Project

Patterns and processes of diversification in endemic clades of freshwater mollusks from the East African Rift

Duration
01 October 2015 → 30 June 2019
Funding
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund, Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Geology
    • Animal biology
    • Evolutionary biology
    • Aquatic sciences, challenges and pollution
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Veterinary medicine
Keywords
fylogeny morphology
 
Project description

I aim to integrate modern evolutionary theory and paleontological perspectives to better understand patterns and processes of organismal diversification, and how long-term biosphere-geosphere interactions affect species diversity. I will examine patterns and rates of evolution in a well-controlled fossil gastropod time-series from Lake Malawi. Using comparative data I will investigate how divergence in trophic and reproductive morphological traits led to niche specialization in two ongoing radiations. Continent-wide family-level data from African freshwater gastropods will allow to explore how ecological opportunities, morphological disparity and molecular diversity relate to one another in macroevolution.