Life in the “dead heart” of Australia

It was the desolation of Australia’s deserts and dried-up rivers, contrasted with the fossil legacy of giant extinct marsupials and birds, that led the British explorer JW Gregory to label this region ‘the dead heart of Australia’. In fact, despite its harsh and unforgiving climate, the Australian deserts are teeming with life. Above: The redContinue reading “Life in the “dead heart” of Australia”

ECR Feature: Josep Padullés Cubino

Josep is a postdoc in the Department of Botany and Zoology at Masaryk University. He is a biogeographer and macroecologist interested in plants and their community structure. Josep shares his recent work on developing maps of phylogenetic structure of plant communities across Europe. Josep Padullés Cubino with Mediterranean sclerophyllous evergreen forests in the back (MareContinue reading “ECR Feature: Josep Padullés Cubino”

Hotspots and diversity patterns of Arabian squamate reptiles

While some areas of the world are renowned for their high diversity of life, such as the tropics, others, such as deserts, are generally perceived as deprived of diversity. This is, however, very far from the truth. Above: The Saudi Dwarf Gecko, Tropiocolotes wolfgangboehmei, whose phylogenetic position was unknown until our study. Picture by AlContinue reading “Hotspots and diversity patterns of Arabian squamate reptiles”

Connections between ploidy and environment in South American frogs

Polyploid frogs occur mainly in the SE corner of South America to the apparent exclusion of closely related diploids, a trend that persists across genera. Above: Occurrences and range maps of all the frogs included in the study, grouped by genus and colored by ploidy Genome duplications are one of the most extreme mutations thatContinue reading “Connections between ploidy and environment in South American frogs”

ECR feature: Elie Gaget on riparian birds community changes

Elie Gaget is a Postdoc at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) – Austria. He is a community ecologist interested in understanding how climate warming and land-use change affect bird communities. Here, Elie shares his recent work that uses a long-term survey to understand latitudinal and altitudinal shifts in riparian birds due to climatic change.Continue reading “ECR feature: Elie Gaget on riparian birds community changes”

Synthesis, Perspective, Commentary: A call to all authors!

Biogeography is a rapidly moving research area that intersects with many other scientific disciplines and contemporary environmental issues. Moreover, the biogeographic literature is diverse, scattered across disciplinary journals and continually expanding. Making sense of this ever-changing landscape of scientific discourse is challenging, but can be greatly facilitated by accessible and readable synthesis and discussion articles.Continue reading “Synthesis, Perspective, Commentary: A call to all authors!”

Different paths of success in the sea – what we can learn from seaweeds

Closely related clades of brown marine seaweeds display different patterns of geographical distributions and diversifications. Above: Meadow of the brown seaweed Lobophora in the Canary Islands. Photograph by Jan Ranson In studying the factors and processes structuring marine biodiversity and distribution patterns, an unconscious (perhaps inevitable) bias towards animals vs. seaweeds is often reflected inContinue reading “Different paths of success in the sea – what we can learn from seaweeds”

Speciation research in Bombina: a 40 years story

Hybrid zones can be abrupt and leaky Above: From the cover: Fire‐bellied toad (Bombina bombina) from southern Poland, where they form a famous hybrid zone with their sister species the yellow‐bellied toad (Bombina variegata). Photo credit: Christophe Dufresnes. I was not even born when Jacek Szymura and Nick Barton initiated their pioneering research on theContinue reading “Speciation research in Bombina: a 40 years story”

Mariana M. Vasconcellos on diversification and phylogenetic relationships of pajama frogs

Mariana Vasconcellos is a postdoc at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. She is interested in the environmental correlates of diversification and climatic adaptation, with a large focus on amphibians and reptiles. Mariana shares her recent work on unravelling the drivers of diversification in South America’s pajama frog group, revealing some surprising phylogenetic relationshipsContinue reading “Mariana M. Vasconcellos on diversification and phylogenetic relationships of pajama frogs”

ECR feature: Axel Arango on diversity of the Seasonally Dry Forests in the Neotropics

Axel Arango is a PhD student at the Instituto de Ecología A.C. (INECOL) – Mexico. He is a macroecologist interested in untangling the patterns and processes shaping biodiversity worldwide. Here, Axel shares his work on the biodiversity patterns of the Neotropical Seasonally Dry Forests. Axel Arango presenting his poster during the International Biogeography Society’s HumboldtContinue reading “ECR feature: Axel Arango on diversity of the Seasonally Dry Forests in the Neotropics”