Kyle O’Connell


Kyle O’Connell – Graduate Student (Ph.D)

Kyle is originally from Las Vegas, NV, but spent much of his life in Nebraska where he completed his undergraduate education in Fisheries and Wildlife and Spanish. He has spent time in Central America and the Middle East.

Office: ERB 449
Lab: ERB 475
e-mail: kyle.oconnell(at)

Mailing address:
Kyle O’Connell
Department of Biology
University of Texas at Arlington
Box 19498
Arlington, TX 76019-0498

Research Interests
Kyle’s research uses genomic and genetic data to uncover and describe novel biodiversity and investigate diversification processes at different geographic scales using reptiles and amphibians as model systems. He pursues three primary research avenues: investigating population genomics and phylogeography, uncovering and describing novel biodiversity, and conducting international fieldwork and collaboration. He leverages all three aims to pursue exciting questions about mechanisms of diversificationKyle began in the lab by using North American whipsnakes to investigate diversification processes in North and Central America. Since then, Kyle’s dissertation work has utilized two herpetofaunal systems to achieve his research goals: Cyrtodactylus bent-toed geckos, and Rhacophorus parachuting frogs. Kyle has participated in two field trips to Sumatra and Java, where we collected, and subsequently fell in love with parachuting frogs. He also organized an independent collecting trip to Nepal, funded by the National Geographic Society. Kyle hopes to continue using emerging technologies to ask important questions about biotic diversification on islands.

Publications and Presentations

Harvey MB, O’Connell KA, Wostl E, Riyanto A, Kurniawan N, Smith EN, Grismer LL. 2016. Redescription Cyrtodactylus lateralis (Werner)(Squamata:Gekkonidae) and Phylogeny of the Prehensile-tailed CyrtodactylusZootaxa, 4107, 517-540.

Harvey MB, O’Connell KA, Barraza G, Riyanto A, Kurniawan N, Smith EN. 2015. Two New Species of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the southern Bukit Barisan Range of Sumatra and an Estimation of their Phylogeny. Zootaxa, 4020, 495-516.

O’Connell KA and Ferraro D. 2011. A Herpetofaunal Survey of Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge, Washington County, Nebraska. Kansas Journal of Herpetology, 37, 10-15.

O’Connell KA. 2011. Prey Selection by the Northern Watersnake, Nerodia sipedon. University of Nebraska Lincoln Digital Commons.

O’Connell KA, Smith EN, Hamidy A, Kurniawan N, Fujita MK. Testing the Inland Seas Hypothesis using Endemic Sumatran Flying Frogs. In revision. 

O’Connell KA, Streicher J, Smith EN, Fujita MK. Geographical features are the predominant driver of molecular diversification in widely distributed North American Whipsnakes. In review. 

O’Connell KA, Smith EN, Shaney KJ, Arifin U, Kurniawan N, Sidik I, Fujita MK. Coalescent species delimitation of a parachuting frog from Sumatra. In review