We use field and lab experiments, as well as comparative analyses, to investigate the processes underlying speciation and broad-scale patterns of species richness. Major questions include: How do social and ecological interactions influence the diversification of species and their phenotypes? What is the relative importance of stochastic versus deterministic processes in explaining variation in rates of speciation across the tree of life? How important are extrinsic factors versus intrinsic traits in shaping diversity gradients? Recent work has revealed the importance of species ecology in promoting lineage diversification and contributing to the global diversity gradients. In particular, we have focused on the role of ecological niche evolution, climatic niche evolution, sexual selection and dispersal ability as drivers of speciation cycles.

Main collaborators

  • Robb Brumfield
    Louisiana State University
  • Gavin Thomas
    University of Sheffield
  • Jason Weir
    University of Toronto