David Gower co-leads with Mark Wilkinson the Herpetology Research Group of the Natural History Museum of London. He is primarily an evolutionary and systematic biologist with a particular focus in collections-based organismal biology. Taxonomically his work is focused on caecilian amphibians and burrowing and aquatic snakes, but with substantial expertise also in Triassic archosaurs. He is a member of the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group, Editor for snakes and caecilians for the journal Zootaxa. Editor-in-Chief of the UK Systematics Association, and a leader in both research and graduate student training. He has supervised 5 PhD students and published more than 100 research papers, on topics as varied as palaeontology, mitogenomics, phylogenetic methods, ecology, anatomy, biogeography, reproductive biology and conservation.

David Gower


Department of Zoology,

Natural History Museum

London, UK


Some selected publications

Sanders, K. L., Mumpuni, Hamidy, A. Head, J. J. & Gower, D. J. 2010. Phylogeny and divergence times of filesnakes (Acrochordus): Inferences from morphology, fossils and three molecular loci. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56: 857-867.

Gower, D. J., Wilkinson, M., Sherratt, E. & Kok, P. J. R. 2010. A new species of Rhinatrema Duméril & Bibron (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Rhinatrematidae) from Guyana. Zootaxa 2391: 47-60.

Butler, R. J., Barrett, P. M. & Gower, D. J. 2009. Postcranial pneumaticity and bird-like air sacs in the earliest pterosaurs. Biology Letters 5: 557-560.

Gower, D. J., Giri, V., Dharne, M. S. & Shouche, Y. 2008. Frequency of independent origins of viviparity among caecilians (Gymnophiona): evidence from the first 'live-bearing' Asian amphibian. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21: 1220-1226.

Gower D. J., & Wilkinson, M. 2005. The conservation biology of caecilians. Conservation Biology 19: 45-55.

Gower, D. J., Kupfer, A., Oommen, O. V., Himstedt, W., Nussbaum, R. A , Loader, S. P., Presswell, B., Müller, H., Krishna, S. B.,Boistel, R. & Wilkinson, M. 2002. A molecular phylogeny of ichthyophiid caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Ichthyophiidae): Out of India or out of southeast Asia? Proceedings of the Royal Society B 269: 1563-1569.

Gower, D. J. & Weber, E. 1998. The braincase of Euparkeria, and the evolutionary relationships of birds and crocodilians. Biological Reviews 73: 367-411.


Natural history of burrowing herpetofauna                

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