Phil Spinks


My research revolves around conservation genetics and systematics. Specifically, I am interested in applying molecular genetic techniques to problems in conservation biology, and also understanding processes that lead to and maintain patterns of genetic diversity at various levels from populations to deep phylogenetic history. My work combines laboratory and field studies to investigate phylogeography and ecology of the western pond turtle (Emys marmorata), and conservation phylogenetics and systematics of freshwater turtles.

For more information, contact me at pqspinks(at)ucla(dot)edu

Selected publications

Spinks, P. Q., R. C. Thomson, G. B. Pauly, C. E. Newman, G. G. Mount and H. B. Shaffer. 2013. Misleading phylogenetic inferences based on single-exemplar sampling in the turtle genus Pseudemys . Molecular Phylogenetic and Evolution 68:269-281. PDF

Spinks, P. Q., R. C. Thomson, B. Hughes, B. Moxley, R. Brown, A. Diesmos and H. B. Shaffer. 2012. Cryptic variation and the tragedy of unrecognized taxa: the case of international trade in the spiny turtle Heosemys spinosa (Testudines: Geoemydidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 164:811 – 824. PDF

Spinks, P. Q., R. C. Thomson, Y. Zhang, J. Che, Y. Wu, and H. B. Shaffer. 2012. Species boundaries and phylogenetic relationships in the critically endangered Asian box turtle genus Cuora . Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63:656 – 667. PDF

Spinks, P. Q., R. C. Thomson , and H. B. Shaffer. 2010. Nuclear gene phylogeography reveals the historical legacy of an ancient inland sea on lineages of the western pond turtle, Emys marmorata in California. Molecular Ecology19:542–556. PDF

Spinks, P. Q. and H. B. Shaffer. 2009. Conflicting Mitochondrial and Nuclear Phylogenies For The Widely Disjunct Emys (Testudines: Emydidae) Species Complex, And What They Tell Us About Biogeography And Hybridization. Systematic Biology 58:1-20. PDF