Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, Massey University, PhD
Determining unique evolutionary patterns for terrestrial invertebrates in Antarctic environments
This project aims to decipher the evolutionary history of polar invertebrates by investigating energetic (activity) budgets of the springtail Gomphiocephalus hodgsoni. Specifically, activity will be investigated through measurement of: (1) metabolic rates (via oxygen measurements); (2) pitfall trapping (where presence of organism in trap indicates activity of the organism in the preceding hours); and (3) growth over time. All three measures will be made across a range of spatial scales at Cape Bird, Ross Island, to examine the ways in which activity varies on an hourly, daily and seasonal scale. In addition to discovering what the metabolic rate is of springtails at ‘continental’ Antarctic sites, this project will provide information on the theoretical ‘metabolic rate elevation’ that has been proposed for polar species, and look at how activity varies across a range of temporal and spatial scales to help determine some of the unique evolutionary patterns that prevail for terrestrial invertebrates in Antarctic environments.
McGaughran, A. Polar evolution: molecular genetic and physiological parameters of Antarctic arthropod populations. PhD, Massey University, 2009.
Stevens, M. I., Frati, F. McGaughran, A., Spinsanti, G. and Hogg, I. 2007. Phylogeographic structure suggests multiple glacial refugia in northern Victoria Land for the endemic Antarctic springtail Desoria klovstadi (Collembola, Isotomidae). Zoologica scripta 36(2): 201-212.