SICB Division of Phylogenetics and Comparative Biology (DPCB)

DPCB Researchers Database Entry

Luke Holbrook

Phylogeny of Mammals
I'm interested in all aspects of vertebrate morphology, including phylogeny, paleontology, function, and development. My main research interest is the phylogeny of mammals, specifically how the major groups (orders) of mammals are related to one another. Currently, I'm working on one particular order, the Perissodactyla, the order that includes the living horses, rhinoceroses, and tapirs, as well as a variety of fossils. Perissodactyls are an important part of early Cenozoic mammal faunas, and Iu2019m interested in their origins and early evolution, including their relationship to other groups of extant and extinct mammals. My work focuses on fossils and particularly what can be learned from the skull and the postcranial skeleton, as historically inferences regarding perissodactyl evolution have come from teeth. More recently Iu2019ve also become interested in enamel microstructure, since there are interesting patterns of microstructure variation in perissodactyls that appear to relate to phylogeny.