Craig Moritz, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT, Australia | October 24, 2019 – 12h30 | CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão




This talk will focus on (i) how genomics, integrated with information on distributions and phenotypes, can yield new insights into biodiversity patterns and underpinning evolutionary processes. It will present new findings on the diversity of low dispersal vertebrate across the vast Monsoon Tropics of northern Australia, a species rich and relatively intact biome. Have applied a mix of extensive field work, exon capture and SNP sequencing and phenotyping our team has (i) uncovered a high prevalence of eco-morphologically cryptic diversity, (ii) established conservative protocols for translating this knowledge to taxonomy, (iii) improved understanding of how diversification and character displacement shape alpha diversity, (iv) and revealed new hotspots of evolutionary diversity. Applying new approaches to spatial analyses of phytogeographic diversity, our results are now informing conservation strategies by conservation agencies and NGOs and landholders, including indigenous communities that collectively own much of this landscape. In ongoing work, we are investigating the demographic history and ecophysiology of newly-discovered and geographically-restricted taxa to determine their sensitivity to environmental change, and developing programs with indigenous communities to enable them to improve ecological management of their Country.


Craig is an evolutionary biologist with interested in documenting biodiversity and evolutionary drivers in species rich tropical systems. He is also interested in applying this new knowledge for improving conservation strategies.




[Host: Sílvia Carvalho, Biodiversity of Deserts and Arid Regions]



Image credits: Craig Moritz