Logo designed by Greg Mercer
Integrative approach for species identification and delimitation
In this this project I am integrating linear and geometric morphometric analysis, together with genetic and acoustic data to review the taxonomy of cryptic species in Kenya. Collaborators: Bruce Patterson, Terry Demos, Stefania Briones, Paul Webala, Amy Tian and Alexandra Weber.
Morphological Integration and Modularity
I am interested in understanding how the patterns of integration and modularity affect the trajectory and the rate of phenotypic evolution over time. For this, since my PhD., I have been using the theoretical framework of quantitative genetics, phylogenetic comparative methods and empirical data from a remarkably diverse group of mammals, The New World leaf-nosed bats. Currently, I am extending this investigation to the Old World Bat Families. This project focuses on the importance of considering a multidimensional phenotype and the within-species variation and covariation for understanding trait dynamics in populations, in terms of evolvability (i.e., the ability of a biological system to respond to selection) and evolutionary constraints. Collaborators: Bruce Patterson, James Cheverud, Graham Slater and Gabriel Marroig.
Postcranial Evolution: Does specializations lead to modularity in bats?
In this project I am using microCT imaging to investigate whether limb specializations, associated with feeding and roosting strategies, favors the reduction of covariation between limbs or homologous elements. Collaborators: James Cheverud and Bruce Patterson. The Micro CT Scanner is located at the Department of Biology, Loyola University Chicago.