Talk at CES on 8 March 2017 at 4:00 pm titled "The who's who of Asian Horned Frogs (genus Megophrys): resolving the surprising evolutionary history of a poorly known amphibian group." by Dr. Stephen Mahoney from The Natural History Museum, London

Topic: 
The who's who of Asian Horned Frogs (genus Megophrys): resolving the surprising evolutionary history of a poorly known amphibian group.
Speaker: 
Dr. Stephen Mahoney, The Natural History Museum, London
Date & Time: 
8 Mar 2017 - 4:00pm
Event Type: 
Talk
Venue: 
CES Seminar Hall, 3rd Floor, Biological Sciences Building
Coffee/Tea: 
Before the talk
Abstract:

The Asian Horned Frogs (Megophryinae: Megophryidae) are a taxonomically and systematically poorly known group of primarily montane specialist species. They are found throughout the southern Himalayas, central and southern China, Indochina, the Greater Sundas and the Philippines. I will present part of my PhD thesis work that aimed for the first time to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history of Asian horned frogs based on the most taxonomically complete study of this group ever to have been attempted. Beside determining how species (and species groups) are related to each other, I will discuss how we overcame the problems of estimating ancestral divergence ages given the absence of a fossil record for this group, and the surprising results that might lead to a re-evaluation of divergence dates of other frog families. My work required a complete overhaul of horned frogs taxonomy, synonymising genera and identifying many currently unnamed ("new") species that have previously been hidden under "catch all" cryptic species complexes.

Speaker Bio: 
Dr. Stephen Mahony is an Irish born herpetologist who specialises in the taxonomy, systematics and evolution of south and southeast Asian amphibians and reptiles. His publications cover a broad range of topics, with demonstrated expertise in taxonomy, nomenclature, morphological evolution, molecular phylogenetics, biogeography, timetree analyses and natural history. His work so far has resulted in descriptions of 30 new species of frogs and lizards, elevations of seven synonyms and generic reallocations of more than 70 species. Stephen graduated from his PhD in 2016 from University College Dublin (Ireland) and University of Delhi where he focused on the Asian Horned Frog group, Megophrys.