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- Genetics, Evolution & Environment
- Div of Biosciences
- Faculty of Life Sciences
Understanding the processes that lead to speciation is fundamental to explaining the diversity of life. Yet biodiversity is not evenly distributed, with some environments, or groups of organisms containing higher species richness than others. The East African great lakes, some of the richest freshwater ecosystems on Earth, are regarded as biodiversity hotspots. These lakes, analogous to islands, not only encompass staggering biodiversity, but are home to multiple endemic faunal radiations, the most celebrated being the cichlid fishes. As such these environments have received considerable attention from evolutionary biologists in providing natural experimental settings in which to study processes that underlie speciation. To address questions pertaining to why biological diversity is uneven and factors affecting speciation in island-type settings, much of my current research is focused on the evolutionary radiations of different fish groups from these water bodies. In order to understand the tempo and mode of evolution, molecular data is used to reconstruct species-level phylogenetic trees, which can further be used to estimate the timing of evolutionary events as well as rates of diversification. I am particularly interested in studying comparative systems, in order to better understand whether there are common factors that have promoted the elevated levels of species richness and how this biodiversity is maintained.
|2000||PhD||Doctor of Philosophy||University College London|
|1995||BSc Hons||Bachelor of Science (Honours)||University of Bristol|