Dr Anita Malhotra

Reader in Zoology (Molecular Ecology)

Postal address

3rd Floor ECW building
Deiniol Road
Bangor, Gwynedd
LL57 2UW
United Kingdom

Contact info

My research interests focus on the role of natural selection in population adaptation and divergence, to which I apply a wide range of methods including multivariate morphometrics, statistical hypothesis-testing, innovative field experiments and genome analysis. I have two main areas of research on disparate organisms in different geographical regions (Anolis lizards in the Caribbean and Asian pit vipers), which are unified by being essentially focussed on the interface between evolution and ecology, and with an emphasis on the integration of genetic and phenetic data. More recently, my research has moved into the field of ecological and evolutionary genomics to evaluate the evolution of genes affecting complex traits directly and relies on the availability of a well-supported and complete organismal phylogeny of Asian pitvipers generated by my students and myself. Drawing on numerous collaborations to bring together disparate strands of organismal biology and ecology, evolutionary theory, comparative genomics, bioinformatics and proteomics, I aim to develop an integrated picture of the evolution of snake venom components.

Another strand to this research on venomous snakes involves snakebite mitigation, and I am currently involved in several projects in India, dubbed the "snakebite capital of the world", where c. 50,000 people die from snakebite every year and many more suffer permanent disability. Together with partners in India, our work ranges from mapping the distribution and genetic and venom variation present in venomous species across the country, to undertaking rescuer training and education and awareness programs. We are particularly focussing on the Himalayan and northeastern region, which belong to biodiversity "hotspots" but are relatively understudied. The venomous species in these regions are diferent to the rest of the country, and are not covered by the currently available polyvalent antivenom.

I am also involved in research on the genetic health of honeybees and other pollinators, together with colleague Dr Paul Cross. We are part of the recently formed research network on British dark bee conservation that includes researchers from Plymouth University, National University of Ireland (Galway), and the University of Edinburgh. 

  1. Article › Research › Peer-reviewed
  2. Published

    A phylogenetic analysis of body size evolution in the Anolis roquet group (Sauria : Iguanidae): character displacement or size assortment?

    Giannasi, N., Thorpe, R. S. & Malhotra, A., 1 Feb 2000, In : Molecular Ecology. 9, 2, p. 193-202

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Published

    A phylogeny of four mitochondrial gene regions suggests a revised taxonomy for Asian pitvipers (Trimeresurus and Ovophis).

    Malhotra, A. & Thorpe, R. S., 1 Jul 2004, In : Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 32, 1, p. 83-100

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Published

    A phylogeny of the Trimeresurus group of pit vipers: New evidence from a mitochondrial gene tree.

    Malhotra, A. & Thorpe, R. S., 1 Aug 2000, In : Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 16, 2, p. 199-211

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Published

    Adaptive radiation in Lesser Antillean lizards: molecular phylogenetics and species recognition in the Lesser Antillean dwarf gecko complex, Sphaerodactylus fantasticus.

    Thorpe, R. S., Jones, A. G., Malhotra, A. & Surget-Groba, Y., 1 Mar 2008, In : Molecular Ecology. 17, 6, p. 1489-1504

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  6. Published

    An evaluation of the systematic value of skull morphology in the Trimeresurus radiation (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae) of Asian pitvipers.

    Guo, P., Malhotra, A., Creer, S. & Pook, C. E., 1 Nov 2009, In : Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research. 47, 4, p. 378-384

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  7. Published
  8. Published

    Colonization history and genetic diversity: adaptive potential in early stage invasions.

    Eales, J. F., Thorpe, R. S. & Malhotra, A., 1 Jul 2010, In : Molecular Ecology. 19, 14, p. 2858-2869

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  9. Published

    Combining molecular, morphological and ecological data to infer species boundaries in a cryptic tropical pitviper.

    Sanders, K. L., Malhotra, A. & Thorpe, R. S., 1 Mar 2006, In : Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 87, 3, p. 343-364

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  10. Published
  11. Published

    Common garden and natural selection experiments support ecotypic differentiation in the Dominican anole (Anolis oculatus).

    Thorpe, R. S., Reardon, J. T. & Malhotra, A., 1 Apr 2005, In : American Naturalist. 165, 4, p. 495-504

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  12. Published

    Complex target SELEX-based identification of DNA aptamers against Bungarus caeruleus venom for the detection of envenomation using a paper-based device

    Anand, A., Chatterjee, B., Dhiman, A., Goel, R., Khan, E., Malhotra, A., Santra, V., Salvi, N., Bhatnagar, I., Kumar, A., Asthana, A. & Sharma, T. K., 1 Dec 2021, In : Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 193, 113523.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  13. Published

    Confirmation of Naja oxiana in Himachal Pradesh, India

    Owens, J. B., Santra, V., Graham, S., Wüster, W. & Malhotra, A., 1 Dec 2019, In : Herpetological Bulletin. 150, p. 26-28

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  14. Published

    Convergence of multiple markers and analysis methods defines the genetic distinctiveness of cryptic pitvipers

    Mrinalini, M., Thorpe, R. S., Creer, S., Lallias, D. S., Dawnay, L., Stuart, B. L. & Malhotra, A., 8 Jul 2015, In : Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 92, p. 266-279

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  15. Published

    Ecological diversification in a group of Indomalayan pitvipers (Trimeresurus): convergence in taxonomically important traits has implications for species identification.

    Sanders, K. L., Malhotra, A. & Thorpe, R. S., 1 Jul 2004, In : Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 17, 4, p. 721-731

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  16. Published

    Estimating genetic variability in non-model taxa: a general procedure for discriminating sequence errors from actual variation.

    Dawson, K., Thorpe, R. S. & Malhotra, A., 6 Dec 2010, In : PLoS ONE. 15, 12, p. e15204

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  17. Published

    Evidence for a Mullerian mimetic radiation in Asian pitvipers

    Sanders, K. L., Malhotra, A. & Thorpe, R., 7 May 2006, In : Proceedings of The Royal Society B - Biological Sciences. 273, 1590, p. 1135-1141

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  18. Published

    Evolutionary differentiation of bimaculatus group anoles based on analyses of mtDNA and microsatellite data.

    Stenson, A. G., Thorpe, R. S. & Malhotra, A., 1 Jul 2004, In : Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 32, 1, p. 1-10

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  19. Published

    Genetic and ecological correlates of intraspecific variation in pitviper venom composition detected using matirx-assisted laser desorption time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) and isoelectric focusing

    Creer, S., Malhotra, A., Thorpe, R., Stocklin, R. S., Favreau, P. S. & Chou, W. S., 1 Mar 2003, In : Journal of Molecular Evolution. 56, 3, p. 317-329

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  20. Published

    Inclusion of nuclear intron sequence data helps to identify the Asian sister group of New World pitvipers.

    Malhotra, A., Creer, S., Pook, C. E. & Thorpe, R. S., 1 Jan 2010, In : Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 54, 1, p. 172-178

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  21. Published

    Maximizing information in systematic revisions: a combined molecular and morphological analysis of a cryptic green pitviper complex (Trimeresurus stejnegeri).

    Malhotra, A. & Thorpe, R. S., 1 Jun 2004, In : Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 82, 2, p. 219-235

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  22. Published

    Mitochondrial DNA analysis reveals a new member of the Asian pitviper genus Viridovipera (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae).

    Dawson, K., Malhotra, A., Thorpe, R. S., Guo, P., Mrinalini, N. V. & Ziegler, T., 1 Oct 2008, In : Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 49, 1, p. 356-361

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  23. Published

    Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the genus Gloydius (Squamata, Viperidae, Crotalinae), with description of two new alpine species from Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China

    Shi, J-S., Liu, J-C., Giri, R., Owens, J. B., Santra, V., Kuttalam, S., Selvan, M., Guo, K-J. & Malhotra, A., 4 Oct 2021, In : ZooKeys. 1061, 1061, p. 87-108 22 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  24. Published

    Molecular phylogeography of Jerdon’s pitviper (Protobothrops jerdonii): importance of the uplift of the Tibetan plateau

    Guo, P., Liu, Q., Li, C., Chen, X., Jiang, K., Wang, Y. Z. & Malhotra, A., 1 Dec 2011, In : Journal of Biogeography. 38, 12, p. 2326–2336

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  25. Published

    Morphometric analysis of Trimeresurus vogeli (David, Vidal and Pauwels, 2001), with new data on diagnostic characteristics, distribution and natural history.

    Malhotra, A., Thorpe, R. S. & Stuart, B. L., 1 Apr 2004, In : Herpetological Journal. 14, 2, p. 65-77

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  26. Published

    Multilocus phylogeny, species age and biogeography of the Lesser Antillean anoles

    Thorpe, R., Barlow, A., Surget-Groba, Y. & Malhotra, A., Oct 2018, In : Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 127, p. 682-695

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  27. Published

    Multilocus phylogeography of the brown-spotted pitviper Protobothrops mucrosquamatus (Reptilia: Serpentes: Viperidae) sheds a new light on the diversification pattern in Asia

    Guo, P., Liu, Q., Zhu, F., Zhong, G. H., Che, J., Wang, P., Xie, Y. L., Murphy, R. W. & Malhotra, A., Apr 2019, In : Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 133, p. 82-91

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  28. Published

    Multiple causation of phylogeographical pattern as revealed by nested clade analysis of the bamboo viper (Trimeresurus stejnegeri) within Taiwan.

    Creer, S., Malhotra, A., Thorpe, R. S. & Chou, W. H., 1 Aug 2001, In : Molecular Ecology. 10, 8, p. 1967-1981

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  29. Published

    Nuclear and mtDNA phylogenies of the Trimeresurus complex: Implications for the gene versus species tree debate.

    Giannasi, N., Malhotra, A. & Thorpe, R. S., 1 Apr 2001, In : Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 19, 1, p. 57-66

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  30. Published

    Offshore insular variation in the diet of the Taiwanese bamboo viper Trimeresurus stejnegeri (Schmidt)

    Creer, S., Chou, W. H., Malhotra, A. & Thorpe, R. S., 1 Aug 2002, In : Zoological Science. 19, 8, p. 907-913

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  31. Published

    Optimal intron analyses in the Trimeresurus radiation of Asian pitvipers.

    Creer, S., Pook, C. E., Malhotra, A. & Thorpe, R. S., 1 Feb 2006, In : Systematic Biology. 55, 1, p. 57-72

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  32. Published

    Phylogenetic structure and species boundaries in the mountain pitviper Ovophis monticola (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae) in Asia.

    Malhotra, A., Dawson, K., Guo, P. & Thorpe, R. S., 1 May 2011, In : Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 59, 2, p. 444-457

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  33. Published

    Phylogeography and natural selection in the Tenerife gecko Tarentola delalandii: testing historical and adaptive hypotheses.

    Gubitz, T., Thorpe, R. S. & Malhotra, A., 1 Sep 2000, In : Molecular Ecology. 9, 9, p. 1213-1221

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  34. Published

    Population differentiation and nuclear gene flow in the Dominican anole (Anolis oculatus).

    Stenson, A. G., Malhotra, A. & Thorpe, R. S., 1 Sep 2002, In : Molecular Ecology. 11, 9, p. 1679-1688

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  35. Published

    Predicting function from sequence in a large multifunctional toxin family

    Malhotra, A., Creer, S., Harris, J. B., Stöcklin, R., Favereau, P. & Thorpe, R. S., 3 Jul 2013, In : Toxicon. 72, p. 113-125

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  36. Published

    Prevention is better than cure : snakebite education in India

    Trogridou, A., Graham, S., Santra, V., Owens, J. B., Bharti, O. & Malhotra, A., 2019, In : Episthmes Agogis . p. 75-96

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  37. Published

    Promoting co-existence between humans and venomous snakes through increasing the herpetological knowledge base

    Malhotra, A., Wüster, W., Owens, J. B., Hodges, C. W., Jesudasan, A., Ch, G., Kartik, A., Christopher, P., Louies, J., Naik, H., Santra, V., Kuttalam, S., Attre, S., Sasa, M., Bravo-Vega, C. & Murray, K. A., 1 Nov 2021, In : Toxicon: X. 12, November 2021, 18 p., 10081.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  38. Published

    Rational truncation of aptamer for cross-species application to detect krait envenomation

    Dhiman, A., Anand, A., Malhotra, A., Khan, E., Santra, V., Kumar, A. & Sharma, T. K., 12 Dec 2018, In : Scientific Reports. 8, 17795.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  39. Published

    Reassessment of the validity and diagnosis of the pitviper Trimeresurus venustus Vogel, 1991.

    Malhotra, A. & Thorpe, R. S., 1 Jan 2004, In : Herpetological Journal. 14, 1, p. 21-33

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  40. Published

    Redescription and systematics of trimeresurus cornutus (Serpentes : Viperidae) based on morphology and molecular data.

    Herrmann, H. W., Ziegler, T., Malhotra, A., Thorpe, R. & Parkinson, C. L., 1 May 2004, In : Herpetologica. 60, 2, p. 211-221

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  41. Published

    Systematics of the Protobothrops jerdonii complex (Serpentes, Viperidae, Crotalinae) inferred from morphometric data and molecular phylogeny.

    Guo, P., Malhotra, A., Li, C., Creer, S., Pook, P. E. & Wen, T., 1 Jul 2009, In : Herpetological Journal. 19, 2, p. 85-96

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  42. Published

    Targeting optimal introns for phylogenetic analyses in non-model taxa: experimental results in Asian pitvipers.

    Creer, S., Malhotra, A., Thorpe, R. S. & Pook, C. E., 1 Aug 2005, In : Cladistics. 21, 4, p. 390-395

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  43. Published

    The conservation status of the world’s reptiles

    Böhm, M., Collen, B., Baillie, J. E., Bowles, P., Chanson, J., Cox, N., Hammerson, G., Hoffmann, M., Livingstone, S. R., Ram, M., Rhodin, A. G., Stuart, S. N., van Dijk, P. P., Young, B. E., Afuang, L. E., Aghasyan, A., García, A., Aguilar, C., Ajtic, R., Akarsu, F., Alencar, L. R., Allison, A., Ananjeva, N., Anderson, S., Andrén, C., Ariano-Sánchez, D., Arredondo, J. C., Auliya, M., Austin, C. C., Avci, A., Baker, P. J., Barreto-Lima, A. F., Barrio-Amorós, C. L., Basu, D., Bates, M. F., Batistella, A., Bauer, A., Bennett, D., Böhme, W., Broadley, D., Brown, R., Burgess, J., Captain, A., Carreira, S., del Rosario Castañeda, M., Castro, F., Catenazzi, A., Cedeño-Vázquez, J. R., Chapple, D. G., Cheylan, M., Cisneros-Heredia, D. F., Cogalniceanu, D., Cogger, H., Corti, C., Costa, G. C., Couper, P. J., Courtney, T., Crnobrnja-Isailovic, J., Crochet, P. A., Crother, B., Cruz, F., Daltry, J. C., Daniels, R. J., Das, A., de Silva, A., Diesmos, A. C., Dirksen, L., Doan, T. M., Dodd Jr., C. K., Doody, J. S., Dorcas, M. E., de Barros Filho, J. D., Egan, V. T., El Mouden, E. H., Embert, D., Espinoza, R. E., Fallabrino, A., Feng, X., Feng, S. J., Fitzgerald, L., Flores-Villela, O., França, F. G., Frost, D., Gadsden, H., Gamble, T., Ganesh, S. R., Garcia, M. A., García-Pérez, J. E., Gatuscm, J., Gaulke, M., Geniez, P., Georges, A., Gerlach, J., Goldberg, S., Gonzale, J. C., Gower, D. J., Grant, T., Greenbaum, E., Grieco, C., Guo, P., Hamilton, A. M., Hare, K., Hedges, S. B., Heideman, N., Hilton-Taylor, C., Hitchmough, R., Hollingsworth, B., Hutchinson, M., Ineich, I., Iverson, J., Jaksic, F. M., Jenkins, R., Joger, U., Jose, R., Kaska, Y., Kaya, U., Keogh, J. S., Köhler, G., Kuchling, G., Kumlutaş, Y., Kwet, A., La Marca, E., Lamar, W., Lane, A., Lardner, B., Latta, C., Latta, G., Lau, M., Lavin, P., Lawson, D., LeBreton, M., Lehr, E., Limpus, D., Malhotra, A. & et al., N. V., 1 Jan 2013, In : Biological Conservation. 157, p. 372-385

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  44. Published

    The dynamics of genetic and morphological variation on volcanic islands

    Gubitz, T., Thorpe, R. & Malhotra, A., 7 Apr 2005, In : Proceedings of The Royal Society B - Biological Sciences. 272, 1564, p. 751-757

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  45. Published

    The dynamics of natural selection and vicariance in the Dominican anole: Patterns of within-island molecular and morphological divergence.

    Malhotra, A. & Thorpe, R. S., 1 Feb 2000, In : Evolution. 54, 1, p. 245-258

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  46. Published

    The importance of being genomic: Non-coding and coding sequences suggest different models of toxin multi-gene family evolution

    Malhotra, A., Creer, S., Harris, J. B. & Thorpe, R. S., 7 Sep 2015, In : Toxicon. 107, Part B, p. 344-358

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  47. Published

    The use of amplified fragment length polymorphism in determining species trees at fine taxonomic levels: analysis of a medically important snake, Trimeresurus albolabris

    Giannasi, N., Thorpe, R. S. & Malhotra, A., 1 Feb 2001, In : Molecular Ecology. 10, 2, p. 419-426

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  48. Published

    The utility of AFLPs for supporting mitochondrial DNA phylogeographical analyses in the Taiwanese bamboo viper, Trimeresurus stejnegeri

    Creer, S., Thorpe, R., Malhotra, A., Chou, W. H. & Stenson, A. G., 1 Jan 2004, In : Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 17, 1, p. 100-107

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  49. Published

    Weak founder effect signal in a recent introduction of Caribbean Anolis

    Eales, J. F., Thorpe, R. & Malhotra, A., 5 Feb 2008, In : Molecular Ecology. 17, 6, p. 1416-1426

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  50. Published

    Widespread parallel population adaptation to climate variation across a radiation: implications for adaptation to climate change

    Thorpe, R. S., Barlow, A., Malhotra, A. & Surget-Groba, Y., 16 Feb 2015, In : Molecular Ecology. 24, 5, p. 1019-1030

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  51. Other contribution › Research › Not peer-reviewed
  52. Published

    Can we solve the snakebite crisis in India?

    Malhotra, A. & Vasudevan, K., Apr 2018, 6 p.

    Research output: Other contribution