Prashant Sharma

Post-doctoral Researcher

(212) 769-5729

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in macroevolution, phylogenetics, biogeography, and morphological evolution. I presently work on gauging the effects of geological dynamism on phylogenies, particularly for lineages endemic to Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific. I address these questions through an increasingly powerful model system for biogeographical studies, Opiliones, the arachnid order commonly known as daddy-long-legs or harvestmen.


39. Schwager, E.E., Schönauer, A., Leite, D.J., Sharma, P.P. & McGregor, A.P. (in press) Chelicerata. In: Wanninger, A. (editor) Invertebrate EvoDevo. Heidelberg: Springer.

38. Giribet, G. & Sharma, P.P. (in press) Evolutionary biology of harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones). Annual Reviews of Entomology. [Scheduled for publication in 2015.]

37. Clouse, R.M., Janda, M., Blanchard, B., Sharma, P.P., Hoffman, B.D., Andersen, A.N., Czekanski-Moir, J.E., Krushelnycky, P. Rabeling, C., Wilson, E.O., Economo, E.P., Sarnat, E.M., General, D.M., Alpert, G.D. & Wheeler, W.C. (in press) Molecular phylogeny of an Indo-Pacific carpenter ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Camponotus) reveals waves of dispersal and colonization from diverse sources. Cladistics. Cladistics.

36. Sharma, P.P., Kaluziak, S.T., Pérez-Porro, A.R., González, V.L., Hormiga, G., Wheeler, W.C. & Giribet, G. (2014) Phylogenomic interrogation of Arachnida reveals systemic conflicts in phylogenetic signal. Molecular Biology and Evolution doi:10.1093/molbev/msu235.

35. Sharma, P.P. & Wheeler, W.C. (2014) Cross-bracing uncalibrated nodes in molecular dating improves congruence of fossil and molecular age estimates. Frontiers in Zoology 11: 57.

34. Sharma, P.P., Schwager, E.E., Extavour, C.G. & Wheeler, W.C. (2014) Hox gene duplications correlate with posterior heteronomy in scorpions. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 281:20140661.

33. Sharma, P.P. & Giribet G. (2014) A revised, dated phylogeny of the arachnid order Opiliones. Frontiers in Genetics 5: 255.

32. Fernandéz, R., Vahtera, V., Laumer, C.E., Libro, S., Kaluziak, S., Sharma, P.P., Pérez-Porro, A., Edgecombe, G.D. & Giribet, G. (2014) Evaluating topological conflict in centipede phylogeny using transcriptomic data sets. Molecular Biology and Evolution 31: 1500–1513.

31. *Garwood, R., *Sharma, P.P., Dunlop, J.A. & Giribet, G. (2014) Integration of fossils, phylogenetics, and development identifies of stem-group Paleozoic arthropods. Current Biology 24: 1017–1023. (*equal author contribution)

30. Bieler, R., Mikkelsen, P.M., Collins, T.M., Glover, E.A., González, V.L., Graf, D.L., Harper, E.M., Healy, J., Kawauchi, G.Y., Sharma, P.P., Staubach, S., Strong, E.E., Taylor, J.D., Temkin, I., Zardus, J.D., Clark, S., Guzmán, A., McIntyre, E., Sharp, P. & Giribet, G. (2014) Investigating the Bivalve Tree of Life—an exemplar-based approach combining molecular and novel morphological characters. Invertebrate Systematics. Invertebrate Systematics 28: 32–115.[Featured on the journal cover.]

29. Sharma, P.P., Gupta, T., Schwager, E.E., Wheeler, W.C. & Extavour, C.G. (2014) Subdivision of arthropod cap-n-collar expression domains is restricted to Mandibulata. EvoDevo 5: 3.

28. Gainett, G., Sharma, P.P., Pinto-da-Rocha, R., Giribet, G. & Willemart, R.H. (2014) Walk it off: Predictive power of appendicular characters toward inference of higher-level relationships in Laniatores (Arachnida: Opiliones). Cladistics 30: 120–138. (undergraduate co-author)

27. Riesgo, A., Novo, M., Sharma, P.P., Peterson, M., Maldonado, M. & Giribet, G. (2014) Inferring the ancestral sexuality and reproductive condition in sponges (Porifera). Zoologica Scripta 43: 101–117. (undergraduate co-author)

26. Sharma, P.P., Zardus, J.D., Boyle, E.E., González, V.L., Jennings, R.M., McIntyre, E., Wheeler, W.C., Etter, R.J. & Giribet, G. (2013) Into the deep: A phylogenetic approach to the bivalve subclass Protobranchia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69: 188–204.

25. Clouse, R.M., Sharma, P.P., Giribet, G. & Wheeler, W.C. (2013) Elongation factor-1α, a putative single-copy nuclear gene, has divergent sets of paralogs in an arachnid. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 68: 471–481.

24. Sharma, P.P. & Wheeler, W.C. (2013) Revenant clades in historical biogeography: the geology of New Zealand predisposes endemic clades to root age shifts. Journal of Biogeography 40: 1609–1618.

23. Sharma, P.P., Schwager, E.E., Giribet, G., Jockusch, E.L. & Extavour, C.G. (2013) Distal-less and dachshund pattern both plesiomorphic and apomorphic structures in chelicerates: RNA interference in the harvestman Phalangium opilio (Opiliones). Evolution and Development 15: 228–242. [Featured on the journal cover.]

22. Riesgo, A., Andrade, S.C.S., Sharma, P.P., Novo, M., Pérez-Porro, A.R., Vahtera, V., González, V.L., Kawauchi, G.Y. & Giribet, G. (2012) Comparative description of ten transcriptomes of newly sequenced invertebrates and efficiency estimation of genomic sampling in non-model taxa. Frontiers in Zoology9: 33. [Highly accessed.]

21. Sharma, P.P., Schwager, E.E., Extavour, C.G. & Giribet, G. (2012) Evolution of the chelicera: a dachshund domain is retained in the deutocerebral appendage of Opiliones (Arthropoda, Chelicerata). Evolution and Development 14: 522–533. [Recommended by Faculty of 1000.]

20. Sharma, P.P., Schwager, E.E., Extavour, C.G. & Giribet, G. (2012) Hox gene expression in the harvestman Phalangium opilio reveals divergent patterning of the chelicerate opisthosoma. Evolution and Development 14: 450–463.

19. Sharma, P.P., González, V.L., Kawauchi, G.Y., Andrade, S.C.S., Guzmán, A., Collins, T.M., Glover, E.A., Harper, E.M., Healy, J.M., Mikkelsen, P.M., Taylor, J.D., Bieler, R. & Giribet, G. (2012) Phylogenetic analysis of four protein-encoding genes largely corroborates the traditional classification of Bivalvia (Mollusca). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 65: 64–74.

18. Sharma, P.P. & Giribet, G. (2012) Out of the Neotropics: Late Cretaceous colonization of Australasia by American arthropods. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 279: 3501–3509. [Featured in the Harvard Gazette.] [Highlighted in Nature.]

17. Sharma, P.P., Buenavente, P.A.C., Clouse, R.M., Diesmos, A.C. & Giribet, G. (2012) Forgotten gods: Zalmoxidae of the Philippines and Borneo (Opiliones: Laniatores). Zootaxa3280: 29–55.

16. Sharma, P.P. (2012) New Australasian Zalmoxidae (Opiliones: Laniatores) and a new case of male polymorphism in Opiliones. Zootaxa 3236: 1–35.

15. Kawauchi, G.Y., Sharma, P.P. & Giribet, G. (2012) Sipunculan phylogeny based on six genes, with a new classification and the descriptions of two new families. Zoologica Scripta 41: 186–210.

14. Giribet, G., Sharma, P.P., Benavides, L.R., Boyer, S.L., Clouse, R.M., de Bivort, B.L., Kawauchi, G.Y., Murienne, J. & Schwendinger, P.J. (2012) Evolutionary and biogeographic history of the harvestman suborder Cyphophthalmi (Arachnida, Opiliones) – an ancient and global group of arachnids. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 105: 92–130.

13. Sharma, P.P., Prieto, C.E. & Giribet, G. (2011) A new family of Laniatores (Arachnida: Opiliones) from the Afrotropics. Invertebrate Systematics 25: 143–154.

12. Sharma, P.P. & Giribet, G. (2011) The evolutionary and biogeographic history of the armoured harvestmen—Laniatores phylogeny based on ten molecular markers, with the description of two new families of Opiliones (Arachnida). Invertebrate Systematics 25: 106–142. [Featured on the journal cover.]

11. Sharma, P.P., Vahtera, V., Kawauchi, G. & Giribet, G. (2011) Running WILD: The case for exploring mixed parameter sets in sensitivity analysis. Cladistics 27: 538–549.

10. Sharma, P.P., Kury, A.B. & Giribet G. (2011) The Zalmoxidae (Arachnida: Opiliones: Laniatores) of the Paleotropics: a catalogue of Southeast Asian and Indo-Pacific species. Zootaxa 2972: 37–58.

9. Giribet, G., Vogt, L., González, A.P., Sharma, P. & Kury, A.B. (2010) A multilocus approach to harvestmen (Arachnida: Opiliones) phylogeny with emphasis on biogeography and the systematics of Laniatores. Cladistics 26: 408–437.

8. Sharma, P. & Giribet, G. (2009) Sandokanid phylogeny based on eight molecular markers—The evolution of a southeast Asian endemic family of Laniatores (Arachnida, Opiliones). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 52: 432–447.

7. Sharma, P. & Giribet, G. (2009) A relict in New Caledonia: phylogenetic relationships of the family Troglosironidae (Opiliones: Cyphophthalmi). Cladistics 25: 279–294.

6. Sharma, P., Karunarathna, I. & Giribet, G. (2009) On the endemic Sri Lankan genus Pettalus (Opiliones, Cyphophthalmi, Pettalidae) with the description of a new species and a discussion on the magnitude of its diversity. The Journal of Arachnology 37: 60–67.

5. Sharma, P.P. & Giribet, G. (2009) The family Troglosironidae (Opiliones: Cyphophthalmi) of New Caledonia. In: Zoologia Neocaledonica 6, Systematics and Biodiversity in New Caledonia. Mémoirs du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle196: 83–123.

4. Giribet, G., Sharma, P.P. & Bastawade, D. (2007) A new genus and species of Cyphophthalmi (Arachnida, Opiliones) from the north-eastern states of India. Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society 151: 663–670.

3. Boyer, S.L., Clouse, R.M., Benavides, L.R., Sharma, P., Schwendinger, P.J., Karunarathna, I. & Giribet, G. (2007) Biogeography of the world: a case study of globally distributed arachnids. Journal of Biogeography 34: 2070–2085.

2. Sharma, P. & Giribet, G. (2006) A new Pettalus species (Opiliones, Cyphophthalmi, Pettalidae) from Sri Lanka with a discussion on the evolution of eyes in Cyphophthalmi. The Journal of Arachnology 34: 331–341.

1. Sharma, P. & Giribet, G. (2005) A new Troglosiro species (Opiliones, Cyphophthalmi, Troglosironidae) from New Caledonia. Zootaxa 1053: 47–60.


Undergraduate co-author.