Molecular evolutionary rates of mammals


The aim of this research is a comprehensive investigation of the causes and consequences of variation in the rate of molecular evolution in mammals. The work stems from a recognition that multiple factors may influence the substitution rate in a particular gene in a particular lineage; these include properties of the gene which apply to all lineages, properties of the lineage applying to all genes in that lineage, and factors that apply solely to one gene in one lineage. The research aims to separate and quantify these components of rate variation, and to make progress towards identifying their causes. Then, the work aims to make practical use of the patterns found to develop new methods for molecular dating and phylogenetic estimation. Finally, these improved methods will be used to address controversies about the ordinal radiation of mammals.


Funded by BBSRC project grant BB/D017750/1

Andrew Rambaut, 2007