One of my main interests revolves around finding and describing  geographic and environmental patterns and drivers of evolution.  More specifically, I'd like to uncover what drives diversification in widespread species which occur across heterogeneous landscapes and environments in the South American Tropics. 

To do this, I plan on sequencing genomic DNA and using population and landscape genomics to test for levels of gene flow and genetic divergence across geographic and environmental gradients.

Drivers of Diversification

Photo by

Mauro Teixeira, Jr.

Adaptation across Landscapes

Contrasting local environments are known to influence selection within species through local adaptation. I aim to uncover how different landscapes influence intra-specific adaptive responses within the  genomes of co-distributed taxa across contrasting environments. Currently I am utilizing multiple populations from Rhinella marina and Rhinella granulosa toads, as well as skinks (Mabuya) and geckos (Gymnodactylus) distributed from southern Central America, through the Amazon, and across the Brazilian Cerrado and Caatinga into the Atlantic Rain Forest.

South America

South America is home to a wide array of lanscapes and biodiversity. From the complex Andes mountains and the tropical  Amazon and Atlantic forests, to the drier open savannas (Cerrado) and xeric habitats (Caatinga), the highly-contrasting landscapes in this region both promote and harbor extensive amounts of biodiversity.  These regions are also home to some amazing scientists (and really great friends!) that are amazing resources of international collaboration and expertise. All of this renders South America an ideal place for studing patterns and mechanisms which drive biodiversity!


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