Dr Julia Day
Understanding the processes that lead to speciation is fundamental to explaining the diversity of life. Yet biodiversity is not evenly distributed, with some environments, or groups of organisms containing higher species richness than others. The East African great lakes, some of the richest freshwater ecosystems on Earth, are regarded as biodiversity hotspots. These lakes, analogous to islands, not only encompass staggering biodiversity, but are home to multiple endemic faunal radiations, the most celebrated being the cichlid fishes. As such these environments have received considerable attention from evolutionary biologists in providing natural experimental settings in which to study processes that underlie speciation. To address questions pertaining to why biological diversity is uneven and factors affecting speciation in island-type settings, much of my current research is focused on the evolutionary radiations of different fish groups from these water bodies. In order to understand the tempo and mode of evolution, molecular data is used to reconstruct species-level phylogenetic trees, which can further be used to estimate the timing of evolutionary events as well as rates of diversification. I am particularly interested in studying comparative systems, in order to better understand whether there are common factors that have promoted the elevated levels of species richness and how this biodiversity is maintained.
African Great Lakes
I organise and teach on BIOL2009 Animal Biodiversity, as well as providing guest lectures on BIOL3018 Vertebrate Evolution; BIOL3012 Sex, Genes and Evolution; and BIOl2004 Fundamentals of Molecular Biology.
- Day JJ, Peart CR, Brown KJ, Friel JP, Bills R, Moritz T (2013). Continental Diversification of an African Catfish Radiation (Mochokidae: Synodontis). Systematic Biology, , - . doi:10.1093/sysbio/syt001
- Brown KJ, Britz R, Bills R, Rüber L, Day JJ (2011). Pectoral fin loss in the Mastacembelidae: a new species from Lake Tanganyika. Journal of Zoology, , - . doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2011.00804.x
- de-Silva DL, Day JJ, Elias K, Willmott K, Whinnett A, Mallet J (2010). Molecular phylogenetics of the neotropical butterfly subtribe Oleriina (Nymphalidae: Danainae: Ithomiini). Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution, 55, 1032 - 1041.
- Brown KJ, Rüber L, Bills R, Day JJ (2010). Mastacembelid eels support Lake Tanganyika as an evolutionary hotspot of diversification. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10, - .
- Day JJ, Bills R, Friel JP (2009). Lacustrine radiations in African Synodontis catfish.. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 22(4), 805 - 817.
- Day JJ, Cotton JA, Barraclough TB (2008). Tempo and mode of diversification of Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes. PLoS ONE, 3(3), e1730 - .
- Day JJ, Santini S, Garcia-Moreno J (2007). Phylogenetic relationships of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid tribe Lamprologini: The story from mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 45(2), 629 - 642. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.02.025
- Loader SP, Pisani D, Cotton JA, Gower DJ, Day JJ, Wilkinson M (2007). Relative timescales reveal multiple origins of parallel distjunct distributions of African caecilian amphibians.. Biology Letters, 3(5), 505 - 508.
- Day JJ, Wilkinson M (2006). On the origin of the Synodontis catfish flock from Lake Tanganyika. Biology Letters, 2(4), 548 - 552. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2006.0532
- Day JJ, Norman DB, Gale AS, Upchurch P, Powell HP (2004). New Middle Jurassic dinosaur trackways from Oxfordshire, U.K.. Palaeontology, 47(2), 319 - 348.
- Stager JC, Day JJ, Santini S (2004). Comment on "Origin of the superflock of cichlid fishes from Lake Victoria, East Africa".. Science, 304, 963 - 963.
- Day JJ, Barrett PM (2004). Material referred to Megalosaurus (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Middle Jurassic of Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, England: One taxon or two?. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 115(4), 359 - 366.
- Day JJ (2003). Evolutionary relationships of the Sparidae (Teleostei: Percoidei), integrating fossil and Recent data. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Science, 93, 333 - 353.
- Day JJ (2002). UK research - Accounting error leads to funding drought. Science, 296(5572), 1383 - 1383.
- Day JJ, Norman DB, Upchurch P, Philip Powell H (2002). Biomechanics: Dinosaur locomotion from a new trackway. Nature, 415(6871), 494 - 495.
- Day JJ, Upchurch P, Norman DB, Gale AS, Powell HP (2002). Sauropod Trackways: evolution and behaviour. Science, 296, 1659 - . doi:10.1126/science.1070167
- Day JJ (2002). Phylogenetic relationships of the Sparidae (Teleostei: Percoidei) and implications for convergent trophic evolution. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 76(2), 269 - 302.
- Day JJ (1999). A new species of labrid fish (Teleostei: Perciformes) from the Lower Miocene of Northern Cape Province, South Africa. Tertiary Research, 19, 85 - 89.