Short-term Visitor

Generating new models for detecting phylogenetic signals of endemism and dispersal

PI(s): Laura Soul (University of Oxford (UNITED KINGDOM))
Start Date: 12-Apr-2015
End Date: 9-May-2015
Keywords: phylogenetics, computational modeling, dispersal, endemism, paleontology

An organism’s ability to disperse can be restricted by major barriers such as oceans or enhanced by an enabling trait such as powered flight, with downstream effects on survival and diversification. Here we will attempt to establish the effects of both continental fragmentation and the origin of avian flight on Mesozoic dinosaur dispersal. We will achieve this by extending a simple Brownian motion model to establish the required conditions to recover phylogenetic dispersal signals using simulations. Our resulting software package can then be used to inspect similar patterns in other clades and potentially introduce a novel predictive variable in studies of diversification and extinction.