Lúcia Garcez Lohmann
Professor, Universidad São Paulo
Untangling the History of Neotropical Biodiversity: The Big Picture
Abstract: Few issues have been as intriguing and exciting to scientists as the origin and evolution of Neotropical Biodiversity. Yet, relatively little is still known about the evolutionary relationships among Neotropical organisms and the factors that have shaped the high species diversity found in this region. It is clear that both historical and ecological factors have played key roles in species diversification and the assembly of biotas, calling for cross-disciplinary studies. Integrative approaches, including information from systematics, ecology, evolution, geology, paleontology, and climatology, among others, are not just useful but critical for a better understanding of current diversity patterns and its drivers. To understand the history of Neotropical biodiversity, I conduct broad scale studies that look at whole biotas, as well as detailed studies focused on key Neotropical lineages.