Cardillo Group - Macroevolution, Macroecology and Biogeography

We are interested in big-picture questions about biodiversity. Why are there so many species in the tropics? How have places like southwest Australia become biodiversity hotspots? Why are some species more threatened with extinction than others? To tackle questions like these we use big datasets for plants and animals, and a range of computational tools for analyzing geographic and phylogenetic data. Often, the most fun part is not getting an answer, but getting the question right: thinking about the basic scientific logic of a question about biodiversity, and devising an elegant and creative way of reaching an answer.

We always like welcoming new students, postdocs and visitors, so please get in touch if you are interested in macroevolution, macroecology, biogeography or conservation, and would like to join the lab. My lab is part of the Macroevolution & Macroecology group - you can find out more about what we work on and what we have published at




Marcel Cardillo

Marcel Cardillo
I did my PhD at the University of Queensland, then spent a few years in the UK, first at the Institute of Zoology, then at...

Honours Student

PhD Student

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Assistant


Open to students


Selected recent publications

Bromham, L. & Cardillo, M. (2019) Origins of Biodiversity: An Introduction to Macroevolution and Macroecology. Oxford University Press

Hua, X., Greenhill, S., Cardillo, M., Schneeman, H. & Bromham, L. (2019) The ecological drivers of variation in global language diversity. Nature Communications 10:2047

Skeels, A. & Cardillo, M. (2019) Reconstructing the geography of speciation from contemporary biodiversity data. The American Naturalist 193: 240-255

Cardillo, M., Weston, P.H., Reynolds, Z.M., Olde, P.M., Mast, A.R., Lemmon, E., Lemmon, A.R., Bromham, L. (2017) The phylogeny and biogeography of Hakea (Proteaceae) reveals the role of biome shifts in a continental plant radiation. Evolution 71: 1928-1943

Skeels, A. & Cardillo, M. (2017) Environmental niche conservatism explains the accumulation of species richness in Mediterranean-hotspot plant genera. Evolution  71: 582-594

Cardillo, M. & Skeels, A. (2016) Spatial, phylogenetic, environmental and biological components of variation in extinction risk: a case study using Banksia. PLoS One

Duchene, D. & Cardillo, M. (2015) Phylogenetic patterns in bird geographic distributions support the tropical conservatism hypothesis. Global Ecology & Biogeography 24: 1261-1268

Warren, D.L., Cardillo, M., Rosauer, D.F., Bolnick, D.I. (2014) Mistaking geography for biology: inferring processes from species distributions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 29: 572-580


All publications




News & events


A region's climate has a greater impact than landscape on how many languages are spoken there, new research from The Australian National University (ANU) shows.
Did you miss the inaugural RSB public forum? Click here to listen
Centre for Biodiversity Analysis logo
Russell Dinnage, Marcel Cardillo & Gavin Huttley (together with Owain Edwards from CSIRO) have been awarded a CBA Ignition Grant, "Characterizing the evolutionary and ecological diversity of invertebrates in the Monsoonal vine thickets of the Kimberley".
Bringing together researchers from a range of fields can help solve complex problems, but research from ANU has found interdisciplinary research is consistently short changed.




Marcel Cardillo

A major current focus is the amazing plant diversity of Australia’s southwest corner.

Updated:  19 November 2019/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB/Page Contact:  Webmaster RSB