Imperial College London

Dr. Martin D. Brazeau

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Senior Lecturer
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 2254m.brazeau

 
 
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Location

 

W2.2KennedySilwood Park

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
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27 results found

Brazeau M, Castiello M, Jerve A, Burton MG, Friedman Met al., Endocranial morphology of the petalichthyid placoderm Ellopetalichthys scheii (Kiær 1915) from the Middle Devonian of Arctic Canada, with remarks on the inner ear and neck joint morphology of placoderms, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, ISSN: 0008-4077

Journal article

Brazeau MD, Guillerme T, Smith MR, 2019, An algorithm for morphological phylogenetic analysis with inapplicable data, Systematic Biology, Vol: 68, Pages: 619-631, ISSN: 1063-5157

Morphological data play a key role in the inference of biological relationships and evolutionary history and are essential for the interpretation of the fossil record. The hierarchical interdependence of many morphological characters, however, complicates phylogenetic analysis. In particular, many characters only apply to a subset of terminal taxa. The widely used “reductive coding” approach treats taxa in which a character is inapplicable as though the character’s state is simply missing (unknown). This approach has long been known to create spurious tree length estimates on certain topologies, potentially leading to erroneous results in phylogenetic searches—but pratical solutions have yet to be proposed and implemented. Here, we present a single-character algorithm for reconstructing ancestral states in reductively coded data sets, following the theoretical guideline of minimizing homoplasy over all characters. Our algorithm uses up to three traversals to score a tree, and a fourth to fully resolve final states at each node within the tree. We use explicit criteria to resolve ambiguity in applicable/inapplicable dichotomies, and to optimize missing data. So that it can be applied to single characters, the algorithm employs local optimization; as such, the method provides a fast but approximate inference of ancestral states and tree score. The application of our method to published morphological data sets indicates that, compared to traditional methods, it identifies different trees as “optimal.” As such, the use of our algorithm to handle inapplicable data may significantly alter the outcome of tree searches, modifying the inferred placement of living and fossil taxa and potentially leading to major differences in reconstructions of evolutionary history.

Journal article

Giles S, Castiello M, Dearden RP, Jerve A, Sansom R, Tafforeau P, Yarinjil A, Enkhtaivan Z, Brazeau MDet al., 2019, Endoskeletal Trabecular Bone in a Placoderm from the Early Devonian of Mongolia, Publisher: WILEY, Pages: S127-S127, ISSN: 0362-2525

Conference paper

Dearden R, Stockey C, Brazeau M, The pharynx of the stem-chondrichthyan Ptomacanthus and the early evolution of the gnathostome gill skeleton, Nature Communications, Vol: 10, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 2041-1723

The gill apparatus of gnathostomes (jawed vertebrates) is fundamental to feeding and ventilation and a focal point of classic hypotheses on the origin of jaws and paired appendages. The gill skeletons of chondrichthyans (sharks, batoids, chimaeras) have often been assumed to reflect ancestral states. However, only a handful of early chondrichthyan gill skeletons are known and palaeontological work is increasingly challenging other pre-supposed shark-like aspects of ancestral gnathostomes. Here we use computed tomography scanning to image the three-dimensionally preserved branchial apparatus in Ptomacanthus, a 415 million year old stem-chondrichthyan. Ptomacanthus had an osteichthyan-like compact pharynx with a bony operculum helping constrain the origin of an elongate elasmobranch-like pharynx to the chondrichthyan stem-group, rather than it representing an ancestral condition of the crown-group. A mixture of chondrichthyan-like and plesiomorphic pharyngeal patterning in Ptomacanthus challenges the idea that the ancestral gnathostome pharynx conformed to a morphologically complete ancestral type.

Journal article

Brazeau M, Guillerme T, Smith MR, 2018, Inapp: Reconstruction of Inapplicable Discrete Characters on Phylogenetic Trees

Inapp v0.4.1 (2018/11/13) NEW FEATURESGraphical options greatly improvedTest coverage greatly improvedMINOR IMPROVEMENTSCorrected various typos in the vignette

Software

Chen D, Alavi Y, Brazeau MD, Blom H, Millward D, Ahlberg PEet al., 2018, A partial lower jaw of a tetrapod from "Romer's Gap", EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF EDINBURGH, Vol: 108, Pages: 55-65, ISSN: 1755-6910

Journal article

Castiello M, Brazeau MD, 2018, Neurocranial anatomy of the petalichthyid placoderm Shearsbyaspis oepiki Young revealed by X-ray computed microtomography, Palaeontology, Vol: 61, Pages: 369-389, ISSN: 0031-0239

Stem‐group gnathostomes reveal the sequence of character acquisition in the origin of modern jawed vertebrates. The petalichthyids are placoderm‐grade stem‐group gnathostomes known from both isolated skeletal material and rarer articulated specimens of one genus. They are of particular interest because of anatomical resemblances with osteostracans, the jawless sister group of jawed vertebrates. Because of this, they have become central to debates on the relationships of placoderms and the primitive cranial architecture of gnathostomes. However, among petalichthyids, only the braincase of Macropetalichthys has been studied in detail, and the diversity of neurocranial morphology in this group remains poorly documented. Using X‐ray computed microtomography, we investigated the endocranial morphology of Shearsbyaspis oepiki Young, a three‐dimensionally preserved petalichthyid from the Early Devonian of Taemas‐Wee Jasper, Australia. We generated virtual reconstructions of the external endocranial surfaces, orbital walls and cranial endocavity, including canals for major nerves and blood vessels. The neurocranium of Shearsbyaspis resembles that of Macropetalichthys, particularly in the morphology of the brain cavity, nerves and blood vessels. Many characters, including the morphology of the pituitary vein canal and the course of the trigeminal nerve, recall the morphology of osteostracans. Additionally, the presence of a parasphenoid in Shearsbyaspis (previously not known with confidence outside of arthrodires and osteichthyans) raises some questions about current proposals of placoderm paraphyly. Our detailed description of this specimen adds to the known morphological diversity of petalichthyids, and invites critical reappraisal of the phylogenetic relationships of placoderms.

Journal article

Brazeau MD, Friedman M, Jerve A, Atwood RCet al., 2017, A three-dimensional placoderm (stem-group gnathostome) pharyngeal skeleton and its implications for primitive gnathostome pharyngeal architecture, Journal of Morphology, Vol: 278, Pages: 1220-1228, ISSN: 0362-2525

The pharyngeal skeleton is a key vertebrate anatomical system in debates on the origin of jaws and gnathostome (jawed vertebrate) feeding. Furthermore, it offers considerable potential as a source of phylogenetic data. Well‐preserved examples of pharyngeal skeletons from stem‐group gnathostomes remain poorly known. Here, we describe an articulated, nearly complete pharyngeal skeleton in an Early Devonian placoderm fish, Paraplesiobatis heinrichsi Broili, from Hunsrück Slate of Germany. Using synchrotron light tomography, we resolve and reconstruct the three‐dimensional gill arch architecture of Paraplesiobatis and compare it with other gnathostomes. The preserved pharyngeal skeleton comprises elements of the hyoid arch (probable ceratohyal) and a series of branchial arches. Limited resolution in the tomography scan causes some uncertainty in interpreting the exact number of arches preserved. However, at least four branchial arches are present. The final and penultimate arches are connected as in osteichthyans. A single median basihyal is present as in chondrichthyans. No dorsal (epibranchial or pharyngobranchial) elements are observed. The structure of the pharyngeal skeleton of Paraplesiobatis agrees well with Pseudopetalichthys from the same deposit, allowing an alternative interpretation of the latter taxon. The phylogenetic significance of Paraplesiobatis is considered. A median basihyal is likely an ancestral gnathostome character, probably with some connection to both the hyoid and the first branchial arch pair. Unpaired basibranchial bones may be independently derived in chondrichthyans and osteichthyans.

Journal article

Kamminga P, De Bruin PW, Geleijns J, Brazeau MDet al., 2017, X-ray computed tomography library of shark anatomy and lower jaw surface models, Scientific Data, Vol: 4, ISSN: 2052-4463

The cranial diversity of sharks reflects disparate biomechanical adaptations to feeding. In order to be able to investigate and better understand the ecomorphology of extant shark feeding systems, we created a x-ray computed tomography (CT) library of shark cranial anatomy with three-dimensional (3D) lower jaw reconstructions. This is used to examine and quantify lower jaw disparity in extant shark species in a separate study. The library is divided in a dataset comprised of medical CT scans of 122 sharks (Selachimorpha, Chondrichthyes) representing 73 extant species, including digitized morphology of entire shark specimens. This CT dataset and additional data provided by other researchers was used to reconstruct a second dataset containing 3D models of the left lower jaw for 153 individuals representing 94 extant shark species. These datasets form an extensive anatomical record of shark skeletal anatomy, necessary for comparative morphological, biomechanical, ecological and phylogenetic studies.

Journal article

Brazeau MD, de Winter V, The hyoid arch and braincase anatomy of Acanthodes support chondrichthyan affinity of ‘acanthodians’, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, ISSN: 0962-8452

Solving the evolutionary relationships of the acanthodians is one of the key problems in reconstructing ancestral anatomical conditions for the jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes). Current debate concerns whether acanthodians are an assemblage of stem chondrichthyans, or a more generalized grade encom- passing some early stem osteichthyans. The skull anatomy of Acanthodes bronni has been pivotal in these debates, owing to tension between chondrichthyan- and osteichthyan-like models of reconstruction. We use computed tomography scanning and traditional palaeontological techniques to resolve the long- standing debate about the anatomy of the jaw suspension. We establish the correct length of the hyomandibula and show that it attaches to a process on the ventrolateral angle of the braincase below the jugular vein groove. This condition corresponds precisely to that in chondrichthyans. This character represents an unambiguously optimized synapomorphy with chondrichthyans given current gnathostome phylogenies, corroborating the growing consensus of the chondrichthyan affinity of acanthodians.

Journal article

Giles S, Coates MI, Garwood RJ, Brazeau MD, Atwood R, Johanson Z, Friedman Met al., 2015, Endoskeletal structure in Cheirolepis (Osteichthyes, Actinopterygii), An early ray-finned fish, Palaeontology, Vol: 58, Pages: 849-870, ISSN: 1475-4983

As the sister lineage of all other actinopterygians, the Middle to Late Devonian (Eifelian–Frasnian) Cheirolepis occupies a pivotal position in vertebrate phylogeny. Although the dermal skeleton of this taxon has been exhaustively described, very little of its endoskeleton is known, leaving questions of neurocranial and fin evolution in early ray-finned fishes unresolved. The model for early actinopterygian anatomy has instead been based largely on the Late Devonian (Frasnian) Mimipiscis, preserved in stunning detail from the Gogo Formation of Australia. Here, we present re-examinations of existing museum specimens through the use of high-resolution laboratory- and synchrotron-based computed tomography scanning, revealing new details of the neuro-cranium, hyomandibula and pectoral fin endoskeleton for the Eifelian Cheirolepis trailli. These new data highlight traits considered uncharacteristic of early actinopterygians, including an uninvested dorsal aorta and imperforate propterygium, and corroborate the early divergence of Cheirolepis within actinopterygian phylogeny. These traits represent conspicuous differences between the endoskeletal structure of Cheirolepis and Mimipiscis. Additionally, we describe new aspects of the parasphenoid, vomer and scales, most notably that the scales display peg-and-socket articulation and a distinct neck. Collectively, these new data help clarify primitive conditions within ray-finned fishes, which in turn have important implications for understanding features likely present in the last common ancestor of living osteichthyans.

Journal article

Brazeau MD, Friedman M, 2015, The origin and early phylogenetic history of jawed vertebrates, NATURE, Vol: 520, Pages: 490-497, ISSN: 0028-0836

Journal article

Giles S, Friedman M, Brazeau MD, 2015, Osteichthyan-like cranial conditions in an Early Devonian stem gnathostome, NATURE, Vol: 520, Pages: 82-U175, ISSN: 0028-0836

Journal article

Brazeau MD, Friedman M, 2014, The characters of Palaeozoic jawed vertebrates, ZOOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY, Vol: 170, Pages: 779-821, ISSN: 0024-4082

Journal article

Friedman M, Brazeau MD, 2013, PALAEONTOLOGY A jaw-dropping fossil fish, NATURE, Vol: 502, Pages: 175-177, ISSN: 0028-0836

Journal article

Brazeau MD, 2013, Taking a step back: computational problems for morphological data revisited, Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Integrative-and-Comparative-Biology (SICB), Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, Pages: E23-E23, ISSN: 1540-7063

Conference paper

Brazeau MD, 2012, A revision of the anatomy of the Early Devonian jawed vertebrate Ptomacanthus anglicus Miles, PALAEONTOLOGY, Vol: 55, Pages: 355-367, ISSN: 0031-0239

Journal article

Giles S, Brazeau MD, Atwood RC, Friedman Met al., 2012, ENDOSKELETAL ANATOMY OF THE STEM ACTINOPTERYGIAN CHEIROLEPIS REVEALED BY HIGH-RESOLUTION COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY, 72nd Annual Meeting of the Society-of-Vertebrate-Paleontology, Publisher: TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC, Pages: 101-101, ISSN: 0272-4634

Conference paper

Brazeau MD, 2011, Problematic character coding methods in morphology and their effects, BIOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY, Vol: 104, Pages: 489-498, ISSN: 0024-4066

Journal article

Anderson PSL, Friedman M, Brazeau MD, Rayfield EJet al., 2011, Initial radiation of jaws demonstrated stability despite faunal and environmental change, NATURE, Vol: 476, Pages: 206-209, ISSN: 0028-0836

Journal article

Brazeau MD, 2011, Before and beyond congruence: using phylogenetic homology to infer evolutionary process, Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Integrative-and-Comparative-Biology, Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, Pages: E16-E16, ISSN: 1540-7063

Conference paper

Friedman M, Brazeau MD, 2011, Sequences, stratigraphy and scenarios: what can we say about the fossil record of the earliest tetrapods?, PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, Vol: 278, Pages: 432-439, ISSN: 0962-8452

Journal article

Friedman M, Brazeau MD, 2010, A REAPPRAISAL OF THE ORIGIN AND BASAL RADIATION OF THE OSTEICHTHYES, JOURNAL OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY, Vol: 30, Pages: 36-56, ISSN: 0272-4634

Journal article

Brazeau MD, 2009, The braincase and jaws of a Devonian 'acanthodian' and modern gnathostome origins, NATURE, Vol: 457, Pages: 305-308, ISSN: 0028-0836

Journal article

Brazeau MD, Jeffery JE, 2008, The hyomandibulae of rhizodontids (Sarcopterygii, stem-tetrapoda), JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY, Vol: 269, Pages: 654-665, ISSN: 0362-2525

Journal article

Brazeau MD, Ahlberg PE, 2006, Tetrapod-like middle ear architecture in a Devonian fish, NATURE, Vol: 439, Pages: 318-321, ISSN: 0028-0836

Journal article

Brazeau MD, 2005, A new genus of rhizodontid (Sarcopterygii, Tetrapodomorpha) from the Lower Carboniferous Horton Bluff Formation of Nova Scotia, and the evolution of the lower jaws in this group, CANADIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES, Vol: 42, Pages: 1481-1499, ISSN: 0008-4077

Journal article

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