I am an evolutionary biologist, with a diverse background in phylogenetics, molecular evolution and palaeontology. Throughout my research, I have adopted a multidisciplinary approach and am particularly interested in holistic studies that can combine multiple data sources, such as molecular and morphological trait evolution, to test hypothesis and answer evolutionary questions. I am interested in studying convergent evolution at the morphological and molecular level, and using approaches that integrate molecular and morphological information.
I pursued many of these research interests during my NERC funded PhD ‘A comparative study of the evolution of mammalian high-frequency hearing and echolocation’, which focused on determining the origins of echolocation in bats by undertaking a multidisciplinary evolutionary study. My PhD’s primary focus was assessing the molecular evolution of genes involved in mammalian hearing in bats. I also examined the substitution rates of specific non-coding regulatory elements (CNEs) extracted from ~40 mammalian genomes, putatively associated with the development of the auditory system. Finally, as mammalian inner ear development is controlled by many genes, I studied the gross structure of the bony labyrinth in order to examine the combined genetic effect.
Recently, I have become interested in NGS data analysis and I am currently employed as a postdoctoral research assistant responsible for the assembly, annotation and analysis of mammalian transcriptome datasets to answer a variety of evolutionary questions.
KTJ Davies (2017) Digest: Know your poison: Predictable molecular changes confer toxin resistance in snakes. Evolution 71 (6), 1728–1729
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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