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Biogeography and Paleobiology

Paleobiology is the study of the history of life, particularly the diversification and extinction of lineages, the evolution of morphology, and ecological interactions on a changing planet. Biogeography seeks understanding of patterns and causes of the geographic distribution of populations, species and communities in terms of ecological and evolutionary processes interacting with earth history.
Italics = secondary appointment in EEB, can serve as graduate co-chair only

Catherine Badgley

Catherine Badgley's research involves the ecological and evolutionary processes, including speciation, extinction and geographic-range shifts, that determine the species diversity and ecological structure of mammalian assemblages over deep time. She also works on the environmental and social implications of different agricultural practices.

Paul E. Berry

Paul Berry's research focuses on the systematics, biogeography and character evolution of large groups of flowering plants, such as the genera Croton and Euphorbia in the spurge family.

Robyn Burnham

Robyn Burnham studies the high diversity tropical forests of Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, identifying the dominant species in liana communities across the Amazon Basin, and determines the traits that predispose climbing species to proliferate under forest alterations.

Liliana Cortés-Ortiz 

Liliana Cortés-Ortiz integrates genetic, cytogenetic, morphological, and behavioral approaches to understand the evolution and diversification of primates and to establish primate conservation strategies. Her current research includes systematic and phylogeographic investigations of Neotropical primates and the study of hybridization in two well-defined sister species of howler monkeys.

Christopher Dick

Christopher Dick is interested in the ecology and evolutionary history of species-rich tropical forests. His research has focused primarily on phylogeny, phylogeography and population genetics of Neotropical trees. He is also eager to collaborate on projects involving temperate forest trees.

Thomas Duda

Thomas Duda investigates the processes associated with ecological diversification. This work includes field and laboratory studies that involve analyses of feeding ecology, phylogenetics and phylogeography, and molecular investigations of the evolution of venoms of members of the predatory, marine gastropod genus Conus.

Paul Dunlap

Paul Dunlap's research investigates the inception and development of species-specific symbioses between light-emitting bacteria and teleost fish. Laboratory studies examine symbiont-host interactions from the bacterial genetic, physiological, and genomic perspectives, field work addresses the behavioral ecology of the fish and population ecology of the bacteria, and mariculture studies focus on the developmental and reproductive biology of the fish.

Daniel Fisher (can serve as graduate co-chair only)

Daniel Fisher is interested in paleobiology and Pleistocene extinctions.

Philip Gingerich (can serve as graduate co-chair only)

Philip Gingerich studies the fossil record and evolution of mammals.

L. Lacey Knowles

Lacey Knowles' research interests are in speciation, phylogeography and evolutionary radiations.

Hernán López-Fernández

Hernán López-Fernández studies the evolution of freshwater fishes with emphasis on South and Central America, which house the most diverse freshwater fish fauna on earth. The lab often uses the family Cichlidae as a model because it is an iconic subject of study in vertebrate adaptive evolution and the third most diverse family of Neotropical fishes. Research in the lab combines fieldwork, molecular phylogenetics/phylogenomics and comparative methods to integrate ecology, functional morphology, life histories and geography into macroevolutionary analyses of freshwater fish diversification.

Diarmaid O'Foighil

Diarmaid Ó Foighil studies invertebrate evolution and systematics, and malacology.

Daniel L. Rabosky

Daniel Rabosky studies macroevolution, speciation, and evolutionary community ecology. He is especially interested in how ecological factors influence the processes of speciation, extinction, and trait evolution through time and space. His research includes field-based studies of ecological diversification in Australian reptiles, molecular phylogenetics, and mathematical and computer modeling of evolutionary dynamics in a broad range of taxonomic groups.

Tony Reznicek (can serve as graduate co-chair only)

Tony Reznicek's major research interest is the systematics and evolution of sedges (Cyperaceae), especially the large and complex genus Carex. He emphasizes a multi-level approach concentrating on several aspects, including development of new characters useful in systematics, monographic studies of major groups, and processes and patterns of evolution. He is also conducting research on the biogeography of the northeastern North American flora, concentrating on the Great Lakes region.

Nate Sanders

Nate Sanders' research is at the interface of community ecology, ecosystem ecology and macroecology, with a focus on how global change drivers and interspecific interactions influence the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss. My research program takes advantage of environmental gradients and experimental manipulations arranged at multiple sites with the aim of forecasting the effects of environmental change on biodiversity. They do experiments on ants, plant-insect interactions, montane plant communities, and a whole variety of other taxa.

Stephen A. Smith

Stephen Smith is interested in phylogenetics, computational molecular evolution, biogeography, and macroevolution. His research includes developing and implementing methods for the construction and analysis of phylogenetic trees. In addition to constructing trees, he also works on methods for examining geographic evolution and large scale evolutionary patterns. He primarily focuses on plant species, though he is interested in addressing these questions across the tree of life.

Benjamin Winger

Ben Winger studies speciation, biogeography, community assembly, and movement ecology (migration and dispersal) in birds. He uses a variety of approaches and data types in his research, including population genetics, genomics, phylogenetics, museum collections and fieldwork.