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  • UC Riverside
  • College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Mark S. Springer


Professor of Biology
Office 1345E Spieth Hall
Phone (951) 827-6458


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.

Some Representative Publications....

  • 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. Nature 403:188-192.
  • 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. Nature 388:61-64.
  • 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