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The role of extinction and speciation rates, and the effect of different levels of biological organization on the origin and maintenance of biodiversity


Despite the great interest in biodiversity, there are many unanswered questions regarding the patterns and processes that affect the diversity of a given clade or geographical region. This is to some extent due to the lack of understanding of diversification dynamics, which in the end will determine the number of species. Diversity dynamics studies have been traditionally done by paleontologists, but molecular phylogenies also carry historical information and therefore can be also used to study the diversification of different taxonomic groups. The main goal of this project is to study the origination and maintenance of biodiversity. To achieve those goals I will: 1- investigate the role of speciation and extinction rates on the diversification dynamics; 2- characterize the spacial and temporal patterns of diversity dynamics for different taxonomic groups; 3- investigate which potential factors might affect the speciation and extinction rates, and ultimately the diversity trajectory. Special attention will be given to groups showing declining diversity, given that: (a) we still do not know the role of speciation and extinction in this evolutionary scenario; (b) except for conservation biologists this scenario is ignored by most biologists; and (c) the phylogenetic signal of groups in decline has not been properly characterized yet. The effect of different levels of biological organization on the speciation and extinction rates will also be investigated. Those include for example the rates of morphological evolution and the spacial distribution of species. Additionally, the project will evaluate the limitations of current analytical tools used to study the diversity dynamics and will, if possible, develop new tools that integrate different approaches. The fossil record, molecular phylogenies, numerical simulations and ecological data will be used to achieve those goals. I expect that the integration of those four different approaches will result in a better understanding of different aspects related to diversification dynamics, and that the results from this project help on the development of a theory that explains the origin and maintenance of biodiversity. (AU)

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Scientific publications (12)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
JANUARIO, MATHEUS; QUENTAL, TIAGO B. Re-evaluation of the ``law of constant extinction{''} for ruminants at different taxonomical scales. Evolution, FEB 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.
BURIN, GUSTAVO; ALENCAR, LAURA R. V.; CHANG, JONATHAN; ALFARO, MICHAEL E.; QUENTAL, TIAGO B. How Well Can We Estimate Diversity Dynamics for Clades in Diversity Decline?. Systematic Biology, v. 68, n. 1, p. 47-62, JAN 2019. Web of Science Citations: 4.
PIRES, MATHIAS M.; RANKIN, BRIAN D.; SILVESTRO, DANIELE; QUENTAL, TIAGO B. Diversification dynamics of mammalian clades during the K - Pg mass extinction. BIOLOGY LETTERS, v. 14, n. 9 SEP 2018. Web of Science Citations: 1.
HAGEN, OSKAR; ANDERMANN, TOBIAS; QUENTAL, TIAGO B.; ANTONELLI, ALEXANDRE; SILVESTRO, DANIELE. Estimating Age-Dependent Extinction: Contrasting Evidence from Fossils and Phylogenies. Systematic Biology, v. 67, n. 3, p. 458-474, MAY 2018. Web of Science Citations: 7.
VIEIRA DE ALENCAR, LAURA RODRIGUES; MARTINS, MARCIO; BURIN, GUSTAVO; QUENTAL, TIAGO BOSISIO. Arboreality constrains morphological evolution but not species diversification in vipers. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, v. 284, n. 1869 DEC 20 2017. Web of Science Citations: 3.
SILVESTRO, DANIELE; PIRES, MATHIAS M.; QUENTAL, TIAGO B.; SALAMIN, NICOLAS. Bayesian estimation of multiple clade competition from fossil data. EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY RESEARCH, v. 18, n. 1-2, p. 41-59, JAN-MAR 2017. Web of Science Citations: 6.
ALENCAR, LAURA R. V.; QUENTAL, TIAGO B.; GRAZZIOTIN, FELIPE G.; ALFARO, MICHAEL L.; MARTINS, MARCIO; VENZON, MERICIEN; ZAHER, HUSSAM. Diversification in vipers: Phylogenetic relationships, time of divergence and shifts in speciation rates. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, v. 105, p. 50-62, DEC 2016. Web of Science Citations: 29.
MARSHALL, CHARLES R.; QUENTAL, TIAGO B. The uncertain role of diversity dependence in species diversification and the need to incorporate time-varying carrying capacities. PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, v. 371, n. 1691 APR 5 2016. Web of Science Citations: 27.
BURIN, GUSTAVO; KISSLING, W. DANIEL; GUIMARAES, JR., PAULO R.; SEKERCIOGLU, CAGAN H.; QUENTAL, TIAGO B. Omnivory in birds is a macroevolutionary sink. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, v. 7, APR 2016. Web of Science Citations: 29.
PIRES, MATHIAS M.; SILVESTRO, DANIELE; QUENTAL, TIAGO B. Continental faunal exchange and the asymmetrical radiation of carnivores. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, v. 282, n. 1817 OCT 22 2015. Web of Science Citations: 19.
SILVESTRO, DANIELE; ANTONELLI, ALEXANDRE; SALAMIN, NICOLAS; QUENTAL, TIAGO B. The role of clade competition in the diversification of North American canids. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, v. 112, n. 28, p. 8684-8689, JUL 14 2015. Web of Science Citations: 47.
QUENTAL, TIAGO B.; MARSHALL, CHARLES R. How the Red Queen Drives Terrestrial Mammals to Extinction. Science, v. 341, n. 6143, p. 290-292, JUL 19 2013. Web of Science Citations: 55.

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