Christine Bacon: I'm focused on understanding how and why biodiversity arises in time and space
We've sat down with Dr. Christine Bacon, senior lecturer in biodiversity at the Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Gothenburg, and asked her a bit about her research.
Christine, what does your research focus on?
Our group is focused on understanding how and why biodiversity arises in time and space. We use genomic tools to infer relatedness, trace biogeographic and diversification history, and study adaptation and the formation of new species.
What is a project you are currently working on?
I am using genomic data to infer species boundaries in a complex of confusing species from the Brazilian savannas (Cerrado ecoregion). I have data from hundreds of genes and I using them together with mathematical models (multi species coalescent) to determine species. We can’t protect what we don’t know, so this work is important for palm species conservation, especially since these savannas are strongly affected by human impact through conversion of savannas to pasturelands.
Rumour has it that your office is full of plants, do you have a favourite species (no palms included!)?
No palms, bahhh! I love succulents (Crassulaceae) and I avidly collect them.