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Investigating the role of environmental correlates on global patterns of morphological diversity in lizards

Grant number: 22/05737-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2022
Effective date (End): August 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Morphology of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Tiana Kohlsdorf
Grantee:Vinicius Anelli
Supervisor: Ana Carolina Oliveira de Queiroz Carnaval
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: City University of New York (CUNY), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:21/03089-9 - Evolution of morphological diversity in Squamata: relations with environmental gradients and developmental mechanisms in neotropical lizards, BP.DR


Patterns of biodiversity distribution reveal ecological and evolutionary processes and also constitute an essential framework for projections from scenarios of climatic changes and conservation strategies. Morphological diversity is often relegated in many studies considering global patterns of biodiversity distribution despite its crucial role perpetuating lineages that face environmental changes. Lizards overall exhibit a general latitudinal gradient of species richness, although mismatches are expected for morphological diversity distribution. In this FAPESP-BEPE fellowship proposal, we aim to characterize global distribution patterns of morphological diversity in lizards and evaluate if these patterns are correlated with ecological and climatic variables. We propose a one-year internship at Dr. Ana Carnaval's laboratory at the City University of New York, USA, with two main goals: 1) acquire and implement several and innovative analytical tools for spatial distribution modelling and tests of correlation between environment and distribution patterns, and 2) access to one of the largest and most diverse lizard collections in the world, the American Museum of Natural History, New York, to assemble an unprecedented global multi-trait morphological database. We predict that morphological diversity in lizards is distributed in association with habitat type and that climate influence is habitat-specific. This proposal outstands given its integrative approach, as we aim to obtain data that could not be acquired solely in Brazilian museums and collections, and also plan to incorporate and implement refined integrative tools of spatial modelling and biogeography. This project contributes for the framework of models and biodiversity predictions concerning environmental changes and also configures an opportunity to incorporate analytical techniques to the Brazilian lab derived from the student's training in US. (AU)

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