Research

Our group studies a diverse set of species and ecosystems because we are interested in mechanisms of evolution and the overarching patterns of diversification that extend beyond any individual place or species. We generally work with whole genome or transcriptomic data and use statistical models to test what factors may have shaped genomic patterns. We mix dry (computational) and field work.

Motivating questions:

  • How important are different Earth processes in shaping species diversification? Are some processes more important than others an does the impact vary by taxonomic group?

  • How can we quantify the cause-effect relationship of these processes using geologic and genomic data?

Empirical Earth-life systems

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Earth-life evolution in Baja California

Testing pseudocongruence: Landscape and climatic controls on adaptation and diversification of plants and animals on the Baja California peninsula, Mexico

River & monsoon speciation genomics

Speciation of threatened desert tortoises by river vicariance and differential  adaptation to monsoon precipitation

Sea-level change and diversification

Geologic controls on genetic diversification of coastal aquatic species based on continental shelf width and tectonic/sedimentation history.

Earth-life theory

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Causality

Use of causal inference theory and structural equation modeling to tease apart cause-effect relationships in Earth-life systems and multi-'omic controls on adaptive phenotypes

Information theoretic tools

Using decomposed information signatures of genomic data to compare the speciation history across taxonomic groups