Macroecology and Macroevolution Research Group
IRC Embark Initiative Postgraduate Scholarship
Project: Convergent evolution in Malagasy tenrecs
The tenrecs of Madagascar (Tenrecidae) represent one of the most interesting and understudied examples of convergent evolution in the animal kingdom. Tenrecs resemble various other kinds of mammals including shrews, moles, hedgehogs and even otters. Tenrecs also echolocate like bats and cetaceans. We are interested in studying this incredible convergence, particularly the mechanisms underlying these patterns. This work involves collecting morphological data from museum specimens, analyses of morphological evolution in tenrecs and the mammals they resemble, field experiments in Madagascar, and comparative genomics.
Trinity Postgraduate Research Studentship
Project: Evolutionary Ecology and fossil primates
Evolutionary ecology, the study of patterns and processes at the interface of evolutionary biology and ecology, is an exciting and rapidly growing research area. However, most studies ignore one important factor: extinction. The aim of this project is to test and develop methods for adding fossil species into phylogenies and evolutionary ecology analyses, using primates as a study group. This work involves collecting morphological data from museum specimens, building phylogenies including extinct and extant species, and phylogenetic comparative analyses of primate evolutionary ecology.