dccollar “at” gmail.com
I am an evolutionary biologist and functional morphologist. My research goals are to identify general patterns of evolutionary diversification in vertebrates and to understand the processes that give rise to them. I apply a phylogenetic comparative approach in which I integrate morphological and functional measurements for species with information about the evolutionary relationships among those species. This approach allows me to test hypotheses about how, when and in what manner the process of diversification has changed over time and among lineages. My work has highlighted the importance of ecological and functional constraints on morphological diversification in several radiations of lizards and teleost fish.
In the Mehta Lab, I am involved in several studies centered on morphological diversification. In one study, I am investigating the adaptive and anatomical basis of elongate body form in disparate vertebrate groups. I am also testing the effects of behavioral innovation on morphological diversity in the true eels (Anguilliformes), which have evolved a novel feeding mode (biting) from the ancestral and more common suction-based strategy. To read more about my research, please click the link below.