Phylogeography and evolutionary history
Insights from the past into biodiversity responses to future climate change
Understanding how past climatic fluctuations during the Pleistocene affected the distribution of species and patterns of genetic variation across their ranges can help predict biodiversity responses to future changes. Our research combines genetic and environmental data with spatial modelling and inference of evolutionary history to show how past climatic changes shaped the current distribution of genetic variation in species with different distributions and ecological requirements.
Project 1: Shaping of genetic variation in edge of range populations under past and future climate change
We combined genetic analysis with ecological niche modelling across temporal scales and Approximate Bayesian Computation model-based inference of evolutionary history to research the effects of past and future climate change on edge of range populations of the grey long-eared bat, Plecotus austriacus.
Project 2: Contrasting population-level responses to Pleistocene climatic changes in widely distributed species
We sequenced the full mitochondrial genome of a widely distributed Palearctic bat restricted to mountain ranges, the alpine long-eared bat, Plecotus macrobullaris. We integrated ecological niche modelling, approximate Bayesian computation (ABC), measures of genetic diversity and Bayesian phylogenetic methods to study the effect of differences in the extent of glaciation events on the demographic history of separate lineages.
Project 3: Unravelling the evolutionary history and future prospects of endemic species
We used an integrated approach, combining markers with different evolutionary rates and combining phylogenetic analysis with approximate Bayesian computation and species distribution modelling across temporal scales. We related phylogeographic processes to patterns of genetic variation in Myotis escalerai, a recently confirmed bat species endemic to the Iberian Peninsula.