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?

A wordcloud reflecting my cumulative research interests as reflected by published titles and abstracts. Click the image to view in larger size.

With my background as a birdwatcher and naturalist, I have a broad interest in ecology and evolution. My PhD at Lund University focused on speciation in birds, followed by a brief postdoc project on the evolution of immune genes. Thereafter followed a Swedish Research Council International Postdoc Fellowship at University of Oregon, where I tried to better understand the genomics of craniofacial development in syngnathid fish. I am currently a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Natural History Museum, where I study the genomic underpinnings of the parallel evolution towards loss of flight in island rails.

In also dabble in phylogenetics and phylogeography, avian taxonomy, bird migration ecology, the impact of climate change on phenology, and genome evolution.