CORDIS
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CORDIS

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Exploring Morphospaces in Adaptive Radiations to unravel Ecological Speciation

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 250325

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 October 2010

  • End date

    30 June 2016

Funded under:

FP7-IDEAS-ERC

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 474 128

  • EU contribution

    € 2 474 128

Hosted by:

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARSOF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

United Kingdom

Objective

150 years from the Origin and we have yet to unravel how ecological speciation works, and how it leads to spectacular adaptive radiations. The process has two components: adaptation to ecological niches and production of new species. My aim is to make breakthroughs in understanding ecological speciation by the study of geographically parallel adaptive radiations in mycalesine butterflies that have yielded some 250 extant species in the Old World tropics. More empirical studies are needed because few radiations have been examined from many different perspectives (including in insects). It is not fully understood either how exactly radiation occurs or how exactly selection leads to speciation. This proposal provides a unique opportunity, outside a few vertebrate clades, to resolve this by fully integrating several lines of evidence and methodologies. My approach will be to study patterns of diversity and disparity in morphospace for several sets of key traits: 1) wing patterns, 2) larval host plant choice especially with respect to C3 and C4 photosynthesis, and 3) male secondary sexual traits and sex pheromones. We will collect phenotypic, genetic, developmental, and ecological data. Application of phylogenetic comparative methods to the relationships of all traits among all species will make inferences about the biological mechanisms that have driven diversification and speciation. The combination of surveys of morphospace, the use of comparative methods, and microevolutionary studies using laboratory models will provide a unique comprehensive view. Our analyses will distinguish among alternative patterns of adaptive radiations, test predictions from models, and move us forward in identifying the drivers of observed patterns.
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Principal Investigator

Paul Martin Brakefield (Prof.)

Host institution

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARSOF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

Address

Trinity Lane The Old Schools
Cb2 1tn Cambridge

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 2 474 128

Principal Investigator

Paul Martin Brakefield (Prof.)

Administrative Contact

Renata Schaeffer (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (2)

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARSOF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 2 474 128

UNIVERSITEIT LEIDEN

Netherlands

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 250325

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 October 2010

  • End date

    30 June 2016

Funded under:

FP7-IDEAS-ERC

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 474 128

  • EU contribution

    € 2 474 128

Hosted by:

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARSOF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

United Kingdom