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We are particularly interested in the phylogenetic relationships between extinct and extant species but we also work on purely extant groups, including primates, honeycreepers and sharks. One group we have a long-term interest in are proboscideans, with a number of recently extinct members that are amenable to ancient DNA analyses, which we have used to determine the phylogenetic position of the woolly mammoth and the African forest elephant. We are also working on sea cows, including the extinct Steller’s sea cow, the scimitar cat Homotherium and the extinct giant beaver Castoroides.

Recent selected publications:

Springer, M.S., Signore, A.V., Paijmans, J.L., Vélez-Juarbe, J., Domning, D.P., Bauer, C.E., He, K., Crerar, L., Campos, P.F., Murphy, W.J., Meredith, R.W., Gatesy, J., Willerslev, E., MacPhee, R.D., Hofreiter, M. and Campbell K.L. (2015) Interordinal gene capture, the phylogenetic position of Steller's sea cow based on molecular and morphological data, and the macroevolutionary history of Sirenia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 91, 178-193 (published online 4th june 2015, doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2015.05.022).

Welcker, F., Collins, M.J., Thomas, J.A., Wadsley, M., Brace, B., Cappellini, E., Turvey, S.T., Reguero, M., Gelfo, J.N., Kramarz, A.,  Burger, J., Thomas-Oates, J., Ashford, D.A., Ashton, P., Rowsell, K., Porter, D.M., Kessler, B., Fisher, R., Baessmann, C., Kaspar, S., Olsen, J., Kiley, P., Elliot, J., Kelstrup, C., Mullin, V., Hofreiter, M., Willerslev, E., Hublin, J.-J., Orlando, L., Barnes I. & MacPhee, R.D.E. (2015) Ancient Proteins Demonstrate South American Ungulates are Laurasiatheres, not Afrotheres. Nature, 522 (7554), 81-84 (publishes online 18th March 2015, doi: 10.1038/nature14249).

Finstermeier, K., Zinner, D., Brameier, M., Meyer, M., Kreuz E. Hofreiter, M. and Roos, C. (2013) A mitogenomic phylogeny of living primates. PLoS One, 8 (7), e69504 (published online 16th July 2013; doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069504).

Lerner, H. R. L., Meyer, M., James, H. F., Hofreiter, M. and Fleischer, R. C. (2011) Multilocus resolution of phylogeny and timescale in the extant adaptive radiation of Hawaiian honeycreepers. Current Biology, 21 (21), 1838-1844 (published online 21st October 2011; doi:1 0.1016/j.cub.2011.09.039).

Rohland, N., Reich, D., Mallick, S., Meyer, M., Green, R.E., Georgiadis, N.J., Roca, A., and Hofreiter, M. (2010) Genomic DNA sequences from mastodon and woolly mammoth reveal deep speciation of forest and savanna elephants. PLoS Biology, 8 (12): e1000564 (published online 21st December 2010, doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000564).