People | Research | Publications | Teaching | Community | News

Information      -      Past Lab People      -      Picture Gallery



Matt Fujita

NSF Bioinformatics

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley

MCZ Room 500B
Tel: 617-496-8387
Fax: 617-495-5667


Research Interests

My research uses tools from phylogeography, phylogenetics, and genomics to investigate the evolutionary genetics and history of reptiles and amphibians. I currently have three main agendas: (1) Evolution of GC content in reptile genomes. Thiswork is the focus of my post-doctoral fellowship in the Edwards lab, and will utilize the newly sequenced Anolis genome to quantify the existence of GC-rich isochores and their influence on evolutionary processes (such as recombination and natural selection). (2) Genomics of parthenogenetic lizards. Because of they reproduce clonally, parthenogenetic lizards offer a unique opportunity to examine vertebrate genome evolution in the absence of sex. However, the genomes of parthenogenetic lizards have several anomalies, including being polyploid and having a hybrid origin. Using a diverse array of methods, including enzyme assays, quantitative PCR, and sequencing, I am investigating the consequences that these anomalies have on the genome of parthenogenetic lizards, focusing on finding evidence for genetic incompatibilities and recombination. (3) Phylogeography of Australian lizards. I am interested in using multi-locus approaches to tease apart the history of Australian lizards, with a focus on widely distributed species that span multiple biomes. Australia has been subject to intense aridification cycles during the Pliocene and Pleistocene, causing an expansion of a large arid zone that has acted as a barrier to some lineages (analogous to glaciers) but as an opportunity for diversification in others. In the Bynoe's gecko (Heteronotia binoei), my collaborators and I found substantial diversity in localized, distinct lineages in the northern tropical monsoon biome, but only a few, widespread lineages inhabiting the arid zone.




Fujita, M.K., T.N. Engstrom, D.E. Starkey, and H.B. Shaffer. 2004. Turtle phylogeny revisited: insights from a novel nuclear intron. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 31: 1031-1040.

Rödel, M-O., M. Gil, A..C. Agyei, A.D. Leaché, R.E. Diaz, M.K. Fujita, and R. Ernst. 2005. The amphibians of the forested parts of south-western Ghana. Salamandra: 41: 107-127.

Leache, A.D., M.-O. Rodel, C.W. Linkem, R.E. Diaz, A. Hillers, and M.K. Fujita. 2006. Biodiversity in a forest island: reptiles and amphibians of the Togo Hills, Kyabobo National Park, Ghana. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 4(1): 22-45.

Fujita, M.K., J.L. Boore, C. Moritz. 2007. Multiple origins and rapid evolution of duplicated mitochondrial genes in parthenogenetic geckos (Heteronotia binoei; Squamata, Gekkonidae). Molecular Biology and Evolution 24:2775-2786.

Fujita, M.K., J.A. McGuire, S.C. Donnellan, C. Moritz. In preparation. Systematics and biogeography of the Bynoe’s gecko (Heteronotia binoei; Gekkonidae).




Back to top