Research interests

I am driven by a curiosity of how the patterns of nature’s diversity can be explained. Why do some lineages radiate into several niche specialists whereas others remain as a single generalist lineage? Why are some species range-restricted while other have a global distribution? What factors can explain—and predict(?)—the outcome when closely related taxa meet, leading to homogenization of the lineages, or character displacement and/or reinforcement? How are these processes of differentiation, which can be readily observed in the phenotype, reflected at a molecular level? And, contrary to differentiation, are convergent phenotypes due to similar selective pressures in distantly related lineages also converging at the genomic level?

With my background as a birdwatcher and naturalist, I have a broad interest in ecology and evolution. While my PhD focused on speciation in birds, my postdoc project deals with the development and evolution of craniofacial morphology in syngnathid fish. In addition to those two fields, I have also dabbled in bird migration ecology, the impact of climate change on phenology, and genome evolution.

A wordcloud reflecting my cumulative research interests as reflected by published titles and abstracts. Projecting forward, speciation rather than migration might come up as the most prominent word.