This week we welcome David Punzalan.
The big and small: ambush bugs and the limits to micro- and macroevolution
The abundance of biological diversity is a testament to the role of natural selection in evolutionary processes. Yet, empirical evidence suggests processes that must restrict or constrain evolution. Quantitative genetics provides powerful tools to describe the factors that drive—but also potentially limit—change in the immediate term, but how useful are contemporary estimates for understanding and predicting patterns in the distant past and future? Inspired by a group of non-model insects, my work attempts to find mechanistic explanations for local (i.e. species-specific) phenomena, while addressing broad, and often puzzling patterns that are at the heart of the unification of micro- and macroevolution.