Hannah Wilson, PhD Candidate
Diversity is not evenly distributed, spatially, or across the tree of life. Massive radiations are the place to look to help us understand speciation and the evolution of biodiversity.
Comprising 1869 known species, the pantropical genus Begonia is the 6th largest genus of flowering plants, with centres of diversity in the Neotropics and South-East Asia. With this staggering species diversity, exceptionally high levels of micro-endemism, and a pantropical distribution, Begonia makes an idealcase study for researching the origins of biodiversity and reconstructing historical biogeography.
My PhD research aims to identify key factors driving the rapid diversification of tropical plant species on New Guinea by placing the radiation of Begonia on the island (c.250 species) into geographic, genomic, environmental and temporal contexts. Using targeted enrichment to generate sequence data from herbarium specimens of New Guinean Begonia, a time-calibrated phylogeny will be produced, thus improving phylogenetic resolution in this group and providing insights into the genomic evolution underlying this rapid radiation.
Fieldwork Papua New Guinea 2018
- Dr Mark Newman
- Hannah Atkins
- Lucia Campos
- Yun-Yu Chen
- Dr Mark Hughes
- Dr Catherine Kidner
- Thibauld Michel
- Dr Michael Möller
- Dr Peter Moonlight
- Dr Kanae Nishii
- Sanna Olander
- Surabhi Ranavat
- Dr James Richardson
- Jess Rickenback
- Dr Louis Ronse De Craene
- Dr Tiina Sarkinen
- Madhavi Sreenath
- Pakkapol Thaowetsuwan
- Dr Peter Wilkie
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