I am interested in ways of testing ideas about macroevolutionary patterns and mechanisms, particularly the way that phylogenies constructed from DNA sequence data can be used to understand evolutionary past and processes. But in order to use molecular data to understand evolution, we need to understand how evolutionary information is recorded in the genome. Current research themes include: * How patterns of trait evolution on phylogenies reveal macroevolutionary mechanisms, particularly for traits that reduce lineage diversification * Analysis of DNA sequence data to reconstruct the construction of species assemblages over time. * How patterns and rates of molecular evolution are influenced by species characteristics, environment, and macroevolutionary processes.
I work on a range of questions in community ecology, macroecology, macroevolution and conservation biology, mostly using a comparative or modelling approach. Most of my research has a phylogenetic perspective. Phylogenies can reveal more than just evolutionary relationships: they also carry information on ecological and evolutionary processes, and can be a powerful tool for analyzing comparative data.
In general, I'm interested in developing evolutionary theories through a mathematical modelling approach. Currently, my research focuses on speciation and phylogenetic theory, trying to elucidate the links between molecular evolution and diversification processes. I'm also interested in applying physics to understand macroevolution.
Russell Dinnage Postdoctoral Researcher
Species distribution models in regions of severe habitat loss
Simulating and testing the predictions of niche-filling adaptive radiation models
Zoe Reynolds PhD Student
I’m interested in the role of unburnt patches as habitat refuges for fauna. My PhD focuses on how birds in mallee communities utilise burnt vegetation and islands of unburnt vegetation in the years following a bushfire, and whether we can use this information to predict species distributions in fire-prone landscapes.