Phylogeography of xeric shrubland and desert flora
Covering about one fifth of the world’s surface, deserts and xeric shrublands form the largest terrestrial biome – a biome in which flora and fauna had to find a way how to cope with extreme temperature fluctuations and low water availability. Despite such inhospitable environments, arid flora is comparatively diverse and it has been suggested that it developed along a similar evolutionary trajectory. Unfortunately, rapid radiations and with it associated biological phenomena have thus far precluded rigorous testing of this hypothesis. Students interested in this topic will be given a chance to investigate phylogeographic patterns of individual keystone species of these regions by using different NGS molecular approaches, and different phylogeographic pipelines and clustering methods.