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National Science Foundation (USA) 2006

Adaptive and Non-Adaptive Radiation in Australian Desert Lizards

Australian Desert Lizards


Titre : Adaptive and Non-Adaptive Radiation in Australian Desert Lizards

Organismes NSF : Office Of Internatl Science &Engineering

Durée : September 1, 2006 — August 31, 2008

This award supports a dissertation enhancement project to enable Dr. Irby Lovette at Cornell University in New York to collaborate with Dr. Mark Hutchinson at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide and Dr. Mark Cowan at the Western Australia Department of Conservation and Land Management located in Kalgoorlie. The project will facilitate a collaboration on adaptive and non-adaptive radiation in Australian desert lizards.
The extent to which major evolutionary radiations are driven by adaptive and non-adaptive processes is a critical but unanswered question in evolutionary biology. Adaptive radiation implies a prominent role for interspecific interactions and ecological opportunity in species proliferation and phenotypic divergence. In contrast, non-adaptive radiation may involve diversification due to sexual selection or biogeographic processes, resulting in species proliferation without divergence in ecology. The role of adaptive radiation in the assembly of continental biotas is largely unknown. Although most biological diversity occurs in continental systems, relatively few studies have used rigorous phylogenetic and comparative methods to understand the causes of ecological and phenotypic divergence during major evolutionary radiations. The proposed research will employ a comparative phylogenetic approach to investigate the role of adaptive and non-adaptive radiation in the diversification of the Australian lizard genus (Ctenotus), one of the most speciose terrestrial vertebrate genera on Earth. The research will help address whether evolutionary mechanisms that predominate in insular systems can be generalized to continental diversification. The project will include a graduate student who will have the opportunity to receive a global research experience. It is anticipated that these collaborations between the scientists and students from each country will lead to long-term collaborations that will benefit all the institutions.

Partenaire (s) : Irby Lovette ijl2 (Principal Investigator) Amy McCune (Co-Principal Investigator)

Sponsor  : Cornell Univ - State : AWDS MADE PRIOR MAY 2010 373 Pine Tree Road Ithica, NY 14850-2488 (607)255-5014

Financement : $18,998.00

Présentation (National Science Foundation)

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