Evolution and Conservation

Tortoise

Reptiles are among the most diverse group of amniote vertebrates, but whole genome sequencing efforts are only just now focusing on studying the diversity in lepidosaurs, turtles and crocodilians. The Kusumi-Dolby Lab is focusing on studying reptilian adaptations and phenotypic diversity at multiple levels:

  • Species of desert tortoise, including
    • the Mojave desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii
    • the Sonoran desert tortoise, G. morafkai
    • the Texas tortoise, G. berlandieri
  • Species of Anolis lizards, including 
    • the slender anole, A. apletophallus
    • the grass anole, A. auratus
    • the Central American giant anole, A. frenatus
  • Species of Phrynosomatid lizards, including
    • the eastern fence lizard, Sceloporus undulatus
    • Yarrow's spiny lizard, S. jarrovii
    • Central Baja spiny lizard, S. zosteromus
    • the Baja California brush lizard, Urosaurus nigricaudus
  • Plant species in the southwestern USA and Mexico, including
    • the brittlebush, Encelia farinosa