Arthropod Phylogeny, Evolution and Biogeography

Arthropoda is the largest animal phylum. Arthropods’ hard exoskeleton makes it ideal to explore their morphology and development and we use arthropods as models to study phylogeny, diversification and biogeography in terrestrial environments. Much of our work has focused on Opiliones (harvestmen), Araneae (spiders), and Chilopoda (centipedes). Our group is specially interested in the systematics and biogeography of Cyphophthalmi (mite harvestmen).

Current Funding:

Past Funding:

Completed theses:

  • Sarah Boyer, 2007: Evolution and diversity of Cyphophthalmi (Arachnida, Opiliones):  Systematics and biogeography in New Zealand, across Gondwana, and worldwide
  • Ronald Clouse, 2010: Molecular and morphological phylogenetics and biogeography of a Southeast Asian arachnid family (Opiliones, Cyphophthalmi, Stylocellidae)
  • Sebastián Vélez, 2011: Biogeography and speciation of arthropods across the Tasman Sea: Craterostigmus tasmanianus (Chilopoda: Craterostigmomorpha: Craterostigmidae), Monoscutidae (Opiliones: Eupnoi: Phalangioidea), and Triaenonychidae (Opiliones: Laniatores)
  • Prashant Sharma, 2012: Systematics, evolution and development in Opiliones (Arachnida)

 Highlighted publications:

  • Giribet, G., Edgecombe, G. D., Wheeler, W. C. 2001. Arthropod phylogeny based on eight molecular loci and morphology. Nature 413, 157-161.
  • Maxmen, A., Browne, W. E., Martindale, M. Q., Giribet, G. 2005. Neuroanatomy of sea spiders implies an appendicular origin of the protocerebral segment. Nature 437, 1144-1148.
  • Edgecombe, G. D., Giribet, G. 2007. Evolutionary biology of centipedes (Myriapoda: Chilopoda). Annual Review of Entomology 52, 151-170.
  • Edgecombe, G. D., Giribet, G. 2008. A New Zealand species of the trans-Tasman centipede order Craterostigmomorpha (Arthropoda : Chilopoda) corroborated by molecular evidence. Invertebr. Syst. 22, 1-15.
  • Giribet, G., Vogt, L., Pérez González, A., Sharma, P., Kury, A. B. 2010. A multilocus approach to harvestman (Arachnida: Opiliones) phylogeny with emphasis on biogeography and the systematics of Laniatores. Cladistics 26, 408-437.
  • Sharma, P. P., Giribet, G. 2011. The evolutionary and biogeographic history of the armoured harvestmen – Laniatores phylogeny based on ten molecular markers, with the description of two new families of Opiliones (Arachnida). Invertebr. Syst. 25, 106-142.
  • Giribet, G., Edgecombe, G. D. 2012. Reevaluating the Arthropod Tree of Life. Annual Review of Entomology 57, 167-186.
  • Giribet, G., Sharma, P. P., Benavides, L. R., Boyer, S. L., Clouse, R. M., de Bivort, B. L., Dimitrov, D., Kawauchi, G. Y., Murienne, J. Y., Schwendinger, P. J. 2012. Evolutionary and biogeographical history of an ancient and global group of arachnids (Arachnida: Opiliones: Cyphophthalmi) with a new taxonomic arrangement. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 105, 92-130.
  • Sharma, P. P., Schwager, E. E., Extavour, C. G., Giribet, G. 2012. Evolution of the chelicera: a dachshund domain is retained in the deutocerebral appendage of Opiliones (Arthropoda, Chelicerata). Evolution & Development 14, 522-533.
  • Giribet, G., Edgecombe, G. D. 2013. The Arthropoda: a phylogenetic framework. In: Minelli, A., Boxshall, G., Fusco, G. (Eds.), Arthropod Biology and Evolution. Springer, pp. 17-40.
  • Fernández, R., Laumer, C. E., Vahtera, V., Libro, S., Kaluziak, S., Sharma, P. P., Pérez-Porro, A. R., Edgecombe, G. D., Giribet, G. 2014. Evaluating topological conflict in centipede phylogeny using transcriptomic data sets. Mol. Biol. Evol. 31, 1500-1513.
  • Garwood, R. J., Sharma, P. P., Dunlop, J. A., Giribet, G. 2014. A new stem-group Palaeozoic harvestman revealed through integration of phylogenetics and development. Curr. Biol. 24, 1-7.
  • Sharma, P. P., Giribet, G. 2014. A revised dated phylogeny of the arachnid order Opiliones. Front. Genet. 5, 255.
  • Sharma, P. P., Kaluziak, S., Pérez-Porro, A. R., González, V. L., Hormiga, G., Wheeler, W. C., Giribet, G. 2014. Phylogenomic interrogation of Arachnida reveals systemic conflicts in phylogenetic signal. Mol. Biol. Evol. 31, 2963-2984.
  • Fernández, R., Edgecombe, G. D., Giribet, G. 2015. Exploring phylogenomic relationships within Myriapoda: should high matrix occupancy be the goal? bioRxiv.
  • Giribet, G., Sharma, P. P. 2015. Evolutionary biology of harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones). Annual Review of Entomology 60, 157-175.