Explore mechanisms driving the accumulation of restricted-range species at regional and local levels in the southwest Indian Ocean.
Apply knowledge on the origin and radiation of arthropods across the southwest Indian Ocean to inform and aid conservation planning for the region; specifically examine the evolution of ants in the context of a changing climate and relate results from historical climate driven shifts in diversity and distributions in the region to the projected changes in climate over the next century.
Build an online infrastructure for ant knowledge: AntWeb
Current Research questions:
What role has isolation, geographic placement, geological history, and environmental heterogeneity played in structuring patters of endemic species in the southwest Indian Ocean.
What is the origin of the ant fauna of Madagascar? Did the major lineages disperse from Africa or Asia? How many colonization events occurred from Africa to the SWIO islands for each genus? Did the Comoros Islands serve as stepping stones in this dispersal? Was there any backward movement from Madagascar to the African mainland or to other SWIO islands? What was the timeframe for these dispersal events?
Does a phylogenetic analysis of ant diversity patterns in Madagascar identify the same conservation priority areas as an analysis based on taxonomic (species) diversity?