Sexual Selection in Speciation of Anolis:
I’m interested in the role of sexual selection in speciation, particularly in the hypothesis that greater speciation rates occur when selection drives the divergence of sexually dimorphic traits. Currently, I am studying the lizard genus, Anolis. With over 400 recognized species of Anolis, in the Southeastern United States, Central America, the Carribean, and South America, this lizard genus provides an excellent model to study speciation patterns and processes and contain among the best studied examples of adaptive radiation and convergent evolution in nature. Yet, it still remains largely unknown why Anolis has been so successful at diversification, or why it has it has followed certain patterns of adaptive radiation. By identifying genomic regions under sexual selection and quantifying sexually dimorphic phenotypes, I hope to shed light on whether sexual selection is a driving force in Anolis speciation while deepening our understanding of what makes certain species groups more prone to proliferation.