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What explains patterns of diversification and richness among Cnidaria?

Grant number: 18/25015-4
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Antonio Carlos Marques
Grantee:Adriana Marcela Morales Guerrero
Supervisor abroad: John J Wiens
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Arizona, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:17/00312-3 - Time and space in the evolution of Staurozoa (Cnidaria), BP.DR

Abstract

Cnidaria is one of the oldest animal phyla, and includes the corals, jellyfish, sea anenomes, and hydra. Its classes vary dramatically in species richness from 45 spp. in Cubozoa to 7,200 in Anthozoa, but the reasons that explain this variation are unknown. Likewise, this phylum have also evolved striking variation in morphology, ecology and metagenetic life cycles. However, the relationship between these traits and the diversification and richness patterns among cnidarian clades remains poorly understood. This internship proposal aims to test the impact of at least 16 traits (including morphology, ecology, reproduction, and development) on diversification and richness patterns among cnidarian clades. In my PhD project, patterns of macroevolution of the class Staurozoa are being analyzed in order to infer the processes underlying diversification in the group. For the internship proposed here, I will estimate the patterns and processes driving diversification across all cnidarian clades. In order to achieve these aims, we propose to visit the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, at the University of Arizona, to obtain a methodological training in estimation of diversification rates and macroevolutionary data analysis, as well as to collaborate with John Wiens an expert in macroevolutionary methodologies.