Why are biodiversity hotspots found where they are?

This project aims to develop a method to study how evolution within species shapes the broad-scale distribution of unique biological diversity across landscapes and continents. The distribution of biological diversity is strikingly uneven, with much diversity found only in small ‘hotspots’. What factors determine the locations of these hotspots of endemism? This project aims to answer this question by using three biologically diverse areas as test cases. It plans to use a new model to simulate processes of evolution over time, including range shifts, niche evolution, isolation and extinction, to determine how dynamics of divergence evolving within species contribute to broad-scale patterns of diversity. The project intends to improve understanding and management of biodiversity.

Commencement date of this DECRA project: mid 2016.



Collaborators: Thiago Rangel, Rob Colwell, Ana Carnaval, Craig Moritz.