Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences

Document Type



In view of its mountainous terrain, peninsular shape, and status as an agglomeration of formerly separate landmasses, the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, presents a fertile opportunity for examining biogeographical processes. Previous work on Sulawesi primates and amphibians suggested the existence of distinct areas of endemism (AoEs), but the relevance of these zones to a broader set of taxa has not been widely investigated, nor the reasons for their existence fully explored. Here, we use population genetic analyses of the endemic Sulawesi shrew, Crocidura elongata, to assess biogeographical partitioning according to the putative AoEs. We uncover significant cryptic diversity within C. elongata that poorly aligns with the AoEs. Rather, we identify patterns consistent with the earliest divergence occurring along elevational gradients, and subsequent divergence evolving across the island’s AoEs. Our results suggest that disparate forces have contributed to the diversification of Sulawesi’s vertebrate fauna and complement other studies in highlighting the extensive intra-island diversification that has occurred among small mammal faunas on the larger islands of Indo-Australia.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Esselstyn, Jacob