Research Fellows Directory
Dr Jahnavi Joshi
Natural History Museum
I am an evolutionary biologist interested in tropical biodiversity, specifically evolution of biological diversity - the balance between speciation and extinction over space and time. To do this, I integrate evidence from multiple sources including DNA, morphology, field observations, climatic and geological data. I extensively use molecular phylogenetic and comparative methods - to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships and biogeographic history and to estimate speciation and diversification rates. I also use species distribution modelling to understand the climatic niches and to assess the geographic mode of speciation. I have been studying two evolutionary distinct groups, tropical centipedes which are ancient, low dispersing, terrestrial, carnivorous, and morphologically conserved taxa and butterflies which relatively young, vagile, and morphologically diverse with complex life histories. These multi-taxa comparisons (centipedes and butterflies) have given some interesting insights in evolution of invertebrates in Asia. In both groups, geographic and geo-climatic processes have played an important role in diversification though they differed distinctly in their patterns of morphological diversification. The framework and approaches developed during the course of this research promise to benefit future systematic, speciation and biogeographic studies in little explored diverse tropical forests.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)