Dr. B.M. (Ben) Wielstra
Introgressive hybridization and range dynamics in Triturus newts
- Room Number
- Sylvius buiding 6.4.16b
Me and Wieslaw Babik dipnetting for newts. Picture by Gonçalo Espregueira Themudo
My main interest is the interaction among closely species, both ecologically and genetically, during the course of their evolution. This requires studying a model system with quite specific characteristics, which can be studied in a natural setting.
At Naturalis Biodiversity Center we found the prefect model: crested newts (Triturus cristatus superspecies). Crested newts have long been employed in evolutionary biology. The group is distributed in the Mediterranean region, an area characterized by a turbulent geological and climatological history. The crested newt superspecies is composed of several forms which are distinct enough to be deemed species, but similar enough to exclude one another ecologically. The ranges of crested newt species are largely parapatric and border each other along narrow contact zones. Here, genetic interaction between species occurs. The contact zones are dynamic, meaning they shift position over time. Taken together, crested newts are the perfect model system to address my research questions.
I started working with Triturus during my Master education. This resulted in the following Master thesis: 'The molecular systematics of the crested newt Triturus cristatus superspecies based on mtDNA sequence data'. I continued with Triturus while pursuing my PhD. My PhD aimed to bring together the fields of GIS and Genetics, in order to increase the detail in which biogeographical patterns can be analyzed. This resulted in the following PhD thesis: 'Tracing Triturus through time: Phylogeography and spatial ecology ' . During my Postdoctoral research I have started to employ genomics in order to obtain a massive increase in genetic resolution for Triturus.
Triturus is a perfect model system in evolutionary studies and will continue to teach us about subjects such as speciation, niche evolution, competition and gene flow.
Triturus cristatus superspecies: your new favourite model organism. Upper panel: left a larva just hatched; right a larva close to metamorphosis. Lower panel: left a female; right a male in breeding costume. These sleepy newts were temporarily sedated and after non-invasisve tissue sampling they were released again. Pictures by me
Click here for a page on the avifauna of the Sunda region
Click here for a Google Scholar citation overview.
Wielstra B, Litvinchuk SN, Naumov B, Tzankov N, Arntzen JW (submitted) A revised taxonomy of crested newts in the Triturus karelinii group (Amphibia: Caudata: Salamandridae), with the description of a new species.
Vukov TD, Cvijanović M, Wielstra B, Kalezić ML (submitted) The roles of phylogeny and climate in shaping the variation in life-history traits observed in Triturus newts (Caudata, Salamandridae).
Arntzen JW, Wallis GP, Wielstra B (submitted) Spatial patterns of nuclear, mitochondrial and morphological transition in Triturus newts.
Wielstra B, Crnobrnja-Isailovic J, Skidmore AK, Sotiropoulos K, Toxopeus AG, Tzankov N, Vukov T, Arntzen JW (2013) Tracing glacial refugia of Triturus newts based on mitochondrial DNA phylogeography and species distribution modeling. Frontiers in Zoology 10: 13. pdf
Wielstra B, Baird AB, Arntzen JW (2013) A
multimarker phylogeography of crested newts (Triturus cristatus superspecies) reveals cryptic species. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 67: 167-175. pdf
Zieliński P, Nadachowska-Brzyska K, Wielstra B, Szkotak R, Covaciu-Marcov S, Cogălniceanu D, Babik W (2013) No evidence for nuclear introgression despite complete mtDNA replacement in the Carpathian newt (Lissotriton montandoni). Molecular Ecology 22: 1884-1903. pdf
Ivanović A, Üzüm N, Wielstra B, Olgun K, Litvinchuk SN, Kalezić ML, Arntzen JW (2013) Is mitochondrial DNA divergence of Near Eastern crested newts (Triturus karelinii group) reflected by differentiation of skull shape? Zoologischer Anzeiger 252: 269-277. pdf
Wielstra B, Beukema W, Arntzen JW, Skidmore AK, Toxopeus AG, Raes N (2012) Corresponding mitochondrial DNA and niche divergence for crested newt candidate species. PLoS ONE 7: e47771. pdfWielstra B, Arntzen JW (2012) Postglacial species displacement in Triturus newts deduced from asymmetrically introgressed mitochondrial DNA and ecological niche models. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12: 161. pdf
Wielstra B, Arntzen JW (2011) Unraveling the rapid radiation of crested newts (Triturus cristatus superspecies) using complete mitogenomic sequences. BMC Evolutionary Biology 11: 162. pdf
Wielstra B, Boorsma T, Pieterse SM, de Iongh HH (2011) The use of avian feeding guilds to detect small-scale forest disturbance: a case study in East Kalimantan, Borneo. Forktail 27: 55-62. pdf
Vukov TD, Sotiropoulos K, Wielstra B, Džukić G, Kalezić ML (2011) The evolution of the adult body form of the crested newt (Triturus cristatus superspecies, Caudata, Salamandridae). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 49: 324-334. pdf
Wielstra B, Espregueira Themudo G, Güclü Ö, Olgun K, Poyarkov NA, Arntzen JW (2010) Cryptic crested newt diversity at the Eurasian transition: the mitochondrial DNA phylogeography of Near Eastern Triturus newts. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56: 888-896. pdf
Arntzen JW, Wielstra B (2010) Where to draw the line? A nuclear genetic perspective on proposed range boundaries of the crested newts Triturus karelinii and T. arntzeni. Amphibia-Reptilia 31: 311-322. pdf
Espregueira Themudo G, Wielstra B, Arntzen JW (2009) Multiple nuclear and mitochondrial genes resolve the branching order of a rapid radiation of crested newts (Triturus, Salamandridae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 52: 321-328. pdf [Erratum in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 53: 359. pdf]
Arntzen JW, Espregueira Themudo G, Wielstra B (2007) The phylogeny of crested newts (Triturus cristatus superspecies): nuclear and mitochondrial genetic characters suggest a hard polytomy, in line with the paleogeography of the centre of origin. Contributions to Zoology 76:261-278. pdf
Sunday, March 31, 2013