Catalysis Meeting

The Role of Mountains, Climate, and Landscape in Generating Amazon/Andean Biodiversity

PI(s): Paul Baker (Duke University)
Sherilyn Fritz (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
Christopher Dick (University of Michigan)
Start Date: 23-Apr-2012
End Date: 31-Mar-2013
Keywords: phylogenetics, speciation, biodiversity, biogeography, ecological niche modeling

We propose to articulate and develop an emerging field of "geogenomics", which integrates the rich evolutionary history encoded in genetic sequences of modern organisms with the geological history of climate and landscapes. Although related to phylogeography, which investigates the role of historical processes in generating the observed geographic distribution of lineages, we envision a much more dynamic interplay between geological and genetic studies that integrates the two in research design and implementation and that builds on the potential for bi-directional flow of information. This bi-directional flow implies not only using geological data to understand the rates and drivers of evolutionary change, but also using genetic sequences of modern organisms to provide key information about the timing and nature of past geological events. Such a synthesis has the potential to transform both our understanding of evolutionary patterns and processes and our understanding of geologic history of the Amazon and Andes (or any other region where this approach is applied). The proposed workshop will be used as a platform to generate an integrated research program for the collection of new phylogenetic and geologic data, combined with re-evaluation of previously published studies, to test hypotheses explaining the patterns and origins of tropical forest diversity in South America. The workshop will be used to generate an integrated set of hypotheses and interdisciplinary research activities that form the foundation for several interdisciplinary grant proposals