Evolution of tiger snake skulls in response to prey type and size between island and mainland populations
This morphological honours project examines the evolution of tiger snake skull shape in response to different prey type and size between island and mainland populations.
Researcher Vicki Thomson's research focuses on the evolution and adaptation of tiger snakes, with special emphasis on how island populations have diverged from the mainland over both long and short timeframes.
Current research includes:
- population genomic approaches to understanding the spatial genetic diversity of tiger snakes;
- evolution of venom to different suites of prey species;
- development of gigantism and dwarfism in body size on islands;
- head size and shape differences at the population level;
- evolution and adaptation of skin pigment between populations and in response to UV light exposure; and
- epigenetic regulation of phenotypic plasticity.