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Laura Nunes

Niche conservatism among chameleons in Madagascar

Niche conservatism is defined as the retention of niche-related ecological traits over time and can be applied to a wide range of ecological and evolutionary questions. Current methods for studying niche conservatism carry drawbacks which limit our understanding of its ubiquity and implications to evolution and conservation. The project aims to develop novel techniques to test for niche conservatism and assess its predominance among chameleons in Madagascar using phylogenetic and occurrence data. The implications of the prevailing or uncommon presence of niche conservatism in this endemic group will be analysed in the context of speciation processes and responses to changing environmental conditions. The project is a collaboration between UCL’s Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, the Natural History Museum and the American Museum of Natural History.

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