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I am fascinated by population genetics, phylogeography, distribution modeling, fossils, and the application of computer software to solve population level evolutionary problems particularly focusing on extinctions. I use genetics and distribution models to study how climate change affects populations of bats on Caribbean Islands. DNA serves as a distinctive marker for each population and can give us information about evolutionary processes that occur today and in the past. I analyze DNA under a coalescent framework (i.e. projected towards the past) to understand island bat population sizes, movement of bats among islands, etc., over time. Also, I use population distribution models to understand the changes that may have occurred in populations and their available habitat as climate changed. The combined use of DNA, coalescent methods, and distribution models is very powerful and allows me to learn about the evolutionary processes that shaped island bat populations and how bats reacted to climate change in the past, which is very important to have an understanding of what happens to these bats today and to be able to predict what may happen to them in the future.
Extinction and phylogeography of Caribbean bats
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