Understanding the processes that generate and maintain biological diversity and how these interact with landscape history is a central theme in biogeography and evolutionary biology. Information across the whole spatiotemporal spectrum at which these processes take place is also necessary to preserve biodiversity at its different levels, from ecosystems and communities to unique intraspecific evolutionary processes. The study of recent evolutionary radiations is particularly attractive to address these questions because the signatures of speciation have not been fully erased by time and, thus, it is possible to infer processes from patterns in genomic data.
The goal of this project is to integrate next generation sequencing (NGS) techniques, detailed phenotypic information and spatial modelling to unravel the factors promoting recent evolutionary radiations and infer the evolutionary processes underlying spatial patterns of genetic, ecological and phenotypic divergence. This project will use as model systems two species complexes of montane grasshoppers to understand the consequences of past climatic changes and the role of geography, environment and adaptation processes in 1) species diversification phenomena and 2) regional and local intraspecific patterns of genomic variation. Thus, we aim to track the organism diversification process from those stages that shape early genetic and phenotypic divergence at small spatial scales through the incipient speciation end, both of which are well represented in these species complexes composed by several recently diverged taxa but with different ecological and habitat requirements.