Scott L. Travers's research while affiliated with Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and other places

Publications (22)

Article
Full-text available
Identifying hotspots of biological diversity is a key step in conservation prioritisation. Melanesia—centred on the vast island of New Guinea—is increasingly recognised for its exceptionally species-rich and endemic biota. Here we show that Melanesia has the world’s most diverse insular amphibian fauna, with over 7% of recognised global frog specie...
Article
The 71 currently known species of dwarf geckos of the genus Lygodactylus are a clade of biogeographic interest due to their occurrence in continental Africa, Madagascar, and South America. Furthermore, because many species are morphologically cryptic, our knowledge of species-level diversity within this genus is incomplete, as indicated by numerous...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the prevalence of high‐throughput sequencing in phylogenetics, many relationships remain difficult to resolve because of conflicting signal among genomic regions. Selection of different types of molecular markers from different genomic regions is required to overcome these challenges. For evolutionary studies in frogs, we introduce the publ...
Article
Recent phylogenetic studies of gekkonid lizards have revealed unexpected, widespread paraphyly and polyphyly among genera, unclear generic boundaries, and a tendency towards the nesting of taxa exhibiting specialized, apomorphic morphologies within geographically widespread "generalist" clades. This is especially true in Australasia, where monophyl...
Article
Full-text available
The birds of the Solomon Islands have received ample historical attention by explorers, collectors and researchers. Despite this, knowledge of the region's avifauna is categorised by BirdLife International as ‘poor’ and multiple new populations of birds have been found in recent years, highlighting our incomplete knowledge of the region's avifauna....
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite the increasing use of high-throughput sequencing in phylogenetics, many phylogenetic relationships remain difficult to resolve because of conflict between gene trees and species trees. Selection of different types of markers (i.e. protein-coding exons, non-coding introns, ultra-conserved elements) is becoming important to alleviate these ph...
Preprint
Recent phylogenetic studies of gekkonid lizards have revealed unexpected, widespread paraphyly and polyphyly among genera, unclear generic boundaries, and a tendency towards the nesting of taxa exhibiting specialized, apomorphic morphologies within geographically widespread ''generalist'' clades. This is especially true in the Australasia, where th...
Article
Full-text available
Regions with complex geological histories often have diverse and highly endemic biotas, yet inferring the ecological and historical processes shaping this relationship remains challenging. Here, in the context of the taxon cycle model of insular community assembly, we investigate patterns of lineage diversity and habitat usage in a newly characteri...
Article
We describe a new species of Cornufer, subgenus Batrachylodes, from high-elevation forests of New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago of Eastern Melanesia. The new species, Cornufer exedrus sp. nov., is a biogeographically disjunct member of the Batrachylodes clade, representing the first record of the subgenus from outside of the Solomon Ar...
Article
The islands of East Melanesia have generated key insights into speciation processes and community assembly. However, when and how these islands began to form, emerge and accumulate endemic taxa remains poorly understood. Here, we show that two divergent lineages within the world’s most diverse genus of geckos (Cyrtodactylus) occur in the Solomon Is...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The Indian Tectonic Plate split from Gondwanaland approximately 120 MYA and set the Indian subcontinent on a ~ 100 million year collision course with Eurasia. Many phylogenetic studies have demonstrated the Indian subcontinent brought with it an array of endemic faunas that evolved in situ during its journey, suggesting this isolated s...
Article
The microhylid frog genus Kaloula is an adaptive radiation spanning the edge of the Asian mainland and multiple adjacent island archipelagos, with much of the clade's diversity associated with an endemic Philippine radiation. Relationships among clades from the Philippines, however, remain unresolved. With ultraconserved element (UCE) and mitogenom...
Article
Full-text available
Songbirds (oscine passerines) are the most species-rich and cosmopolitan bird group, comprising almost half of global avian diversity. Songbirds originated in Australia, but the evolutionary trajectory from a single species in an isolated continent to worldwide proliferation is poorly understood. Here, we combine the first comprehensive genome-scal...
Data
Area coding for ancestral range estimation and notes on clade origins.
Data
Supplementary Figures 1-11, Supplementary Table 1, Supplementary Discussion and Supplementary References
Article
Full-text available
We describe two new species of morphologically cryptic monitor lizards (genus Varanus) from the Philippine Archipelago: Varanus dalubhasa sp. nov. and V. bangonorum sp. nov. These two distinct evolutionary lineages are members of the V. salvator species complex, and historically have been considered conspecific with the widespread, northern Philipp...
Article
Full-text available
A new species of high elevation dwarf gecko (Gekkonidae: Lygodactylus) is described from Mount Namuli, northern Mozambique. This new species is distinguished from other closely related species in the genus Lygodactylus by body size, scalation, and color, and is genetically divergent from congeners. The species is most similar genetically and morpho...
Article
Full-text available
The mourning gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris) is a nocturnal, parthenogenetic species that has been introduced in Colombia. Despite more than 70 years of collecting activity in the country, there has yet to be a thorough evaluation of its distribution in Colombia. Here we review all records from eight museum collections, along with literature report...

Citations

... The frog fauna of East Melanesia shows a particularly marked differentiation from that of nearby mainland New Guinea, being dominated by a single radiation of direct-developing species in the family Ceratobatrachidae that has diversified greatly in ecology and associated body form (Menzies 2006;Brown et al. 2015;Oliver et. al. 2022). In contrast, the two frog families that dominate on nearby New Guinea are depauperate in East Melanesia (Menzies 2006). There are just two species of Microhylidae (both endemic to New Britain), while there are probably over 400 species in this radiation on New Guinea (Oliver et. al. 2022). The pelodryadid treetrogs are slightly more di ...
... contrast with the first 15 years of the new millennium, during which dramatic changes occurred in both our understanding of the higher-level phylogeny of amphibians and in the corresponding taxonomy, the past five years have seen much less flux. This stability has been maintained despite the transition from Sanger-sequencing-based multilocus phylogenetic approaches and mitogenomic analyses to phylogenomic analyses based on new datasets of hundreds to thousands of sequenced loci (e.g., Lemmon and Lemmon, 2012;Portik et al., 2016;Hutter et al., 2021). There is complete agreement among recent phylogenomic studies regarding the familylevel relationships of salamanders (Shen et al., 2013;Hime et al., 2021) and caecilians; among the recent major studies, only Hime et al. (2021) included caecilians, but their findings are in agreement with prior understanding of caecilian relationships based on Sanger data, such as Kamei et al. (2012). ...
... Part of the l. fischeri group, which also contains l. thomensis and l. conraui (Röll et al. 2010;Gippner et al. 2021). See comments on l. conraui. ...
... We believe this is the first published observation since it was first found on Malaita (Mayr 1931b). This species was also recently documented for the first time on Isabel since it's discovery in 1927 ( DeCicco et al. 2019). Identification: Small bird with proportionately long bill, white supercilium, and dull yellowish wash underneath (apparently duller than photos of other subspecies) contrasting with a darkish back and wings. ...
... It is characterized by the presence of more than 18 subdigital toe IV scansors, presence of tubercles on vetro-lateral folds, absence of femoral pores, and presence of precloacal pores. It can be recognized by the male's loud vocalization, frequently heard at night or early in the morning, which sounds like "tokay!" (Bauer et al. 2008;Wood et al. 2019). ...
... As such, we refrain from proposing new names or other liberal taxonomic changes, which might cascade into downstream error in synonymy (Frost 2020), create additional misunderstanding for biodiversity information products (AmphibiaWeb 2020) and national Red List summaries (Gonzalez et al. 2018), or result in extraneous, wasteful expenditure of conservation resources (Diesmos and Brown 2011;Leviton et al. 2018). The emergence of conspicuous case studies involving sequential reconsiderations of seemingly straightforward anuran taxonomic revisions, using increasingly sophisticated analytical approaches (e.g., multispecies coalescent-based methods and empirical characterizations of gene flow) and the power of statistical species delimitation procedures coupled with technology allowing locus sampling from across the genome (Hutter et al. 2019) have made clear the weaknesses, pitfalls, and potential for error associated with making strong conclusions on the basis of single-locus studies, and even those on the basis of a handful of loci (Brown and Guttman 2002;Brown and Siler 2014;Chan et al. 2020). ...
... The type genus of the family Gekkonidae, the genus Gekko, is undergoing reorganization (Wood et al., 2019) involving division into new subgenera and subsumption of two other genera into Gekko. In contrast to Geckolepis and Tarentola, where osteoderms have been documented across the respective genera, osteoderms in Gekko are only known to occur in Gekko gecko. ...
... Also, failure rates of using exclusively morphological data or single-marker barcoding confrm that neither should be used as a single information source (Hillis, 1987;Smith and Carstens, 2019). This awareness raises the need for a cultural change in the practice of revisionary taxonomy, which places an objective burden of proof on authors, necessitating statistical analyses of multiple data streams (Fujita et al., 2012;Chan et al., 2017Chan et al., , 2018Chan et al., , 2020Jackson et al., 2017;Oliver et al., 2018). In recent years, integrative taxonomic approaches that combine multiple, independent, data or character sets (such as external morphological, internal anatomical, ecological, acoustic, and larval traits; apart from geographic considerations, sympatry versus allopatry, and inference of biogeographical range evolution), and rigorous statistical procedures, are becoming industry standard (Dayrat, 2005;Padial et al., 2010;Schlick-Steiner et al., 2010). ...
... The islands of East Melanesia (also sometimes in part referred to as Northern Melanesia) extend from Manus in the west through New Ireland, New Britain and the Solomon Islands in the east, and under some interpretations through to Vanuatu and Fiji (Mayr and Diamond 2002;Lucky and Sarnat 2010;Lavery et al. 2016;Oliver et al. 2016). The East Melanesian islands have never been connected with any continental landmass, and their biota is believed to be entirely derived from taxa that have arrived via overwater dispersal (Mayr and Diamond 2002;Lavery et al. 2016;Oliver et al. 2018). Accordingly, many taxa that have diversified on nearby larger landmasses such as New Guinea (herein considered to be part of West Melanesia) are absent. ...
... The notable increase in model-anuran mRNA from 2000 to 2007 is largely from the NCBI full-length cDNA project, which added Xenopus to its list of focal species in 2002 (Klein et al., 2002;Gerhard et al., 2004). Additional notable contributors to increases in nDNA include whole-genome shotgun sequences from X. laevis (Session et al., 2016) and Nanorana parkeri (Sun et al., 2015), as well as other large-scale sequencing projects (e.g., Ultra Conserved Element sequences from Kaloula; Alexander et al., 2017;Fig. 8). ...