Mike is currently Assistant Professor at CUNY City College of New York. He seeks to improve ways of using genomic data to reveal the history of, and dispersal between separated populations within any organism. By focusing on multi-species population genetic data, Mike’s research aims to merge population genetics with community ecology.
He is interested in uncovering processes behind biogeographic shifts, speciation, extinction, and processes underlying community assembly. His general direction has been to extend single-species population genetic models into hierarchical multi-species models that can infer the evolutionary and ecological histories of whole assemblages or communities and ultimately uncover the processes underlying the distributions and genetic structuring of co-distributed species and populations.
Post-Docs & Students
Diego’s interests broadly lie around three main topics: (i) diversification processes and evolutionary mechanisms underlying the differential accumulation of diversity across the globe, (ii) genetic consequences of climate-induced distributional shifts, and (iii) the role that taxon-specific ecologies and the spatio-temporal configuration of habitats play in determining species’ genetic and demographic responses to environmental change. Diego received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan under the supervision of Lacey Knowles. His dissertation integrated theoretical expectations with comprehensive analyses of species genetic and phenotypic variation to uncover evolutionary responses to environmental heterogeneity in small terrestrial mammals in the hyper-diverse northern Andes. His current research is focused in advancing analytical approaches that more explicitly incorporate geography into phylogeographic studies by integrating spatial and ecological niche modeling into a statistical hypothesis framework such as Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC). This research is aimed at generating tools to improve our understanding of how the spatio-temporal configuration of habitats constrains gene flow and conditions the evolutionary history of species and populations.
Champak Beeravolu Reddy
Champak's outlook is mainly statistical and computational and focusing on anything that falls in between the fields of community ecology, population genetics and historical biogeography. He has previously worked on the Neutral Theory of Community Ecology during his Ph.D. and later on statistical aspects for approximating likelihood methods used in population genetics. At around the same time, Champak started building upon a maximum likelihood approach for the Ancestral Area Reconstruction of the extant species distribution of a given clade. During his present postdoc, he plans on developing ABC and/or other computational approaches for modelling complex demographic histories and harnessing linkage information from genomic scale data.
Comparative phylogeography is a historical science. We can not directly observe the complex biotic and abiotic processes that contribute to species diversification (except on very short timescales ;p), therefore we must gather evidence and make inferences. These days the evidence predominantly comprises increasingly _vast_ quantities of sequence data. Isaac is interested in developing and applying methods for wrangling this data to uncover the patterns and processes of biological diversification within a geographic and environmental context.