The work to date has mainly involved data generation, collation and preliminary analyses. Specifically, I have downloaded extensive amounts of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data from the Genbank public repository. These sequences represent several loci, which considered in combination, have been downloaded for the majority of passerine species (~80%). This data has been quality checked and aligned, before preliminary phylogenetic analyses were conducted for several clades that currently lack a well-sampled/supported molecular phylogeny. For clades with high quality publically available phylogenies at the species-level, these have been downloaded and collated. In addition, through consultation with research publications and expert field guides/text books, I have generated a complete passerine species-level data set of montane classification, in terms of whether species are distributed within lowlands, highlands or montane cloud forest. I have further classified species presence in temperate, tropical and insular areas. Both the phylogenetic and montane classifications have been combined with a global dataset of range polygon maps. I have performed a number of preliminary analyses on these combined datasets, and some more specific analyses that have focused on the avifauna of New Guinea. In general the preliminary results seem to support some of the initial hypotheses. Lineages that are currently maintained in mid-elevation cloud forest zones within the topics have on average lower diversification rates compared to species found in other areas. These results are consistent with the idea that areas of cloud forest support species that represent a disproportionately large amount of passerine phylogenetic diversity. In general, diversification rates of tropical species are greater than those currently residing in temperate areas, with particularly high rates noted among taxa that are distributed on islands, or in temperate highlands.
These results remain to be confirmed with more comprehensive complete phylogenetic data. Despite the early termination of the grant, I aim to continue with the research proposed and upon confirming the results publish the findings at a later date, crediting this MSCA-IF for it support to me in achieving this.