I am an evolutionary biologist with a diverse background in molecular evolution, phylogenetics, morphometrics and genomics. My main study systems include members of the two biggest mammalian orders – bats and rodents – which are ideal for addressing a wide range of evolutionary questions regarding adaptive evolution. My research interests include studying convergent evolution (at both the morphological and molecular level) and specialisations of sensory systems. I am particularly interested in adopting integrated approaches that use multiple data sources to test hypotheses, and I enjoy learning new techniques in molecular biology as well as seeing my study species in the wild.
During my PhD I studied the origins of high-frequency hearing and echolocation in bats. This involved examining the molecular evolution of both protein-coding genes and non-coding regulatory elements (CNEs) associated with the functioning and/or development of the mammalian auditory system in bats. I also used µCT scans to study the minute structures of bat inner ears to look for adaptations relating to flight and echolocation.
I have continued to work on bats for my postdoctoral research. I am currently using comparative transcriptomics to study the molecular evolution of genes involved in the sensory systems of ecologically diverse Neotropical bats in collaboration with the Dávalos, Dumont and Sears labs. I have also performed genome-wide tests for adaptive evolution relating to underground life in African mole-rats, as well as other divergent lineages of subterranean mammals.
Preprints available online (+ equal contribution)
2. A Sadier+, KTJ Davies+, LR Yohe, K Yun, P Donat, BP Hedrick, E Dumont, L Davalos, SJ Rossiter, KE Sears (2018) Evidence for multifactorial processes underlying phenotypic variation in bat visual opsins. bioRxiv, 300301, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/300301
1. LR Yohe, KTJ Davies, SJ Rossiter, L Davalos (2018) Expressed vomeronasal type-1 receptors (V1rs) in bats uncover conserved mechanisms of social chemical signalling. bioRxiv, 293472, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/293472
Publications: (+ equal contribution)
13. A Sadier+, KTJ Davies+, LR Yohe, K Yun, P Donat, BP Hedrick, ER Dumont, LM Dávalos, SJ Rossiter, KE Sears (2018) Multifactorial processes underlie parallel opsin loss in neotropical bats eLife 7:e37412 doi: 10.7554/eLife.37412
12. KTJ Davies, NC Bennett, CG Faulkes, SJ Rossiter (2018) Limited evidence for parallel molecular adaptations associated with the subterranean niche in mammals: a comparative study of three superorders. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 35(10): 2544–2559
11. BP Hedrick, L Yohe, A Vander Linden, LM Dávalos, K Sears, A Sadier, SJ Rossiter, KTJ Davies, E Dumont (2018) Assessing soft-tissue shrinkage estimates in museum specimens imaged with diffusible iodine-based contrast-enhanced computed tomography (diceCT). Microscopy and Microanalysis 24(3): 284–291. doi: 10.1017/S1431927618000399
10. KTJ Davies (2017) Digest: Know your poison: Predictable molecular changes confer toxin resistance in snakes. Evolution 71 (6), 1728–1729
9. G Tsagkogeorga, MR McGowen, KTJ Davies, S Jarman, A Polanowski, MF Bertelsen, SJ Rossiter (2015) A phylogenomic analysis of the role and timing of molecular adaptation in the aquatic transition of cetartiodactyl mammals. Royal Society Open Science 2: 150156
8. KTJ Davies, NC Bennett, G Tsagkogeorga, SJ Rossiter, CG Faulkes (2015) Family-wide molecular adaptations to underground life in African mole-rats revealed by phylogenomic analysis. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32 (12): 3089–3107 doi: 10.1093/molbev/msv175
7. CG Faulkes, KTJ Davies, SJ Rossiter, NC Bennett (2015) Molecular evolution of the hyaluronan synthase 2 gene in mammals: implications for adaptations to the subterranean niche and cancer resistance. Biology Letters 11 (5): 20150185 doi:10.1098/rsbl.2015.0185
6. KTJ Davies, G Tsagkogeorga, SJ Rossiter (2014) Divergent evolutionary rates in vertebrate and mammalian specific Conserved Non-coding Elements (CNEs) in echolocating bats. BMC Evolutionary Biology 14: 261
5. KTJ Davies, G Tsagkogeorga, NC Bennett, LM Dávalos, CG Faulkes, SJ Rossiter (2014) Molecular evolution of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptors in long-lived, small-bodied mammals. Gene, 549(2):228–236
4. KTJ Davies, PJJ Bates, I Maryanto, JA Cotton, SJ Rossiter (2013) The evolution of bat vestibular systems in the face of potential antagonistic selection pressures for flight and echolocation. PLoS ONE 8(4): e61998. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061998
3. JD Kirwan, M Bekaert, JM Commins, KTJ Davies, SJ Rossiter, EC Teeling (2013) A phylomedicine approach to understanding the evolution of auditory sensory perception and disease in mammals. Evolutionary Applications, 6: 412–422
2. KTJ Davies, I Maryanto, SJ Rossiter (2013) Evolutionary origins of ultrasonic hearing and laryngeal echolocation in bats inferred from morphological analyses of the inner ear. Frontiers in Zoology, 10: 2
1. KTJ Davies, JA Cotton, JD Kirwan, EC Teeling, SJ Rossiter (2012) Parallel signatures of sequence evolution among hearing genes in echolocating bats: an emerging model of genetic convergence. Heredity, 108: 480–489