Evolution of Australia's globally unique biodiversity hotspot

Eucalyptus flower

Description

The project will contrast the southwest Australian hotspot with the climatically and latitudinally comparable southeastern Australia to determine the processes responsible for species generation and biodiversity maintenance.

Research program:
Australia has a globally recognised biodiversity hotspot, the southwest of Western Australia, but this unique flora is highly threatened. We will contrast this hotspot with the climatically and latitudinally comparable southeastern Australia to determine the processes responsible for species generation and biodiversity maintenance. Study groups include the iconic eucalypts, Melaleuca, legumes and other plants, as well as gall-inducing scale insects that are associated with the plants, and other animals.

Student projects

  • Develop the first-ever phylogeny relating all species of eucalypts (c. 800 species), by using next-generation genomic sequencing.
  • Develop a phylogeny for gall insects distributed across southern Australia.
  • Test comparative hypotheses re factors influencing diversity using biogeographic, ecological and diversification modelling.

We are looking for up to three PhD students, to be based at either ANU or UQ. The research is funded but students will need to win a competitive scholarship. See our HDR page  and the UQ Postgraduate studies page.

Requirements

We are seeking students with a strong academic background in biology or bioinformatics, and preferably with evidence of ability to write manuscripts for quality journals.

Partnerships

This project is supported by the ARC Discovery Grant: Crisp, M.D., Cook, L.G.; 2013-2016; $350,000; Evolution of Australiaʼs globally unique hotspot of floral diversity.

Further information about our research labs:

Updated:  21 October 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB/Page Contact:  Webmaster RSB