Our team is multi-dimensional, with extensive background in environmental sciences, genetics, physiology, botany, and zoology.
We combine the use of satellite remote sensing data and weather station information to delineate contemporary land cover (vegetation) structure, moisture, and phenology to better understand the drivers of climatic zonation of the AF. Our paleoenvironmental group relies on speleothem data, the study of faults, pollen cores, and marine sediments to model past climatic and landscape shifts that impacted the distribution of the Atlantic Forest diversity.
By combining available data at the community level and generating next generation sequence information for target groups, we will test hypotheses about community assembly and the role of climate change on the distribution patterns of diversity in the Atlantic Forest.
We aim to test whether thermal physiology is a major mechanism underlying differences in present-daydistribution of Atlantic Forest species and local diversity patterns, particularly focusing on widely distributed groups of vertebrates (lizards) and invertebrates (Opiliones).
By targeting multiple angiosperm families in comprehensive phylogenetic studies, we sample a wide variety of habitats, habits,pollination syndromes, photosynthetic pathways, and dispersal strategies, enabling comparisons across guilds. These radiations contain species with narrow distributions and others that are widespread within the Atlantic forest; sister groups are found in Amazonia, the Andes, and in the Guianas.
Our target animal groups include amphibians, lizards, birds, and harvestmen taxa with sister groups in Amazonia and Andean forests, for which we are generating morphological, physiological, and genetic/genomic data. To explore the role of biological interactions in diversity patterns, we are studying frog-symbiont associations and avian malaria.