This research takes advantage of the fact that Australia is home to a huge diversity of “reptiles” and frogs. These non-mammalian tetrapods are developmentally extremely interesting, both in terms of how tetrapod morphological diversity evolves and in terms of understanding what, if anything, has changed in the long transition to present-day mammals. Topics include:

  • Evolution of skeletal development in Geckos – this project, in collaboration with Dr Mark Hutchinson at the South Australian Museum, aims to work out how Geckos turned from perfectly good lizards into weakly ossified, paedomorphic forms and how one gecko family, the pygopods, turned this trend on its head by hyper-ossifying their skeleton.
  • How does the shape of adult frogs and tadpoles co-evolve?
  • The Australian gecko Gehyra variegata. With permission from Dr. Mark Hutchinson

    Gulfs Delma (Delma molleri), a legless gecko. With permission from Dr. Mark Hutchinson