David Wake

Professor of Integrative Biology and, Curator of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
Dept of Integrative Biology
(510) 642-3059
Research Expertise and Interest
evolutionary and conservation biology
Research Description

Evolutionary biology, with focus on factors involved in lineage diversification, such as species formation, adaptive radiation, phylogeography, biogeography, functional and developmental morphology, community organization. Decline of amphibian populations, extinction and related topics in conservation biology.

In the News

July 30, 2015

Scientists urge ban on salamander imports to fend off new fungus

Five California amphibian experts warn that a recently discovered fungus already devastating salamanders in Europe could imperil American salamanders, and urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to immediately halt salamander imports until there is a plan to detect and prevent the spread of the fungus.

February 25, 2011

Homoplasy: When look-alikes are unrelated

Nature is replete with animals and plants that have similar shapes or behaviors but are unrelated. They evolved these characteristics, such as long bodies in salamanders, independently, often through alteration of an entirely different set of genes. This process, called homoplasy, can tell us a lot about how evolution works, UC Berkeley biologists argue.

August 5, 2010

Frog evolution tracks rise of Himalayas and rearrangement of Southeast Asia

The spiny frogs of Asia have hard, nubby spines on their chests and arms and Popeye-like forearms in order to securely grasp females during mating in swift-flowing streams. Kunming Institute of Zoology and UC Berkeley biologists have conducted a genetic analysis of 24 species of spiny frogs to track the rise of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau that led to their diversification.