Phylogenetics and Patterns of Diversification
Over the last few years we have explored the patterns and processes of morphological character evolution and species-level diversification, focusing on understanding the biogeographic and evolutionary histories of Southeast Asian amphibians and reptiles. Biodiversity in many complex landscapes is likely affected by similar geologic events and climatic changes. We am now pursuing several broader, more comparative approaches to understanding mechanisms driving diversification, and are interested in examining whether numerous lineages are affected similarly in biodiverse areas. The complex terrain in Southeast Asia represents a perfect system for investigations of diversification patterns. The region’s herpetofaunal diversity is highly diverse and endemic; however, few studies to date have taken a comprehensive approach to examining the mechanisms driving species’ diversification. Projects currently underway combine comparative phylogenetic, ecological modeling, and bioinformatic perspectives in studying the role that geographic and ecological forces play in driving diversification processes.