Phylogeography and Biogeography
Topic & aims: Drifting continents, emerging mountain ranges, and changing environments in general are global drivers that shape the distribution of species and the genetic repertoire. By bringing together phylogenetic history with spatial variation, phylogeography aims at understanding how biodiversity is generated and maintained. Topics include the complex roles of species’ past migrations at different timescales, persistence in refugia during the last glacials, and the role of barriers in the distribution of taxa. Encompassing evolution, ecology, earth- and climate sciences makes phylogeography one of the most integrative disciplines in all of biology.
Approaches & methods: We collect samples of animal species or whole taxa from all their distribution range to extract and analyse their DNA sequences. The reconstruction of species’ relationships and how historical events shaped their diversity allows us to interpret the genetic variation that we observe today.