Morphological evolution and diversification of the elapid snake radiation
Investigate the evolution and diversification of the elapid snake radiation using macroevolutionary analyses of 3D morphometric and ecological data.
Kate's group focuses on speciation, trait evolution and biodiversity discovery/conservation, especially in aquatic snakes. Current projects involve:
- Sequencing sea snake genomes to uncover population history and genomic patterns of speciation.
- Reconstructing morphological evolution in sea snakes, especially the remarkably frequent origin of ‘microcephalic’ burrowing-prey specialists and possible role in promoting reproductive isolation and rapid species diversification.
- Molecular evolution of sensory systems in the transition to aquatic habitats in snakes, including vision, skin photoreception and chemoreception.
- Sea snake conservation genetics and management in partnership with Western Australian trawl fisheries.
Our research has a substantial fieldwork component focused primarily in Indonesia and Western Australia.