Browse/search for groups

Evolution of Biodiversity and Morphology

The following people are in this group:

More about this group

Our research is focused on the historical context of the current biodiversity crisis and the evolutionary assembly of organismal bodyplans.

We explore how modern biodiversity was established over geological timescales - from the immediate past on millennial timescales, to the very origins of animal diversity more than half a billion years ago.

Secondly, we explore the relationship between the evolutionary structure of biodiversity (phylogeny) and historical crises in biodiversity, including the Permian-Triassic, Cretaceous-Tertiary and Palaeocene-Eocene extinction events, and including their paleo-environmental context. Our research focuses most especially on vertebrates and members of the microplankton.

Groups such as birds and reptiles, vertebrates and invertebrates only appear distinct because their intermediates are extinct. Our research aims to reconstruct the sequence within which bodyplan characters of living clades were assembled through analysis of their extinct relatives.

We identify the functional adaptive basis of these changes within organisms and across clades using biomechanical and engineering approaches. We also seek the mechanistic bases of steps within bodyplan evolution through comparative analysis of the molecular genetic basis of development.

Research groups