Term of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Biology

Committee Chair

Lorenza Beati

Committee Member 1

Lance Durden

Committee Member 2

John Scott Harrison


Amblyomma Koch is a genus of hard-ticks with approximately 130 species. Its geographical range is typical for organisms with a Gondwanan origin. A majority of these species are endemic to the Neo- and Afrotropical regions, with the remaining taxa dispersed throughout Southeast Asia, Australia and the Pacific islands. Based on this distribution, we hypothesize that the genus dispersal patterns will mirror the fragmentation and continental drift of the Gondwanan supercontinent. Maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, Bayesian inference and node-dating analyses of nuclear 18S rDNA gene sequences reveal a more recent origin and radiation patterns within the genus and suggest that Amblyomma’s evolutionary history is more complex than simple continental drift (ancient Gondwanan vicariance) hypotheses.