Research Themes

Most of my research focuses on macroevolution and phylogenetics, primarily of reptiles, but I'm not too picky. At the moment, this means investigating temporal and among-clade trends in diversification, namely morphological traits such as body size or shape. Have a look below for more specifics on projects:
 

Eocene-Oligocene mass turnover in Australian geckos

Roughly 35 million years ago, the Australian continental plate separated from Antarctica, resulting in dramatic changes to the global climate. Modelling temporal trends in diversification of the Australian pygopodoid geckos, we found evidence that the climatic changes during this period resulted in elevated extinction of these unique geckos. 
Read more at: Evolution.

 

Biome turnover and body size evolution in Australian vertebrates

Temporal trends in global climate have generally been gradual, but have been punctuated by periods of rapid change (think K-Pg boundary). Studies of macroevolutionary impacts of short periods of dramatic climatic change far outweigh the longer gradual periods in between dramatic events. Using a number of Australian vertebrate radiations, I'm looking at the influence of gradual change to the Australian continent, including biome turnover, and its implications for macroevolutionary patterns (body size) during late Miocene cooling. I was lucky enough to talk about this research in the SSB Ernst Mayr award symposium at the 2017 Evolution meetings in Portland, USA, see video above.