Date of Award

Fall 12-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Biological Sciences


Biological Sciences

Major Professor

Anthony, Nicola

Second Advisor

Bell, Charles

Third Advisor

Grady, James


Duikers are a species rich subfamily of threatened African antelope whose recent origin poses a challenge to the molecular identification of taxa and estimation of their phylogeny. I test the ability of DNA barcodes to identify all taxa within this group. I then use mitochondrial and nuclear genes to estimate a multi-locus species tree and to date divergence times. DNA barcodes are unable to distinguish many sister taxa, calling into question the utility of barcodes for the regulation of duiker trade or in identification of field-collected feces. The multi-locus phylogeny provides support for the relationships among major duiker lineages and placement of two problematic taxa, but challenges the validity of the savanna genus and identifies hybridization between taxa. This study reveals that most duikers diverged during the Pleistocene, meriting further inquiry into the role that Pleistocene glacial cycling played in the diversification and population structuring of duikers.


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