Group research focus
We study the evolution of diversity of terrestrial vertebrates in relation to environmental history and with a focus on tropical Australia and its connections with New Guinea. We develop and apply new methods across population- and phylo-genomics and spatial modeling of diversity with evidence on phenotypic variation to understand how evolutionary responses to past environmental change – adaptation, range shifting and speciation - have shaped the diversity that we see now, with applications to conservation planning and practice.
Teaching and research achievements
I enjoy inspiring and mentoring students at all levels, typically learning more from them than vice versa. Among various awards, the one I’m proudest of is the Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award given by the UC Berkeley Graduate Student Assembly. The successes of my former students give me a lot of satisfaction.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
Put simply, teaching keeps me alive intellectually. It broadens thinking and I just love seeing the lights go on when a new concept or experimental result hits home.
What do you enjoy most about research?
Discovery. I’m a discovery junkie. A new result or insight makes all the background effort totally worthwhile. As something of a biogeographer, I also get to travel all over Australia for fieldwork, meeting fascinating and diverse people and soaking in the extraordinary landscapes and biota of Australia.
- This profile originally appeared in the RSB newsletter, Issue 67, August 2015
- Moritz Lab - Evolutionary biogeography and conservation