David M. Green

Professor and Director
Redpath Museum, McGill University
859 Sherbrooke St. W.
Montreal, Quebec H3A 2K6, Canada
Telephone: (514) 398-4086 ext. 4088
Fax: (514) 398-3185
email: david.m.green@mcgill.ca


I employ evidence from biochemical and molecular genetic variation in frogs and toads to decipher the relationships of species, the structure of populations, and mechanisms of evolutionary change.

Compared to the attention given to the factors that influence population size and persistence, little has been paid to what determines the extent of a species' range. Yet population declines and species endangerment are only a facet of the greater issue of species range expansion and contraction. My research centres on species ranges and boundaries and thus looks beyond traditional population-level approaches to understanding biodiversity origins and maintenance. Range edge populations are reasoned to be genetically depauperate and isolated, and therefore prone to local extinction. These same parameters govern a species' endangerment and risk of decline thus a solid basis for assessing endangerment will benefit from comprehension of the range edge. The range edge is also predicted to be limited by gene flow from the range centre constraining local adaptation.

Amphibian species are demonstrably in global decline and they often have complex local or regional population dynamics. They are excellent subjects for ecology, conservation biology, and molecular genetics as they exhibit a range of life history strategies and breed in discrete sites such as ponds where they are easily sampled. They are not highly mobile and have characteristic patterns of dispersal. I am analyzing ecological data and genetic variation to estimate population structure and gene flow, as a measure of dispersal, in common and endangered species of frogs, toads and salamanders in Canada and in the tropics.

My continuing study of Fowler's toads (Bufo fowleri) at Long Point, Ontario has now run continuously for over two decades. It has charted how the number of animals has fluctuated, how radical year-to-year changes in age structure depend upon recruitment of juveniles and winter survival, and how far and fast both adults and juveniles disperse. Through this work, Fowler's toad is the one of the most thoroughly studied of amphibians.

By seeking to understanding range edge populations more fully, my research program aims towards understanding the biology of extinctions, the persistence of populations, and the conservation of species.

Lecture Courses

BIOL 305 Animal Diversity

BIOL 427 Herpetology

BIOL 465 Conservation Biology

REDM 400 Science and Museums

Field Courses

BIOL 452 Ecology and Development in Africa

REDM 405 East African Natural History


Current Graduate Students

Katharine Yagi – Ph.D. ( 2012 - )
Population ecology of Fowler’s toads, Anaxyrus fowleri

Elizabeth McCurry – Ph.D. (2011 - )
Experimental extinction studies in flies and frogs.

Daniel Greenberg – M.Sc. (2011 - )
Landscape ecology of frog populations

David O’Connor – Ph.D. (2011 - )
Ecology and phylogeography of American Toads, Anaxyrus americanus

Jessica Middleton – M.Sc. (2009 - )
Population ecology of a declining amphibian in relation to density.

Jay Ploss- M.Sc. (2007 - )
Modelling and mapping habitat for Spring salamanders

Previous Students

Morgan Boenke - M.Sc. 2011
Terrestrial habitat and ecology of Fowler’s toads, Anaxyrus fowleri.

Jean-Sebastien Roy - M.Sc. 2009
Structure and dynamics of a natural hybrid zone between the toads, Anaxyrus americanus and Anaxyrus hemiophrys, in southeastern Manitoba.

Trond Sigurdsen- Ph.D. 2009
The lower Permian dissorophoid Doleserpeton (Temnospondylii) and the evolution of modern amphibians

Marie-Pier Prairie - M.Sc. 2009
Landscape ecology of an amphibian community

Vanessa Kilburn - M.Sc. 2008
Epidemiology of chytridiomycosis in Panamanian frogs

Shavonne Meyer - M.Sc. 2007
Landscape history, dispersal and the genetic structure of amphibian populations.

Julie Lee-Yaw - M.Sc. 2007
The phylogeographic history of the wood frog (Rana sylvatica)

Tricia Markle - M.Sc. 2006
Phylogeography of salamander populations

Arthur Whiting - M.Sc. 2004.
Population ecology of Western Chorus frogs, Pseudacris triseriata

Alex Smith - Ph.D. (1999 - ).
Population ecology and genetics of Fowler's toads, Bufo fowleri.

Leslie Bol - M.Sc. 2002.
Amphibian recruitment success at a landscape scale

Heather Gray - Ph.D. 2000.
Biological significance of colour pattern and variation in the green poison frog, Dendrobates auratus.

Jacqueline Brinkman - M.Sc. 1999.
Structure and evolution of supernumerary chromosomes in the Pacific giant salamander, Dicamptodon tenebrosus.

Timothy F. Sharbel - M.Sc. 1996.
Molecular genetic composition, origin,and evolution of B-chromosomes in the frog Leiopelma hochstetteri.

Clifford W. Zeyl - Ph.D. 1996.
Sex, parasitic DNA, and adaptation in experimental populations of Saccharomyes cerevisiae and Chlamydamonas reinhardtii.

Hinrich Kaiser - Ph.D. 1993.
"Systematics and biogeography of eastern Caribbean frogs".

Clifford W. Zeyl - M.Sc. 1991.
"Genome evolution in the primitive frog, Leiopelma hochstetteri."

Carol A. Maine - M.Sc. 1991.
"Newtonian cooling and reptilian thermal ecology."


Kilburn, V.L., R. Ibáñez, and D.M. Green. 2011. Reptiles as potential vectors and hosts of the amphibian pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in Panamá. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 97:127-134.

Sigurdsen, T. and D.M. Green. 2011. The origin of modern amphibians: a re-evaluation. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 162: 457–469.

Green, D.M., A.R. Yagi, and S.E. Hamill. 2011. Recovery strategy for the Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri) in Ontario. Ontario Recovery Strategy Series. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Peterborough, Ontario. vi + 21pp.

Kilburn, V.L., R. Ibáñez, O. Sanjur, E. Bermingham, J.P. Suraci and D.M. Green. 2010. Ubiquity of the pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in anuran communities in Panamá. EcoHealth 7:537-548.

Irisarri, I., D. San Mauro, D.M. Green, and R. Zardoya. 2010. The complete mitochondrial genome of the relict frog, Leiopelma archeyi: insights into the root of the frog Tree of Life and a new mitogenomic gene order. Mitochondrial DNA 21: 173–182

Gray, H.M., H. Kaiser and D.M. Green. 2010. Does alkaloid sequestration protect the green poison frog, Dendrobates auratus, from predator attacks? Salamandra 46:235–238.

Mooers, A.O., D.F. Doak, C.S. Findlay, D.M. Green, C. Grouios, L.L. Manne, A. Rashvand, M.A. Rudd, and J. Whitton. 2010. Science, policy and species at risk in Canada. BioScience 60:843-849.

Fouquet, A., D.M. Green, B. Waldman, J.H. Bowsher, K.P. McBride and N.J. Gemmell. 2010. Phylogeography of Leiopelma hochstetteri reveals strong genetic structure and suggests new conservation priorities. Conservation Genetics 11:907-919

Markle, T.M., A.R. Yagi and D.M. Green. 2010. Recovery Strategy for the Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus ochrophaeus) and Northern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus) in Ontario. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy series. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Peterborough.

Markle, T.M. and D.M. Green. 2009. New records of amphibians in northern/central Quebec and Labrador. Herpetological Review 40:240-241.

Lee-Yaw, J., A. Davidson, B.H. McRae and D.M. Green. 2009. Do landscape processes predict phylogeographic patterns in the Wood Frog. Molecular Ecology 18:1863-1874.

Räsänen, K. and D.M. Green. 2009. Acidification and its effects on amphibian populations. In Amphibian Biology, Volume 8. Conservation and Ecology. H. Heatwole (ed.), Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton, Australia.

Green, D.M. 2009. The future of amphibians. Chapter 14, In The Rise of Amphibians, by R.L. Carroll. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London.

Woodhams, D.C., V.L. Kilburn, L.K. Reinert, J.Voyles, D. Medina, R. Ibañez, A.D. Hyatt, D.G. Boyle, J. Pask, D.M. Green, and L.A. Rollins Smith. 2008. Chytridiomycosis and amphibian population declines continue to spread eastward in Panama. EcoHealth 5:268-274.

Church, D., D.M. Green, G. Hammerson, J. Mitchell, G. Parra Olea and G. Santos Barrerra. 2008. Amphibians of the Nearctic Region. Pp. 85-92. In Threatened Amphibians of the World. S. N. Stuart , M. Hoffmann , J.S. Chanson , N.A. Cox , R.J. Berridge , P. Ramani , B.E. Young (eds.) Lynx Ediciones, Madrid

Lee-Yaw, J.A., J.T. Irwin and D.M. Green . 2008. Post-glacial range expansion from northern refugia by the wood frog, Rana sylvatica. Molecular Ecology 17:867–884.

Green, D.M . and S. K. Sessions. 2007. Karyology and Cytogenetics. pp. 2756-2841. In Amphibian Biology, Volume 7. Systematics. H. Heatwole and M. Tyler (eds.), Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton, Australia.

Frost, D.R. T. Grant, J.Faivovich, R.H. Bain, A. Haas, C.F.B. Haddad, R.O. de Sa, A. Channing, M. Wilkinson, S.C. Donnellan, C.J. Raxworthy, J.A. Campbell, B.L. Blotto, P. Moler , R.C. Drewes, R.A. Nussbaum, J.D. Lynch, D.M. Green, and W.C. Wheeler. 2007. Is The Amphibian Tree of Life really fatally flawed? Cladistics 23:1-11.

Teske, P.R., S.A. Lourie, C.A. Matthee and D.M. Green . 2007. Hippocampus queenslandicus Horne, 2001 - a new seahorse species or yet another synonym? Australian J. Zool. 53:139-145.

Smith, M.A, and D.M. Green . 2006. Sex, isolation and fidelity: unbiased long distance dispersal in a terrestrial amphibian. Ecography 29:649-658.

Frost, D.R., T. Grant, J. Faivovich, R. Bain, A. Haas, C.F.B. Haddad, R. de Sá, A. Channing, M. Wilkinson, S.C. Donnellan, C. Raxworthy, J.A. Campbell, B.L. Blotto, P. Moler, R.C. Drewes, R.A. Nussbaum, J.D. Lynch, D.M. Green and W. Wheeler. 2006. The amphibian tree of life. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 297:1-370

Green, D.M. 2005. Designatable units for status assessment of endangered species. Conservation Biology 19:1813-1820.

Ouellet, M., I. Mikaelian,, B.D. Pauli, J. Rodrigue, and D.M. Green. 2005. Historical evidence of widespread chytrid infection in North American amphibian populations. Conservation Biology 19:1431-1440.

Lourie, S.A., D.M. Green and A.C.J. Vincent. 2005. Dispersal, habitat differences and comparative phylogeography of Southeast Asian seahorses seahorses (Syngnathidae: Hippocampus). Molecular Ecology 14:1073-1094.

Smith, M.A, and D.M. Green . 2005. Are all amphibian populations metapopulations? Dispersal and the metapopulation paradigm in amphibian ecology. Ecography 28:110-128

Carroll, R.L., J. Irwin and D.M. Green . 2005. Thermal physiology and the origin of terrestriality in vertebrates. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 143:345-358

Green, D.M. 2005. The biology of amphibian declines. pp. 58 - 72. In Declining Amphibians: a United States’ Response to the Global Phenomenon. M.J. Lannoo (ed.). University of California Press, Berkeley.

Smith, M.A, and D.M. Green . 2004. Phylogeography of Bufo fowleri at its northern range limit. Molecular Ecology (in press)

Green, D.M. 2004. Structure and evolution of B-chromosomes in amphibians. Cytogenetic and Genome Research 106:235-242

Green, D.M. 2003. The ecology of extinction: population fluctuation and decline in amphibians. Biological Conservation. 111:331-343.

Green, D.M., and C. Parent. 2003. Variable and asymmetric introgression in a hybrid zone in the toads, Bufo americanus and B. fowleri. Copeia 2003:34-43.

Blaustein, A.R., T.L. Root, J. M. Kiesecker, L.K. Belden, D.H. Olson and D.M. Green,. 2002. Amphibian phenology and climate change. Conservation Biology 16:1454-1455.

Green, D.M. 2002. Chromosome polymorphism in Archey's Frog (Leiopelma archeyi) from New Zealand. Copeia 2002:204-207.

Blaustein, A.R., L.K. Belden, D.H. Olson, D.M. Green, T.L. Root and J. M. Kiesecker. 2001. Amphibian breeding and climate change. Conservation Biology 15:1804-1809.

Freedman, W., L. Roger, P. Ewins and D.M. Green. 2001. Species at risk in Canada. pp. 26-48. in Politics of the Wild. R. Boardman and K.Beazley (eds.). Oxford Univ. Press., Don Mills, Ontario.


Website composed by David M. Green
Last updated 9 January, 2012
Illustrations not to be used without permission

Redpath Museum