Graduate Fellow

Improving and testing ecological models of phenotypic diversification

PI(s): Luke Mahler (Harvard University)
Start Date: 1-Sep-2010
End Date: 10-Dec-2010
Keywords: adaptive radiation, comparative methods, phylogenetics, macroevolution, ecology

New phenotype-based phylogenetic methods for the analysis of diversification can offer considerable insight into adaptive radiation. Such methods, however, are often highly specific, and their performance remains to be fully tested under realistic conditions. I propose to work with NESCent scholar Liam Revell to adapt my recent model of phenotypic diversification for more general application, and to broadly evaluate the performance of phenotypic diversification models under a wide range of conditions using simulations and existing data. At a time when attention is increasingly shifting towards phenotypic diversification models, our work will provide much-needed analytical tools and guide interpretation of future results.