Team: Arthur Georges, Tariq Ezaz, Janine Deakin, Stephen Sarre, Clare Holleley, Ira Deveson, Craig Smith, Changwei Shao, Jennifer Graves, Paul Waters, Lisa Schwanz, Denis O'Meally and Xiuwen Zhang
We are using novel genetic, molecular and cytological approaches to build a picture of the mechanisms of sex determination in the central bearded dragon, Pogona vitticeps and other squamates. Central questions we address are: Which chromosomes are the sex chromosomes and what genes do they contain among which is the master switch? How does temperature exert its influence in species with thermolabile sex? What drives transitions in the relative influence of genotype and environment, and how do gene-environment interactions play out in the wild?
Team: Arthur Georges, Peter Unmack, Matthew Young, Scott Thomson and Xiuwen Zhang
Australia has a unique freshwater turtle fauna, dominated by the Family Chelidae. Chelid turtles are found only in Australasia and South America, even as fossils, and so are of clear Gondwanal origin. Remarkably, as with the marsupials, the Australian and South American radiations appear to be independent, with no crossover in the relationships among the various species on each continent. Our research ranges from phylogeny, including recent sequencing of the whole mitochondiral genomes of the Australian chelids, to examining species boundaries with allozymes (formerly) and now single nucleotide markers, to phylogeography at regional scales.