I study the evolutionary process of diversification, mainly in the context of adaptive radiation.

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post-doctoral researcher

section of integrative biology

University of Texas at Austin


Christine E. Parent


Adaptive radiation, the rapid diversification of a lineage into multiple ecologically divergent species, is thought to be one of the main processes involved in the formation of the world’s organic diversity. Thus, understanding the processes involved in adaptive radiation becomes a key component of the study of the formation and maintenance of biodiversity.

Because adaptive radiation is a complex process and its study involves aspects of phylogeny, biogeography, adaptation, and speciation, I try to keep things simple by focusing on adaptive radiations on island systems (which provide that simplicity naturally) for most of  my empirical research.

I am now also exploiting experimental and theoretical (modeling and simulation) approaches to address questions related to diversification on islands and diversification within species.

My current research with Dan Bolnick at the University of Texas at Austin examines hypotheses related to the ecological and evolutionary causes and consequences of niche expansion using Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetles) as experimental organisms. Read more...

My work with Bernard Crespi at Simon Fraser University focused on the adaptive radiation of endemic land snails on Galápagos islands. By integrating phylogenetic, morphometric, population genetic and ecological approaches, I developed the bulimulid land snails of Galápagos as a model system for the study of diversification. My thesis work has led to several publications. Read more...

Ultimately, my research interests focus on understanding the processes involved in species, morphological and ecological diversification.

Copyright © 2010 Christine E Parent