Jake Esselstyn
Jake  Esselstyn 
Assistant Professor
Phone: (225) 578-3803
Office: 119 Foster Hall

Area of Interest

My research focuses on the evolutionary history of small mammals in the Old World, and in particular, the island archipelagos of Southeast Asia.  In general, I combine biodiversity inventories with molecular and morphological systematics to understand how organisms diversify and fill the environment. I am especially interested in the effects of ecological opportunity, time of colonization, and incumbency on the tempo and mode of speciation in island-dwelling lineages.  Additional details are provided on my lab web-site.  

Selected Publications

Esselstyn JA, AS Achmadi & KC Rowe. 2012. Evolutionary novelty in a rat with no molars. Biology Letters. DOI: 10.1098.rsbl.2012.0574.


Esselstyn JA, BJ Evans, JL Sedlock, FAA Khan & LR Heaney. 2012. Single-locus species de- limitation: A test of the mixed Yule-coalescent model, with an empirical application to Philippine round-leaf bats. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 279:3678–3686.


Esselstyn JA, SP Maher & RM Brown. 2011. Species interactions during diversification and community assembly in an island radiation of shrews. PLoS ONE. 6:e21885. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021885.


Esselstyn JA & CH Oliveros. 2010. Colonization of the Philippines from Taiwan: a multi-locus test of the biogeographic and phylogenetic relationships of isolated populations of shrews. Journal of Biogeography. 37:1504–1514.


Esselstyn JA, CH Oliveros, RG Moyle, AT Peterson, JA McGuire & RM Brown. 2010. Integrating phylogenetic and taxonomic evidence illuminates complex biogeographic patterns along Huxley’s modification of Wallace’s Line. Journal of Biogeography. 37:2054–2066.


Esselstyn JA & RM Brown. 2009. The role of repeated sea-level fluctuations in the generation of shrew (Soricidae: Crocidura) diversity in the Philippine Archipelago. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 53:171–181.


Esselstyn JA, RM Timm & RM Brown. 2009. Do geological or climatic processes drive speciation in dynamic archipelagos? The tempo and mode of diversification in Southeast Asian shrews. Evolution. 63:2595–2610.