Paul Barber, Associate Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Areas of expertise: Evolution of conservation of marine biodiversity, Coral reefs, Evolutionary and population genetics, Natural selection and adaptation.
Our laboratory integrates genetics, ecology, oceanography and geology to understand the processes that promote speciation in marine environments, creating marine biodiversity hotspots. For the past decade, we have focused on the fish and invertebrates of the coral reefs of the Coral Triangle, the global epicenter of marine biodiversity. Through a comparative approach, we are examining the relative importance of tectonic history, physical oceanography, and organismal ecologies in limiting genetic connectivity and promoting evolution and lineage diversification. Our recent work focuses on integrating empirical models of connectivity with predictions from geographically explicit models of contemporary and historical ocean currents. We work closely with conservation organizations such as Conservation International to translate our basic science into information that can help guide conservation planning, protecting these endangered reef ecosystems. We are also interested in the role of natural selection and adaptation in shaping population genetic patterns, particularly the role of the genetic basis of energetic performance of mitochondrial in size selective mortality of marine larvae.
Published: Monday, September 12, 2011