Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biological Sciences


ELI Greenbuam


The African river frog genus Amietia is found near rivers and other lentic water sources throughout central, eastern and southern Africa. Because the genus includes multiple morphologically conservative species, taxonomic studies of river frogs have been limited. We sampled 49 individuals of Amietia from multiple localities in and near the Albertine Rift (AR) of Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. We utilized single-gene (16S) and concatenated (12S, 16S, cytochrome b and RAG1) gene-tree analyses and coalescent species-tree analyses to construct phylogenetic trees. Two divergence dating approaches were used in BEAST, including secondary calibration points with 12S, 16S and RAG1 and a molecular clock with the 12S, 16S and cyt b gene. All analyses recovered Amietia as monophyletic with strong support, and revealed several well-supported cryptic lineages, which is consistent with other recent phylogeography studies of AR amphibians. Dating estimates were similar, and Amietia diversification is consistent with global cooling and aridification events in the Miocene and Pliocene, respectively. Our results suggest additional taxonomic work is needed to describe multiple new species of AR Amietia, which have limited geographic distributions that are likely to be of conservation concern.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

62 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Thornton Robert Larson