Salvador Carranza, Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF) | May 21, 2021 - 15h30 | ONLINE
INVITED TALK - WEBINAR IN BIODIVERSITY AND EVOLUTION
SYSTEMATICS, BIOGEOGRAPHY AND EVOLUTION OF ARABIAN REPTILES

The Arabian Peninsula comprises an area of approximately 3.2 million km2 where arid conditions prevail and deserts have a dominant presence. Its geological and climatic history is rich and complex and includes major tectonic events, the formation of mountain and deserts. All these geological and climatic factors have conditioned the evolution of its biota. Although arid environments are often perceived as monotonous, the Arabian Peninsula hosts a great diversity of organism adapted to its challenging conditions, being reptiles one of the commonest kinds of inhabitants. As a result of being ectotherms, reptiles are greatly affected by the thermal landscapes of their habitat. Moreover, they are relatively easy to catch and sample for phylogenetic studies, they are widely represented in Museum collections worldwide and, for many groups, there is abundant and detailed information on their taxonomy, ecology and distribution ranges. As a result of that, they constitute excellent vertebrate models for evolutionary, biogeographical and ecological studies and have been used as such for many decades.
In the present talk, I will present the results of our recent investigations to try to understand how biodiversity is generated and maintained in arid areas using Arabian reptiles as a model. Phylogenetic data, together with morphological and geospatial data will be used to unravel the role of the major tectonic events, mountains and deserts in the origin and maintenance of Arabian reptile diversity, to understand the biogeographic patterns and the drivers of the origin of Afro-Arabian squamate communities, and to analyze the dynamics of phenotypic and species diversification of some selected groups that have radiated extensively in Arabia, and to compare the outcomes of diversification in the same environmental context.

 

I graduated in Biology from the University of Barcelona (UB) in 1992 and received a PhD in Biology in 1997 from the same university. After a long postdoctoral stay at the Natural History Museum, London between 1998 and 2004 devoted to the study of Biogeography and Evolution using reptiles as a model, I returned to the UB, where I formed my own research group. In 2008, I joined the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF) as a CSIC Senior Scientist and principal investigator of the Systematics, biogeography and evolution of reptiles and amphibians group. Since 2016, I am also Associate Professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). My research at the IBE seeks to understand how biodiversity originates, maintains, and distributes in arid areas, using the reptiles of North Africa and Arabia as a model, contributing to its better knowledge and especially to its description and conservation.

 

 

[Host: Raquel Vasconcelos, Conservation Genetics and Wildlife Management - CONGEN]

 

 

Link to the webinar: https://fc-up-pt.zoom.us/j/99470061804 (Password: FCUP)