Kin Onn Chan

Kin Onn Chan
  • Post-doctoral Researcher - Molecular Lab

Contact Info

Dyche Hall
1345 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045


I am a herpetologist who uses a multidimensional approach to understand how species evolve across space and time using integrative methods that bridge the fields of phylogenetics, biogeography, and landscape-population-conservation genetics. By elucidating the link between micro-evolutionary processes and macro-evolutionary patterns, I hope to understand the mechanisms underlying the generation and distribution of biodiversity. I am particularly interested in understanding how gene flow affects tree inference, species estimation, and the evolution of phenotypic traits.

Selected Publications

Chan, K.O., Mulcahy, D.G. & Anuar, S. (2023) The Artefactual Branch Effect and Phylogenetic Conflict: Species Delimitation with Gene Flow in Mangrove Pit Vipers (Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus-erythrurus complex). Systematic Biology syad043,

Chan, K.O., Hutter, C.R., Wood, P.L.Jr., Su, Y.C. & Brown, R.M. (2022) Gene flow increases phylogenetic structure and inflates cryptic species estimations: A case study on widespread Philippine Puddle Frogs (Occidozygalaevis). SystematicBiology 71, 40–57.

Chan, K.O., Hertwig, S.T., Neokleous, D.N, Flury, J.M. & Brown, R.M. (2022)Widely used, short 16S rRNA mitochondrial gene fragments yield poor and erratic results in phylogenetic estimation and species delimitation of amphibians. BMC Ecology and Evolution 22, 37.

Chan, K.O., Hutter, C.R., Wood, P.L.J., Grismer, L.L., Brown, R.M. (2020) Target-capture phylogenomics provide insights on gene and species tree discordances in Old World Treefrogs (Anura: Rhacophoridae). Proceedings of the Royal Society B 287, 20202102.

Chan, K.O., Hutter, C.R., Wood, P.L., Grismer, L.L., Das, I. & Brown, R.M. (2020) Gene flow creates a mirage of cryptic species in a Southeast Asian spotted stream frog complex. Molecular Ecology 29, 3970–3987.

Chan, K.O., Hutter, C.R., Wood, P.L., Grismer, L.L. & Brown, R.M. (2020) Larger, unfiltered datasets are more effective at resolving phylogenetic conflict: Introns, exons, and UCEs resolve ambiguities in Golden-backed frogs (Anura: Ranidae; genus Hylarana). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 151, 106899.

Chan, K.O. & Brown, R.M. (2020) Elucidating the drivers of genetic differentiation in Malaysian torrent frogs (Anura: Ranidae: Amolops): a landscape genomics approach. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 190, 65–78.

Chan, K.O. & Grismer, L.L. (2019) To split or not to split? Multilocus phylogeny and molecular species delimitation of southeast Asian toads (family: Bufonidae). BMC Evolutionary Biology 19, 95.

Chan, K.O., Grismer, L.L. & Brown, R.M. (2018) Comprehensive multi-locus phylogeny of Old World tree frogs (Anura: Rhacophoridae) reveals taxonomic uncertainties and potential cases of over- and underestimation of species diversity. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 127, 1010–1019.

Chan, K.O., Alexander, A.M., Grismer, L.L., Su, Y.-C., Grismer, J.L., Quah, E.S.H. & Brown, R.M. (2017) Species delimitation with gene flow: a methodological comparison and population genomics approach to elucidate cryptic species boundaries in Malaysian Torrent Frogs. Molecular Ecology 26, 5435–5450.

Selected Presentations

Using Phylogenetics to Solve the Biodiversity-Conservation Conundrum: Hidden Species and Shifting Conservation Priorities” | The 15th Malaysia International Genetics Conference (MiGC15), Selangor, Malaysia, 2023 (Lead speaker).

“Fake branches and taxonomic inflation: Effects of gene flow on phylogenetic estimation and species delimitation” |4th Southeast Asian Gateway Evolution Meeting, Manila, Philippines, 2022 (Oral presentation).

“Phylogenomics as a Window on Biodiversity: Linking Patterns to Processes” | School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, USA, 2022 (Invited seminar speaker)

 “Finding Evolutionary Processes in Confounding Phylogenetic Patterns” | Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA, 2022 (Invited seminar speaker)

Biodiversity and Conservation in the Genomic Era: What’s Changed and What Hasn’t”| Department of Biology, La Sierra University, Riverside, California, USA (Invited colloquium speaker)