Our research targets the evolutionary processes driving the dynamics of biodiversity across space, time and the Tree of Life. Our empirical work mainly focuses on plants, but we are interested in collaborations on other organisms as well. Our work integrates across a broad range of methods. We generate taxonomic knowledge, trait data, genomic data, and eco-geographic data using a combination of collections-based research, field research, and data mining. Using phylogenomic, macroevolutionary, macroecological and biogeographic approaches, we test hypotheses that are central to our understanding of biodiversity.
We like flow charts - this one tries to capture our overall approach to explaining biodiversity.
The tropical rainforest is the biologically richest nature on earth, harbouring 50% of all living species, for unknown reasons. This mysterious richness can be explained using the Tree of Life, which shows the evolutionary history of species. We will reconstruct the Tree of Life for plants, and use it for the first time to explain the richness of rainforests at a global scale. This grant will recruit four researchers to work together on solving this long-standing biological riddle.
TropiToL is funded by VILLUM fonden 2019-2023.
Integrated monography of the genus Saxifraga L. as a window on the evolution of the European Alpine flora
This project aims to use the species-rich, predominantly alpine genus Saxifraga (ca. 440 spp.) as a model to elucidate the eco-evolutionary assembly of mountain floras, with emphasis on the European Alps.
The project is funded by the David & Claudia Harding Foundation 2016-2019.
PEB contributes to the PhyloSynth network, a collaborative group of scientists that aim to provide an updated framework and set of phylogenies for the plant tree of life.
For more information please check https://phylosynth.github.io.
The contribution of PEB to the global palm phylogeny is funded by the Aarhus University Research Foundation 2018-2021.
The palm family (Arecaceae) with its ca 2600 species has steadily developed into what is now probably the best model for studying tropical rain forest plant diversity (Couvreur & Baker 2013). Much of this success has been down to the availability of a solid phylogenetic tree of all palm genera (Baker et al. 2009). However, the use of such a sparsely sampled tree has obvious limits – for example, Couvreur et al. (2011) estimated that diversification dynamics between 24 Mya and now cannot be modelled. This is a shame, as much of the present-day variation in palm diversity (and tropical rain forest plant diversity in general) must have been shaped by Neogene climate change – alas, we cannot test this… yet.
MADCLADES was funded by the EU 2014-2016.
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