Brian T. Smith Seminar: A Biological View of Avian Phylogeography

Event location: 
OML 201
Event time: 
Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 4:00pm

Over the last 30 years phylogeographic data have provided detailed resolution into the geographical distribution of genetic diversity in species. The field of phylogeography has grown from descriptive narratives of how genetic variation is distributed across the landscape to integrative studies explaining community-level patterns. In this talk I will focus on phylogeographic data of birds from North and South America, and illustrate how large multi-species datasets are shedding new insights into the origins of Amazonian diversity, the latitudinal species diversity gradient, and population responses to the Ice Age. I will show how traditional models, where assemblages of taxa evolve in concert with landscape and environmental change, are a poor fit to empirical data. Instead I will discuss how models that incorporate stochastic and ecological factors can better explain the variation of genetic diversity observed in avian communities.