Theoretical and Genomic Ecology
The interplay between current ecological processes, such as species sorting and community assembly, and evolutionary contingencies is a key eco-evolutionary question. The regional pool of extant species, and the corresponding distribution of phenotypes in trait-space, is defined by the evolutionary history of the constituent species. This project attempts to find general rules for how biological diversity emerges from the combination of ecological filtering and historical contingencies. The theoretical work is complemented by two experimental studies - one on extremely speciose marine bacterial communities, and one on highly specialized bird communities in Neotropical low-land rainforests.