TAXONOMY, SYSTEMATICS, AND PHYLOGEOGRAPHY OF THE SUNDA SHELF PHILAUTUS (ANURA: RHACOPHORIDAE)
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The following work on the genus Philautus represents one of the most comprehensive treatment of any vertebrate taxa of the Sunda Shelf. It is unique in the fact that it includes representative sampling from all of the major landmasses: Borneo, Java, Sumatra, and the Malay Peninsula, all of which have a tightly interdigitated geologic history. However, until now, lack of sampling from Sumatra, and especially Java, has inhibited accurate phylogenetic and phylogeographic inference. It also represents one of the most in depth genetic analyses of Sumatran frogs. The inclusiveness and depth of sampling allows for unique insight into the phylogeographic history of the Sunda Shelf, one of the most biodiverse regions on earth, and the factors that have shaped the diversity of Anurans on Sumatra. The work necessarily begins with a taxonomic and systematic treatment of Philautus from Java and Sumatra, a topic unaddressed since 1923. Upon establishing the identity and systematic relationships of the organisms in question, I use genetic methodologies to assess the phylogeographic history of the genus on the Sunda Shelf, its center of diversity, and next generation sequencing to investigate the drivers of anuran diversity (or lack thereof) on Sumatra.