Bromham Group - macroevolution, molecular evolution & Language evolution

Tempo and mode of molecular evolution
We use phylogenetic comparative methods to investigate the characteristics of lineages that influence the pattern and rate of genome evolution. This includes life history characteristics (such as body size, generation time, longevity and fecundity), behaviour (such as sociality and mating strategies), ecology (such as climate, distribution and niche) and evolution (such as the rate of diversification).

Tempo and mode of evolution
Why are some lineages more likely to producing descendant lineages than others? What are the drivers of diversification? Do non-random patterns of extinction shape species assemblages? Why do some complex adaptations appear near the tips of a phylogeny, suggesting both frequent gain and frequent loss?

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Selected publications

  • Bromham L, Cowman PF, Lanfear R (2013) Parasitic plants have increased rates of molecular evolution across all three genomes. BMC Evolutionary Biology 13:126 Doi:12610.1186/1471-2148-13-126)
  • Duchene D, Bromham L (2013)Rates of molecular evolution and diversification in plants: chloroplast substitution rates correlate with species richness in the Proteaceae.  BMC Evolutionary Biology 13:65 DOI:10.1186/1471-2148-13-65
  • Hanna, E. & Cardillo, M. (in press) Clarifying the relationship between torpor and anthropogenic extinction risk in mammals. J. Zool. Lond.
  • Bennett, T.H., Flowers, T.J., Bromham, L. (2013) Repeated evolution of salt-tolerance in grasses. Biol Letts 9, 20130029 
  • Bromham, L. & Bennett, T.H. (in press) Salt tolerance evolves more frequently in C4 grass lineages. J. Evol. Biol.
  • Warren, D.L., A.N. Wright, S.N. Seifiert, and H.B. Shaffer. (in press) Incorporating model complexity and spatial sampling bias into ecological niche models of climate change risks faced by California vertebrate species of concern. Diversity and Distributions
  • Moray, C., Lanfear, R. & Bromham, L. (2014) Domestication and the Mitochondrial Genome: Comparing Patterns and Rates of Molecular Evolution in Domesticated Mammals and Birds and Their Wild Relatives. Genome Biology and Evolution 6: 161-169
  • Bromham, L., Saslis-Lagoudakis, C.H., Bennett, T.H., Flowers, T.J. (2013) Soil alkalinity and salt tolerance: adapting to multiple stresses. Biol Letts 9(5) 20130642
  • Hanna, E. & Cardillo, M. (2013) Island mammal extinctions are determined by interactive effects of life history, island biogeography and mesopredator suppression. Glob. Ecol. Biogeog.
  • Cardillo, M. & Pratt, R.C. (2013) Evolution of a hotspot genus: geographic variation in speciation and extinction rates in Banksia (Proteaceae). BMC Evol Biol, 13:155
  • Duchene, D., et al. (2013) Phylogenetic evidence for recent diversification of obligate coral-dwelling gobies compared with their host corals (PDF, 326KB). Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 69: 123-132
  • Warren, D.L. (2013) "Niche modeling": that unpleasant sensation means it's working. Trends Ecol Evol 28: 193-194
  • Duchene, D. & Bromham, L. (2013) Rates of molecular evolution and diversification in plants: chloroplast substitution rates correlate with species-richness in the Proteaceae. BMC Evol Biol, 13:65
  • Hanna, E. & Cardillo, M. (2013) A comparison of current and reconstructed historic geographic range sizes as predictors of extinction risk in Australian mammals. Biol. Cons, 158:196–204.

All publications

Ancient DNA and evolution in the Pleistocene

Event | Wed 31 July 2019

Historically, our understanding of the evolution and diversity of extinct species has been based on interpretation of the fossil record.

Tempo and Mode Seminar: Indigenous advantage: can Northern Australia lead through innovation

Event | Thu 1 November 2018

Indigenous Leader Eddie Fry has challenged us to think about a 50 year plan and ‘the Indigenous Estate lifted beyond current perceptions of what is

Tempo and Mode Seminar: Theseus’s ship meets the winds of change: understanding collapse and resilience in social-ecological systems

Event | Wed 17 October 2018

We face an urgent need for better theories of rapid change in social-ecological systems.

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: Assumptions, Models and Belief in Molecular Dating

Event | Fri 15 June 2018

Confidence in molecular dating analyses have grown with the increasing sophistication of the methods.

1,500 endangered languages at high risk

Story | Friday 17 December 2021
A world-first study warns 1,500 endangered languages could no longer be spoken by the end of this century.

Brilliant ANU scientists take out Eureka prizes

Story | Friday 8 October 2021
The brains behind a book aimed at inspiring children with a gravity-defying emu and the team helping to save endangered languages are among the winners of Australia's top science awards - the Eureka Prizes.

Spicy perfection isn’t to prevent infection

Story | Friday 5 February 2021
The next time you tuck in to a tikka masala you might find yourself asking a burning question: are spices used in dishes to help stop infection?

Climate a bigger driver of language diversity than landscape

Story | Monday 20 May 2019
A region's climate has a greater impact than landscape on how many languages are spoken there, new research from The Australian National University (ANU) shows.

Cross-discipline research is being short changed

Story | Thursday 30 June 2016
Bringing together researchers from a range of fields can help solve complex problems, but research from ANU has found interdisciplinary research is consistently short changed.

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