Inter-specific and intra-specific variation of amphibians and reptiles could be assessed using different ways - commonly by genetics or morphology. One line of my research as a comparative embryologist is to explore the diversity and phylogeny of targeted animals chosen from various reproductive strategies. This method is done by looking at embryonic stages ultra-structurally. I used this information to discover the function of some key traits during development and to interpret the adaptation, trans-differentiation and trans-function of these traits in the evolutionary context. At the current project, I am looking the embryonic development and reproductive system of two distinct reproductive strategies of common lizard (egg- laying and life- bearing) as well as on the hybrids to discover how evolutionary transitions may happen in nature.
Downie, J.R., Nokhbatolfoghahai, M. (2006) Presence and absence of the adhesive gland in amphibian larvae: trends towards terrestrial development and endotrophy. Herpetological Journal 16: 77-81.
Nokhbatolfoghahai, M., Downie, J.R., Clelland, A.K. & Rennison, K. (2005) The surface ciliation of anuran amphibian embryos and early larvae: patterns, timing differences and functions. Journal of Natural History 39 (12): 887-929.
Nokhbatolfoghahai, M., Downie, J.R. (2005) Larval cement gland of frogs: comparative development and morphology. Journal of Morphology 263: 270-283.
Downie, J.R. and Nokhbatolfoghahai, M. (2014) The tadpoles of Mannophryne trinitatis and M. olmonae (Anura: Aromobatidae): how to tell them apart. Phyllomedusa, Journal of Herpetology. 2014: 21-24.
A Zootoca vivipara embryo (Recknagel and Nokhatolfoghahai)