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The diversification of birds

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Hannah Rowland.

There are ~10,000 species of birds distributed around the world. My seminar will focus on the last 100 millions years of the global bird radiation and ask how did this diversity arise. The dynamics of avian diversification reveal some surprises. Variation in rates of diversification across the bird phylogeny add up to unexpected increases in the rate of speciation towards the present. The causes of rate heterogeneity remain difficult to identify. I will present new results that suggest a potentially important role for islands as diversity pumps. The continuing diversification of birds implies that ecological limits have not yet been reached. I discuss evidence for ecological limits to diversity in the context of evolution of bill morphology.

This talk is part of the Behaviour, Ecology & Evolution Seminar Series series.

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