic and environmental characters of the Boana semilineata group to evaluate their phylogenetic rela...
Article
Full-text available
Expeditions to unexplored or little explored places are important for discovering new species and also for collecting new samples (including specimens and tissues for DNA sequencing ) that may help resolve a plethora of taxonomic problems. In the 19th century, several naturalists explored a number of localities in Amazonia, describing species for w...
Article
Full-text available
The Osteocephalus buckleyi species group is widely distributed in primary and secondary forests of the Amazon Basin and Guiana Region. Based on integrative analysis, including morphological and genetic data, we estimate the phylogenetic relationships and species boundaries among populations of the Osteocephalus buckleyi group from the Ecuadorian Am...
Article
Abstract.- Knowledge on long-term population trends in crocodilians is essential to assess the effectiveness of conservation areas and to guide sustainable management practices. We studied changes in population size of spectacled (Caiman crocodilus) and black caimans (Melanosuchus niger) over a period of 17 yr at Mateococha, a black-water lake loca...
Article
Full-text available
We describe a new species of terrestrial frog of the genus Noblella from the eastern versants of the Ecuadorian Andes in the upper Pastaza watershed. Noblella naturetrekii sp. n. differs from its Ecuadorian congeners by the presence of a differentiated tympanic membrane and a weakly defined tympanic annulus, and eyelids with rounded tubercles. In a...
Article
Full-text available
We describe a new species of terrestrial frog of the genus Noblella from the eastern versants of the Ecuadorian Andes in the upper Pastaza watershed. Noblella naturetrekii sp. n. differs from its Ecuadorian congeners by the presence of a differentiated tympanic membrane and a weakly defined tympanic annulus, and eyelids with rounded tubercles. In a...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Pristimantis is the most diverse genus of tetrapods comprising 532 described species. It contains a large number of morphologically cryptic species that are being discovered with the assistance of genetic evi- dence. We use molecular, morphological, bioacoustic, and environmental data to assess the phylogenetic relationships and determine...
Article
Full-text available
Since 1984 there have been no records of Rhaebo colomai (Hoogmoed, 1985) within the territory of Ecuador. This species was known from 2 localities in the province of Carchi, northwestern Ecuador, and the department of Nariño, southwestern Colombia, which were reported in 1979 and 2015, respectively. We report the recent sightings of R. colomai at 3...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: We analysed elevational and microclimatic drivers of thermal tolerance diversity in a tropical mountain frog clade to test three macrophysiological predictions: less spatial variation in upper than lower thermal limits (Bretts' heat-invariant hypothesis); narrower thermal tolerance ranges in habitats with less variation in temperature (Janzen'...
Article
Full-text available
We describe a new species of Pristimantis from the montane forest of the Río Zuñag Ecological Reserve, upper basin of the Pastaza River, Ecuador. Pristimantis mallii sp. n. is characterized by a snout-vent length of 11.6-21.3 mm in adult males (n = 12), 22.6-34.3 mm in adult females (n = 8), and is compared morphologically and genetically with Pris...
Article
Full-text available
We describe a new species of Lynchius from the eastern montane forest of southern Ecuador. We also report the occurrence of L. parkeri in Ecuador, on paramos of Yacuri National Park, near the border with Peru. We used morphological and genetic evidence for the description of the new species and the new report of L. parkeri. Phylogenetic analyses we...
Article
Full-text available
The Hyloscirtus larinopygion group is a clade of 16 species of large hylids that inhabit cascading Andean streams. They have brown coloration that, in most species, contrasts with bright marks. Herein morpho- logical and genetic evidence is used to describe a new species of the group from Cordillera del Cóndor, a sub-Andean mountain chain that has...
Article
Full-text available
In 2005, the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Conservation International (CI) convened the Amphibian Conservation Summit to design a global plan of action, the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP), to address the decline of amphibian populations worldwide. The IUCN SSC Amphibian...
Article
Full-text available
In 2005, the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Conservation International (CI) convened the Amphibian Conservation Summit to design a global plan of action, the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP), to address the decline of amphibian populations worldwide. The IUCN SSC Amphibian...
Article
Full-text available
Scinax is a speciose genus of Neotropical hylid frogs. We describe a new species from western Ecuador (elevations between 0 and 1207 m) using morphology, vocalizations, and DNA sequences. We also present a new phylogeny for Scinax based on mitochondrial DNA genes 12S rRNA, Cytochrome Oxidase sub-unit I, Cytochrome B, 16S rRNA, NADH dehy- drogenase...