Robert Thomson

Robert Thomson

Associate Professor

Systematic Biology, Evolution and Conservation




EDM 313


(808) 956-6476


(808) 956-4745

Academic Degrees

PhD, University of California, Davis (Population Biology), 2010

Research Interests

I work on several interrelated questions that center on an interest in systematic biology. For example, how much do we know about the topology of the tree of life and how quickly are we learning? What, and how much data are necessary to reliably infer species level phylogenies, particularly in the face of gene tree incongruence and ongoing gene flow? What are our prospects for collecting these data for non-model organisms? How does our knowledge of variation in threatened or endangered organisms inform our conservation goals and priorities?

Selected Publications

Lambert, MR, SN Nielsen, AN Wright, RC Thomson, HB Shaffer, In review, Microhabitat characteristics favor introduced red-eared sliders over threatened western pond turtles in a human-dominated landscape.

Spinks PQ, RC Thomson, Y Zhang, J Che, Y Wu, HB Shaffer, In review. Species boundaries and phylogenetic relationships in the critically endangered Asian box turtle genus Cuora.

Spinks PQ, RC Thomson, B Hughes, B Moxley, RM Brown, A Deismos, HB Shaffer, In press. Cryptic variation and the tragedy of unrecognized taxa: The case of international trade in the spiny turtle Heosemys spinosa (Testudines: Geoemydidae). Zoological journal of the Linnean Society.