Macroevolutionary patterns of functional and genomic diversity
Understanding how genomic and functional diversity is distributed across temporal and spatial scales can help illuminate the evolutionary drivers of diversity. My laboratory studies how geography structures phenotypic and genetic diversity, and the pattern and tempo of functional trait evolution. Our past research has revealed how geography can structure both phenotypic and genetic variation within (Cox et al. 2012; Cox et al. 2018; Miller et al. 2014; Streicher et al. 2012, Cox et al 2018) and among species (Cox et al. 2012; Moseley et al. 2015; Myers et al. 2019; Velasco et al. 2022). Recent research is focused on understanding the evolution of trophic morphology and diet in the species-rich snake genus Tantilla. We have found that some species have novel feeding mechanisms and strong prey preferences and that there is substantial variation in skull-body length allometries among species. Our curent research is mapping the evolution of skull components and ecological factors such as diet using phylogenetic comparative methods, and characterizing the evolution of venom gland components that are linked to diet.