In addition to studying the functional evolution of snake venoms, our research investigates the molecular evolution of the associated toxins. Studies range from those upon specific toxin types such as three finger toxin phylogenetic patterns or relative rates of evolution, or snake venom metalloproteases, to how the phylogenetic patterns of multiple toxin types revealed the single early evolution of venom in snakes, including the first characterisation of a three finger toxin outside of elapid snakes, or how toxin types have diversified across the advanced snakes (including the first full length sequence of a Type IA phospholipase toxin outside of elapid snakes), or studies focusing on the molecular evolution of toxin types within a specific lineage, such as Australian elapids, or within a single genus such as the Southern Pacific rattlesnake. The molecular evolutionary work not only investigates what happens as snakes switch to new prey type, but how the venom system degenerates when this new prey specialisation is such that venom is no longer required such as with egg eating sea snakes or constricting snakes.
The molecular evolutionary work in reptiles includes lizard venoms, and the relationship to snake venoms, from a wide diversity of species including the iconic komodo dragons, gila monsters and beaded lizards, as other anguimorph lizards including anguid lizards, and what these relationships are with the evolution of function in lizard venoms.
In addition we examine the evolutionary patterns of how predatory toxins evolve relative to the patterns of defensive toxins.