Dr. Nick Matzke
School of Biological Sciences
University of Auckland
Biogeography is the study of where species live, and why. Traditionally, the “why” has been divided into “Ecological Biogeography” and “Historical Biogeography.” Ecological Biogeography has focused on environmental and ecological controls on distribution, such as temperature and precipitation. Historical Biogeography has focused on distributions over phylogenies on geological timescales, primarily dealing with rare dispersal and vicariance events.
I believe that it is high time that these two traditions were re-integrated, not just in verbal models and interpretation, but with formal probabilistic models, using the computational tools of statistical phylogenetics. My work focuses on building these tools, and using them to answer Big Questions in evolution and biogeography.