Evolution, Ecology & Organismal Biology

Mark S. Springer

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Office: (951) 827-6458
Fax: (951) 827-4286
1345E Spieth Hall
Email: mark.springer@ucr.edu

Mark S. Springer, Professor

Ph.D., University of California, Riverside 1988


Research in my laboratory focuses on molecular evolution and molecular systematics, with an emphasis on the use of molecules to unravel mammalian evolutionary history. Specifically, we are interested in the following:

  • Phylogenetic relationships among the orders of mammals
  • Mammalian molecular clocks
  • The biogeographic history of mammals in relation to plate tectonic events
  • Reconstructing character transformations for key innovations in mammalian history
  • The evolution of bats, including the origin of echolocation
  • The evolution of mammalian mitochondrial ribosomal RNA molecules
  • Evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements in sea urchins

My students and I participate in both the Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology graduate program and the Evolutionary Biology graduate track.


  • Teeling, E. C., M. Scally, D. J. Kao, M. L. Romagnoli, M. S. Springer, and M. J. Stanhope. 2000. Molecular evidence regarding the origin of echolocation and flight in bats. Nature403:188-192.
  • Springer, M. S., M. Westerman, J. R. Kavanagh, A. Burk, M. O. Woodburne, D. J. Kao, and C. Krajewski. 1998. The origin of the Australasian marsupial fauna and the phylogenetic affinities of the enigmatic monito del monte and marsupial mole. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B 265:2381-2386.
  • Burk, A., M. Westerman, and M. S. Springer. 1998. The phylogenetic position of the musky rat-kangaroo and the evolution of bipedal hopping in kangaroos (Macropodidae: Diprotodontia). Systematic Biology 47:457-474.
  • Springer, M. S., G. C. Cleven, O. Madsen, W. W. de Jong, V. G. Waddell, H. M. Amrine, and M. J. Stanhope. 1997. Endemic African mammals shake the phylogenetic tree. Nature388:61-64.
  • Hollar, L. J., and M. S. Springer. 1997. Old World fruitbat phylogeny: Evidence for convergent evolution and an endemic African clade. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 94:5716-5721.
  • Springer, M. S., A. Burk, J. R. Kavanagh, V. G. Waddell, and M. J. Stanhope. 1997. The interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein gene in therian mammals: Implications for higher level relationships and evidence for loss of function in the marsupial mole. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 94:13754-13759.
  • Springer, M. S. 1997. Molecular clocks and the timing of the placental and marsupial radiations in relation to the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. J. Mammalian Evolution 4:285-302.
  • Springer, M. S., and E. Douzery. 1996. Secondary structure and patterns of evolution among mitochondrial 12S rRNA molecules. J. Molecular Evolution 43:357-373.

Recent Teaching....
  • Biology 105, Evolution
  • Biology 161A, Functional Morphology of the Vertebrates
  • Biology 219, Theory of Systematics

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Department Information

Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology (EEOB)
2710 Life Sciences Bldg.

Tel: (951) 827-5903
Fax: (951) 827-4286
E-mail: bnnadmin@ucr.edu

Graduate Program
1140 Batchelor Hall
Tel: (951) 827-4116
Fax: (951) 827-5517
E-mail: eeobgrad@ucr.edu